RIP: Bill Beckwith, host of HGTV’s ‘Curb Appeal,’ killed in crash
By Tom Watkins and Ed Payne, (CNN) — Bill Beckwith, whose regular appearances as a carpenter on the HGTV home-improvement show “Curb Appeal” attracted legions of fans, has died in a motorcycle crash in San Francisco. He was 38.
“The HGTV family is deeply saddened by Bill’s tragic death and we mourn his loss along with his many family and friends who will miss his creativity, adventurous spirit and general love of life,” the show said Wednesday in an e-mail.
“Bill was truly a beloved and respected member of our Curb Appeal family and this loss is devastating to us,” HGTV said on the show’s official Facebook page Tuesday. “We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Bill’s family.”
Beckwith was killed Monday night when his motorcycle collided with a vehicle in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood, CNN affiliate KPIX reported, citing police and the medical examiner.
Beckwith co-hosted “Curb Appeal” with John Gidding, Chip Wade and Kimberly Lacy. Each episode of the program, which is now out of production, made over the exterior of a house.
As a child, Beckwith was drawn to fixing old structures on his parents’ 60-acre vegetable farm in Maine, according to an HGTV bio.
During summer breaks while attending the University of Montana, where he studied English and martial arts, he restored the cabins of a historic fly-fishing ranch in the Wyoming mountains, the bio said.
He then moved to Northern California and started his construction company, BB Design Build.
By Tuesday night, a Facebook memorial page — Billy J. Beckwith, Superstar — was populated by messages of remembrance from friends and family members.
“My love: so kind, so bright, adventurous and strong,” wrote Yulia Korneeva, his girlfriend. “You are loved by so many good people! I wish you could stay with us for way longer.”
“He was a great writer and thinker. Farmer. Dancer. Woodworker. TV star! Artist. Athlete,” wrote Andy Seaver.
“So silly. So deeply pensive. His smile could destroy you.”
Beckwith’s many posts about motorcycles on his own Facebook page underscored his passion for them.
A posting on October 21 made clear that he was aware of life’s fragility.
“Was the first one out of my truck this a.m. at a head-on collision, made sure everyone was breathing and then directed traffic,” he wrote. “A solid reminder that our lives can change at any instant, and to be grateful for what I have right now.”
CNN’s Dave Alsup and Justin Lear contributed to this report.