Chelsi Smith, a winner of both Miss USA and Miss Universe in 1995, has reportedly passed away from cancer at the age of 45.

Smith was considered a trailblazer in the pageant world. She became the first biracial winner of Miss USA. Daniel Lara, her longtime friend, told Radar Online, “She had the biggest heart, was so genuine and truly wanted happiness for us all. She’s already missed.”

Chelsi Smith was also an actress and made appearances on Martin, Due South and even the TLC documentary, The History of the Bathing Suit.

Another one of her friends, Shanna Moakler, took to Instagram to post a tribute to Smith. “If it wasn’t for her, her beauty and her energy, her incredible destiny, I wouldn’t even be where I am today,” she captioned under a post of numerous pic of the two women. “Even when she was sick she was positive and radiant and never stopped laughing.”

Our thoughts are with Chelsi Smith’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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