"Queer Eye" star Tom Jackson, who won the hearts of fans across the country after his story was featured in the reboot series' first season, has died at the age of 63, the show announced.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a member of our Queer Eye family. Rest in peace, Tom Jackson,” the show said in a post on its official Instagram, sharing a series of photos from Jackson's episode.
Fab Five member Tan France commented on the post, writing, “Such incredibly sad news.”
Jonathan Van Ness wrote, “RIP Tom,” with a red heart emoji.
An online obituary for Jackson confirmed that he died on March 3 after losing his battle with metastatic adenocarcinoma.
Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that starts in the glands that line the insides of the organs, per City of Hope’s website. Once it spreads to other parts of the body, it’s called metastatic.
According to his obituary, Jackson was born in Ashland, Kentucky, on December 20, 1959. He is survived by his daughter, Katie (R.J.) Phelps, two grandsons, Chandler and Watson Phelps, sisters, Kozetta (Jeff) Stewart and Jackie Lynn Childers, as well several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
“Tom absolutely loved being a Papaw to his two grandsons who were his pride and joy. A highlight of Tom’s life was being cast on the Netflix show, ‘Queer Eye,’” the obit said. “He enjoyed the notoriety and shared his experience with whoever would listen!”
Jackson won viewers’ hearts in the first episode titled “You Can’t Fix Ugly” of the newly-revamped “Queer Eye,” which premiered on Netflix on Feb. 7, 2018. In it, Jackson got his life revamped by France, Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Antoni Porowski. The people who are given the makeovers on the show are called “heroes.”
In his episode, the hosts helped him successfully reconcile with his ex-wife, Abby Parr.
The two would go on to get engaged and married for a second time months after the release of the episode. However, in 2019, Jackson revealed on Twitter that he and Parr had divorced.
Jackson’s obituary said: “We will never forget our beloved Tom. He brought joy, humor, persistence, and love to our family. He is special to us, and we look forward to seeing him again one day.”
It also added that in lieu of flowers, “Please watch season 1, episode 1 of ‘Queer Eye’ on Netflix and tell others about it in honor of Tom.”