Reality television star James King, best known for appearing on the TLC series My 600-lb Life, has passed away. Reportedly, King died on April 3 at Saint Thomas Midtown in Nashville, and while an exact cause of death wasn't revealed, King had a history of health issues which may have contributed to his passing. He was 49 years old.
King was first highlighted on My 600-lb. Life on TLC in 2017. At the time he weighed nearly 800 pounds, and the series focused on his goal to slim down to 600 so he would be able to have gastric bypass surgery. King made additional appearances on the series to provide viewers updates on his weight, though it had apparently gone up, as it was revealed in a 2018 update that King had topped 840 pounds.
James King was born in Paducah, Kentucky on June 2, 1970. As a child, King says he only saw his mother three times, as his father was the primary caregiver of King and his brother. Later, King reconnected with his mother and the two started to build a relationship, only for her to die unexpectedly just a few months later. "We got a phone call that our family home had burned down, and I lost just about everything I had in a single day," King said of the experience. "It seems like all I wanted to do was eat," he added, noting his depression had gotten so bad that he buried all of his emotions with food.
King is one of seven subjects featured on My 600-lb. Life who've since died after appearing on the show. Rob Buchel, who appeared in a season six episode in 2017, was the first subject to die during the production of their particular episode, as he suffered a fatal heart attack during filming. Season six star LB Bonner was also reported to have committed suicide at the age of 30 in 2018. Several others passed away more recently as well, with multiple other deaths reported just last year.
My 600-lb. Life has been airing on TLC since 2012, serving as one of the most popular series on the network. Each episode explores a year in the life of severely obese invididuals weighing 600 pounds or more and their attempts to lose weight. Many former subjects featured on the show often return to provide updates on their continued weight loss progress, but as we've seen with King, sometimes their conditions are revealed to have worsened. Along with every other major television series, production has been halted on My 600-lb. Life, with TLC citing the safety of the show's talent and employees as their top priority.
"TLC was deeply saddened by the loss of James King, who shared his weight-loss journey on My 600lb Life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time," the network tweeted in response to the news of King's death. King's survivors include his wife, Lisa; father, Donald; brother, Donald; two step-sisters and two step-brothers; four daughters and two sons; and 19 grandchildren. We would also like to echo TLC and offer our condolences to King's family and everyone else who knew him best. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from Deadline.