It’s a sad day for Project Runway fans! Villain-turned-beloved contestant Wendy Pepper (real name Anne Pepper Stewart) has passed away earlier this week, according to The Washington Post. Though no cause of death was given, Wendy’s obituary says that she “died peacefully on Nov. 12, 2017, surrounded by her loving family.”
“She was an artist who proudly forged her own path in life,” read the commemoration. “A finalist on season one of Project Runway, Wendy designed and hand-sewed exceptionally beautiful clothes for children and adults. She was a chef, a writer, and a life-long entrepreneur. Her wit and humor were unmatched, as was her generosity of spirit.”
For years, Wendy was one of the most hated Runway contestants ever. She was seen gathering information from her fellow designers’ personal lives to use to break them down in the workroom. However, when she returned for Project Runway: All Stars Season 2 nearly a decade after her first appearance, she was a changed woman, earning the love and respect of her peers, and quickly becoming a fan favorite all over again.
Tragically, Wendy is the second member of the All Stars cast lost in 2017. Mychael Knight competed on Season 3, and he passed away on Oct. 17, 2017, just one month before Wendy. Mychael was only 39 years old, and admitted that he had been suffering from extreme Irritable Bowel Syndrome for five years, which resulted in dramatic weight loss. Eventually his intestinal issues killed him, leaving Runway fans devastated. To lose two favorite stars within a month is absolutely shocking. Our hearts go out to Wendy’s friends, fans, and family in this difficult time.