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March 22, 2009

Reality TV star Jade Goody dies

Famous for U.K. Big Brother

Reality TV star Jade Goody dies

Famous for U.K. Big Brother

Jade Goody, a British celebrity who rose to fame as a controversial contestant on the reality series Big Brother, died of cancer on March 22, 2009. She was 27.

Goody grew up in difficult circumstances — her father was a heroin addict who served jail time for robbery and died in 2005; her mother was a former crack addict who lost the use of an arm in a motorcycle accident.

Prior to her participation on the third series of Big Brother, in 2007, Goody was a dental assistant. She endured accusations of racism for her treatment of another contestant, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. Goody ridiculed Shetty’s cooking of Indian food, mocked her accent and referred to her as “Shilpa Poppadom.”

Although she didn’t win the show, it made her famous through the U.K., and she earned millions through television and magazine appearances, an autobiography, a perfume and a series of exercise videos.

In August of 2008, she appeared on the Indian version of Big Brother, Bigg Boss, but bowed out early and returned to Britain after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. In February of this year, the cancer was determined to be terminal.

On February 22, 2009, she married another Big Brother contestant, Jack Tweed, and died, one month later.

She is survived by Tweed, her mother and two sons she had with former soccer player and reality television contestant Jeff Brazier.

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