HGTV fans are mourning a familiar face. Former House Hunters host Suzanne Whang died on Thursday, September 19, after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 56.
Jeff Vezain, Whang’s partner, wrote on Facebook that the TV personality “breathed her last breath” around 7:20 p.m. PT at their Los Angeles home with him kneeling beside her and caressing her. “For thirteen years she confronted cancer with courage, humor, determination and optimism,” he explained in the post. “She was immensely encouraged by the love of her family, friends and those she had yet to meet.”
Vezain also wrote that she would “prefer that her life be celebrated, as opposed to her passing mourned.”
“But I also know how vehemently she disagreed with anyone being told, ‘Don’t cry,’” he added. “So … cry if you will. I’ve been crying a LOT! And laughing … and everything in between. It’s all part of life, but laughter was a staple of our dynamic. Her audacious sense of humor blessed many, shocked a few, but allowed us to laugh in the face of adversity. She was an amazing daughter, sister, friend, mentor and advocate.”
Whang hosted House Hunters from 1999 to 2011 and House Hunters International from 2009 to 2012. In her acting career, she played Polly Nguyen in 12 episodes of Las Vegas and Carol Chang in eight episodes of General Hospital. More recently, she appeared in the TV shows Kingdom, The Mick and For the People.
With an undergraduate psychology degree from Yale University and a masters degree in cognitive psychology from Brown, Whang was also a published author, radio host, producer, political activist and minister, according to TMZ.
“As I, her family and her closest friends process her transition, we ask for your prayers and loving thoughts,” Vezain told Facebook supporters. “We have appreciated all of the kind words and memories shared on her Facebook page. It has brought much comfort. As I say good bye to a soul who was more than a true love, but also a best friend and an intellectual and spiritual book-end, know that we may not be able to respond to queries, but will try to keep you updated.”
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