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‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ co-star Beth Chapman dies at 51 of lung cancer

HONOLULU (AP) — Beth Chapman, who co-starred with her husband on the “Dog the Bounty Hunter” reality TV show and later spoke out against some bail reform measures as a leader of a national bail agents’ organization, has died.

Chapman died early Wednesday at Queen’s Medical Center after an almost 2-year battle with cancer, Mona Wood-Sword, a family spokeswoman, said in a statement. She was 51.

Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2017 after getting a nagging cough checked out. A tumor was removed, and she was declared cancer-free. But in November 2018, she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

“This is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain,” her husband, Duane “Dog” Chapman, posted on Twitter early Wednesday. “Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”

Celebrities also took to Twitter to express their condolences.

Jeanine Pirro, the host of Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” posted two photos of her with Beth Chapman and one with the couple on Twitter. Pirro added: “Rest in peace Beth Chapman. a good lady and a great American.”

Actor Scott Baio tweeted: “RIP Sweet @MrsdogC. Sending our deepest sympathy and prayers to @DogBountyHunter and his family.”

“Inside Edition” special correspondent Rita Crosby tweeted, “No words to describe this huge loss of my heroic and dear friend #BethChapman. Prayers needed for @DogBountyHunter and all of us who loved Beth so very much and her indomitable spirit.”

On Friday, Chapman had difficulty breathing and passed out momentarily, Wood-Sword said. She was taken to a hospital, and doctors put her in a medically induced coma to spare her pain while treating her, the spokeswoman said.

Born Alice Elizabeth Smith in Denver, Chapman had lived in Honolulu since 1989. In 2006, she and Duane Chapman, the self-proclaimed world’s best bounty hunter, married during a sunset ceremony at a Big Island resort after being together for 16 years.

“I’ve already been cuffed and shackled by Beth anyway,” he told The Associated Press at the time.

The wedding took place a day after the death of Duane Chapman’s 23-year-old daughter, Barbara Katy Chapman, who was killed in a car accident near her home in Fairbanks, Alaska, Wood-Sword recalled. The couple decided to go forward with the wedding to celebrate her life. The wedding was featured in an episode of the A&E series “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which followed the duo’s exploits in apprehending people who have avoided arrest warrants.

The couple met when he posted her bond for a shoplifting arrest, she told Rosie O’Donnell on “The Rosie Show.”