By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) — Beth Chapman, the brash, buxom and blonde wife and co-star of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” reality TV star Duane “Dog” Chapman, died on Wednesday.
A family spokeswoman, Mona Wood-Sword, said in a statement that Chapman died early Wednesday at Queen’s Medical Center after an almost 2-year battle with cancer. She was 51.
Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2017 after getting a nagging cough checked out. A tumor was removed and she was declared cancer-free. But in November 2018, she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
“This is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain,” Duane Chapman posted on Twitter early Wednesday. “Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
On Friday, Chapman had difficulty breathing and passed out momentarily, Wood-Sword said. She regained consciousness when emergency workers arrived at her Honolulu home and gave her oxygen. Doctors decided to put her in a medically induced coma in a Honolulu hospital to spare her pain while treating her, Wood-Sword said.
Born Alice Elizabeth Smith in Denver, Chapman had lived in Honolulu since 1989. In 2006, she and Duane Chapman, the self-proclaimed world’s best bounty hunter, married during a sunset ceremony at a Big Island resort after being together for 16 years.
“I’ve already been cuffed and shackled by Beth anyway,” he told The Associated Press at the time.
The wedding took place two days after the death of Duane Chapman’s 23-year-old daughter, Barbara Katy Chapman, who died in a car accident near her home in Fairbanks, Alaska. The couple decided to go forward with the wedding to celebrate her life. The wedding was featured in an episode of the A&E series “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which followed the duo’s exploits in apprehending people who have avoided arrest warrants.
In 2007, Hawaii lawmakers honored the crime-fighting couple for their work capturing criminals and giving them hope for a better way of life.
“It’s kind of extraordinary to be called a crime fighter,” she said at the time. “I’ll have to go home and get my Wonder Woman outfit.”
Duane Chapman gained fame after he nabbed serial rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Mexico in 2003.
“Dog the Bounty Hunter” was canceled in 2012. They later starred in Country Music Television’s “Dog & Beth: On the Hunt.”
She was later elected president of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States and opposed some bail reform measures nationwide. She boasted of being the youngest ever to receive a bail license in Colorado at 29. That record was beat by her step-daughter Lyssa Chapman daughter who became licensed at age 19, she said.
Funeral services are expected to be held in Honolulu and Colorado, Wood-Sword said.