Stevie Ryan, the YouTube star who landed on VH1 for an impersonation-based series called Stevie TV and also co-hosted for the E! network, passed away on Saturday at age 33. The LA County Coroner’s Office has now ruled her death to be a suicide by hanging. Also tragically, she revealed the death of her grandfather about a week ago in a pair of Instagram posts. Ryan first posted a sad video with him, in which she acknowledged that his health was failing, and she was attempting to prepare herself for what was coming. And then came a heartbreaking entry, in which she wrote, “My dream man who I will only see in my dreams. I’ll meet you in Percebo, soon. I love you my Papa.”
Ryan has now followed her grandfather into the afterlife. People reports that she very recently discussed his death on her podcast, Mentally Ch(ill) (which revolved around the subject of mental illness, as the title indicates), in which she feared, “I’m just worried that this is going to send me into a deeper depression.” After news surfaced of Ryan’s death, her podcast co-host, Kristen Carney, paid tribute on Twitter to “the coolest girl I’ve ever known.”
Back in 2012, Ryan’s hometown newspaper (in Victorville, California) published a profile that revealed how much she embraced her roots in “The Ville.” She jokingly blamed her love of profanity on where she grew up while also stating that, through and through, she was a native of her town, despite its reputation as a “rough” and “dangerous” place. The interview also reveals how she started YouTubing in 2006 with a Little Loca series that paved the way for discovery, all while she paradoxically feared fame:
Though she knows how this sounds, Ryan’s not looking forward to the personal attention Stevie TV is bound to bring.
“Once the shows airs, that’s the only bummer. I’m so terrified to be known,” she said, citing social anxiety and an awkwardness that drove her to create new identities. “I wish I could do the show and not be famous.”
She’ll cross that bridge as Stevie Ryan, though, more secure now in her own skin than she’s ever been.
Ryan’s Twitter profile also featured a photo of her grandfather, which showed off his sense of humor and hers as well: “I’m definitely his granddaughter.” Stevie Ryan will be forever missed by her family, friends, and fans.