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MANILA, Philippines – Netflix’s Bling Empire matriarch Anna Shay died unexpectedly at the age of 62 on Monday, June 5, after suffering from a stroke. Her family confirmed this in a statement that Netflix shared with CNN.
“It saddens our hearts to announce that Anna Shay, a loving mother, grandmother, charismatic star, and our brightest ray of sunshine, has passed away at the early age of 62 from a stroke,” the statement said.
“Anna taught us many life lessons on how not to take life too seriously and to enjoy the finer things. Her impact on our lives will be forever missed but never forgotten.”
Anna rose to fame in 2021 after first appearing in Netflix reality series Bling Empire, a show that follows the lives of wealthy Asian-American socialites in Los Angeles.
Among those who paid tribute to Anna are Bling Empire cast mates Kevin Kreider, Kim Lee, and Kelly Mi Li.
Kevin took to Instagram to express his grief.
“So unexpected and wished when I saw you last for lunch I would have taken a moment to smell the roses and had one last adventure with you,” his caption read.
Kim shared to Variety that Anna’s passing came as a “huge shock.”
“I know that we had issues on the show but in real life, I had such a great connection with her outside of the show,” Kim said. “We saw eye to eye, and she gave me so many words of wisdom I will never forget. There’s no one like Anna Shay; she’s an incredible and unique person who was beloved by so many people. My thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.”
“You were truly one of a kind and we will miss you forever,” co-star Kelly also said in an Instagram post.
Shay was born and raised in Japan to American businessman and founder of the global defense contractor Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE) Edward Shay and half-Japanese, half-Russian Ai Oizumi Shay. Together with her brother Allen, she sold PAE in 2006 for $1.2 billion, according to Tatler.
She married four times but the identities of her ex-husbands remain private. She is survived by son Kenny Kemp. – Cheska Gonzaga/Rappler.com
Cheska Gonzaga is a Rappler intern.