Chelsi Smith, the first and only Texan (Texas People) to wear the Miss Universe crown, died Saturday after a year-long battle with liver cancer. She was 45 years old. A spokesperson for Smith, Jarrod Klawinsky, said she was diagnosed with cancer in spring 2017.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Chelsi Smith has passed away following a protracted illness. Chelsi was our loving daughter, niece, and friend. We will miss her infectious laughter, joie de vivre, and free spirit. She left an indelible mark on all those who knew her.”
After winning the Miss Universe crown in 1995, she pursued a music career in Los Angeles. Then she worked as a pageant coach. Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen mourned the death of her successor on twitter. She posted a photo and expressed her grief:
The photo captures the moment the Indian beauty had passed her crown to Smith. Smith was also Miss Galveston County in 1994 and had featured in various shows and films.
Rest in peace!