08/08/2013 03:02 pm ET Updated Aug 08, 2013

Sean Sasser Dead: 'Real World' Star Dies Of Cancer At Age 44

Sad news for the MTV family.

"Real World" star Sean Sasser died at the age of 44, his friend and castmate Judd Winick confirmed on Twitter.

Sasser, who was HIV positve, was also an influential AIDS activist. He died of a rare form of lung cancer called mesothelioma, his partner Michael Kaplan told Queerty. No other information was released immediately about Sasser's medical condition, but mesothelioma has been linked to a weakened immune system in some people with AIDS.

Sasser was best known as Pedro Zamora's boyfriend on "The Real World: San Francisco," which aired on MTV in the early 1990s. According to Us Weekly, their commitment ceremony was one of the first ever shown on national television and was done a decade before gay marriage was legalized in the U.S. Zamora died of AIDS at the age of 22 on Nov. 11, 1994.

Sasser was working as a pastry chef at RIS restaurant in Washington, D.C. at the time of his death.



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