TV star's beautiful tribute after wife Beth Chapman dies at 51

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Beth Chapman, who starred in reality TV show Dog the Bounty Hunter, has died after a battle with cancer. She was 51.

The announcement was made by her husband Duane "Dog" Chapman on Twitter on Wednesday, days after a choking emergency led to her being hospitalised and placed in a medically-induced coma.

Her advanced lung cancer — stage IV — led to her having difficulty breathing, so her family gathered by her bedside in Honolulu — and requested prayers from fans.

Beth Chapman, with husband Duane "Dog" Chapman in 2017, has died. After a battle with throat cancer in 2017, her cancer returned the next year. A family spokesperson said at the end she was had stage IV lung cancer. (Photo: Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

Dog wrote in his tweet announcing her passing, that at 5:32 a.m. local time in Hawaii, Chapman typically would be waking up to hike.

Instead, today she “hiked the stairway to heaven... See you on the other side.”

Realty fame

Dog was married to Chapman — his fifth wife — since 2006 and they made quite a pair on their reality series Dog the Bounty Hunter about his life as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman.

She ran the bail bonds office and also went bounty hunting with her bruiser husband.

Their show ran from 2004 to 2012 on A&E. Fans liked it not only for their dramatic captures but also for their openness about their private life. They shared their drama related to kids (they have 12 combined), custody battles and exes.

The couple later appeared in their own spin-off, Dog and Beth: On the Hunt, that aired from 2013 to 2015. However, they parted ways with the network for a new show, Dog's Most Wanted, which is set to air on WGN America, in 2020.

In a preview of the upcoming show, Chapman’s cancer battle is a big part of the storyline. She’s seen in her hospital bed and Dog, 66, talked about how the “love of my life” was fighting for her life.

Devastating news

Chapman was first diagnosed with throat cancer — stage II — after having a lingering cough checked out in 2017. It seemed like good news when, just two months later, the couple said that she was cancer-free.

A&E aired a two-hour special, Dog and Beth: Fight of Their Lives, documenting Beth’s cancer journey, in November 2017.

However, Chapman’s cancer returned a year later. She underwent emergency surgery to remove a mass from her throat and began aggressive chemotherapy. It was an uphill battle, which she shared details about, including losing her hair.

But it was worse — a family spokesperson said that she had stage IV lung cancer the second time.

During her fight, there were things to celebrate, including Chapman and Dog becoming great-grandparents in January.

But things were dire with Chapman, who was hospitalised in April with another blockage in her airways. The next month, she alluded to having stopped chemotherapy treatments.

Chapman wrote on social media in May that Dog, “has been by my side non stop since this happened strong and encouraging me every day. There is no doubt we’re my strength comes from. Being with him is the most important thing to me.
Ours is one of the greatest love story’s never told.”

Meanwhile, Dog told People magazine, “When we made a pledge many years ago, I said I’d love her in sickness and in health until death do us part,” he said.

“And that truth has really, really come alive in my mind. And I have to stand on that; I gave her an oath that I would love her forever. And thank God it’s not till death do us part at this point.”

As she endured her final days with severe breathing problems, Dog remained by her side. He made sure that his partner was comfortable and looking good, sharing a photograph of her glam nails. “You all know how she is about HER NAILS !!” he wrote.

In addition to Dog, Chapman is survived by their combined brood of 12 children.

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