Trading Spaces Designer Frank Bielec Dead at 72
Trading Spaces designer Frank Bielec has died. He was 72.
Bielec, who appeared on the beloved home decorating series since it premiered back in 2000, died in a Houston hospital on Friday after suffering a heart attack the previous day, his wife Judy told TMZ.
Mourning the death of his costar, fellow designer Vern Yip shared a touching tribute on social media, alongside a smiling photograph of the pair.
“Lovely Frank Bielec passed away today from complications following a heart attack,” he wrote on Friday. “Funny, wise, nice, and talented, he always lent perspective and levity to every situation. Thanks you for always being kind to me. I will miss you dearly friend.”
Trading Spaces’ Ty Pennington also honored Bielec, calling him one of the best “humans I’ve had the good fortune to call friend.”
“You will be missed Frank,” he added.
Trading Spaces originally aired on TLC from 2000 to 2008 and launched multiple spinoff series throughout its run. In 2018, a revival series began airing on Discovery Channel.
“A sad day for the TLC family as we learn of the passing of beloved Trading Spaces designer Frank Bielec,” the network wrote in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “We will miss and remember him fondly, his quirky style and wonderful sense of humor. We share our love and condolences with the entire Bielec family at this difficult time."
Although the lovable Southerner has always been a fan favorite, his castmates initially weren’t sure whether the country style enthusiast would return for the reoobt.
“I didn’t think Frank would come back,” designer Genevieve Gorder, one of the original stars who rejoined the show told PEOPLE back in 2017. “He was a bit more mature than the majority of us, and he has a tendency to kind of fall off the grid. Not in a bad way, but just ‘eh, I’m busy.'”
“They didn’t tell any of us who was coming or not coming,” she added. “They really didn’t know if he was coming, so seeing him again was that much more of a big deal.”
Joining Bielec were Yip, Pennington, Gorder, Carter Oosterhouse, Doug Wilson, Laurie Smith, Hildi Santo-Tomas,Andy Obeck, Rob Marish and Randall Tang.
“My favorite Brady Bunch,” Gordon, 45, captioned the screenshot from the virtual call.