Reports say that Adriana Xenides, the long-running hostess of television game show “Wheel of Fortune”, had passed away.
Xenides died in Liverspool Hospital Monday afternoon after reportedly suffering a ruptured intestine. She was 54.
A few days earlier, she was admitted to the hospital due to a stomach complaint.
John Burgess, her former co-host who saw her at the hospital on Sunday, confirmed her death through a statement released to the Seven Network.
“It’s incredibly sad. She was a great friend and a TV legend,” he said.
Xenides, a former model and television celebrity, was born in Argentina but was raised in Adelaide.
She became a well known model when she was 17 and was approached by the production company Grundy Television to audition for a new television show “Wheel of Fortune”.
In 1981 at the age of 22, Xenides became a household name when she joined the game show. She had an 18-year run, which is still an Australian record. She was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running game show host.
She never missed an episode until she fell sick in November 1996 due to a persistent stomach virus.
“I have never missed an episode of Wheel but under doctor’s instructions, I have to take a break from the show,” Xenides said in a statement at the time.
“I have had a gastro viral infection which I haven’t been able to shake for several months so it’s definitely time to rest.”
She publicised her illness in a TV interview in 2007, saying that the pain was “so hard it takes you down to your knees”.
The symptoms caused her stomach to enlarge twice its normal size.
“I looked as if I was nine-months pregnant, and then from then, I thought my goodness what’s wrong, and they started investigating,” she told the Seven Network.
She also said that she almost died of hemorrhaging caused by the digestive disorder.
“I was dying and I remember being on life support and saying what’s going what’s happening?”
Xenides may have left television in 1996, but later appeared as a judge on the talk show Beauty and the Beast and a contestant on the Australian version of Celebrity Big Brother in 2002.