This is a tough one, guys. "Real World: Hollywood" cast member Joey Kovar was found dead near Chicago this morning, and some family members believe drugs are to blame, TMZ reported. He was 29 years old.
"MTV is deeply saddened to learn that Joey Kovar of 'The Real World: Hollywood' has passed away," said an MTV spokesperson. "We offer our sympathies to Joey’s loved ones, friends and fans."
Joey was 24 when he first appeared on the 2008 installment of the series. He was well-liked by his cast mates and had dreams of becoming an actor, but he struggled with substance abuse issues. Ultimately, he left the production to check himself into rehab, returned, and left again out of fear of relapsing, but announced at the show's reunion special that he had been sober for nearly a year. Joey admitted on 2009's "Celebrity Rehab" that he'd started using cocaine and ecstasy again, though, and today, a friend discovered him unconscious with blood coming out of his ears and nose, TMZ said.
Remote Control spoke to Joey after an episode that featured his return to the "Real World" house, and he credited housemate Sarah for helping him stay sober when the temptation to drink or use seemed like too much to bear. In a later interview that ran after the season ended, he said his choice to enter rehab was his most positive experience of the show and added that he had extended his improv comedy education, which began on "Real World," in hopes of landing TV and movie roles.
The last confessional Joey taped in the "Real World" house is below, in which he explains his goal to get clean:
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Photo: Art Streiber