Gladiators star Bernadette Hunt, also known as “Bernie the Bolt”, passed away at 59. Hunt rose to fame in the early 90s as one of the initial cast members of the British television program in which competitors competed in physical tasks against gladiators. Hunt soon became a crowd favorite and was renowned in the ring for her quick speed and agility.
Born in London in 1964, Hunt began her career as a model before landing her breakthrough role in Gladiators. Initially hired as a backup Gladiator, she quickly impressed producers with her athleticism and was promoted to a full-time cast member. Hunt appeared on the show for four series, from 1992 to 1996, before retiring due to an injury.
Who was Bernadette Hunt?
Hunt grew up in southeast London and was one of seven siblings. She started modelling at 17 and quickly found success, working with major brands such as Coca-Cola and British Airways. However, Hunt’s true passion was for sports, and she excelled in athletics, gymnastics, and karate. She even represented England in martial art at the age of 16.
Hunt stayed involved in the fitness business after leaving Gladiators, working as a personal trainer and hosting fitness activities. She was also an outspoken supporter of cancer research and consciousness, a cause dear to her heart.
Hunt’s Health Struggles
In 2018, Hunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a disease that has a low survival rate. Despite the diagnosis, Hunt remained optimistic and continued to inspire others. She underwent extensive treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy, and documented her journey on social media.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2019, Hunt opened up about her diagnosis, saying, “I’ve had moments when I’ve thought, ‘Why me?’ But then I realized, ‘Why not me?’… I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of not living.”
Throughout her illness, Hunt remained dedicated to raising awareness and funds for cancer research. She participated in charity events and fundraisers, including the London Marathon, and urged others to get regular cancer screenings.
The Gladiators Community Reacts to Hunt’s Passing
News of Hunt’s passing has been met with an outpouring of grief from fans and former Gladiators co-stars. Many people have turned to social media to express their condolences and recollections of Hunt from the program.
Fellow Gladiator James Crossley, who portrayed Hunter on the show, tweeted, “So sad to hear Bernie the Bolt passed away. She was one of the kindest people in the Gladiators family. Rest in peace Bernie.”
Fans have also shared their memories of watching Hunt on the show and her impact on their lives. One fan wrote, “I used to love watching Gladiators as a kid, and Bernie was always my favorite. She was so fast and agile! Rest in peace, Bernie.”
Hunt’s passing is a significant loss to the Gladiator community and the entertainment industry. Her legacy will live on through the memories of those who knew and loved her and the impact she made on the lives of those she inspired.