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The Curse Of Oak Island Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

"The Curse of Oak Island" is a reality TV show about optimistic treasure hunters trying to unravel the mysteries of the eponymous Nova Scotia island. It stars brothers Rick and Marty Lagina hunting for the long, lost, and possibly cursed treasure of Captain Kidd, searching for the grave of Sir Francis Drake, connecting the dots between Oak Island and the Knights Templar, and searching for possibly lost Shakespearian manuscripts that might be buried on the island.

Although the theories are fun to think about, more often than not, their treasure hunting has led to disappointment. But that hasn't stopped fans from tuning in for nine whole seasons so far. As the theories keep piling up and the treasure hunting continues, sadly, some of the recurring cast members haven't lived long enough to see the fruits of their efforts. Viewers were reminded of this when a tribute graphic for Chris Donah, who previously appeared on the show, appeared at the end of a recent episode. According to his obituary, he died suddenly at home on September 14, 2021, just a few days short of his 55th birthday. 

Here are some of the other "Curse of Oak Island" stars you may not know passed away.

Dan Blankenship died in 2019 at the age of 95

Dan Blankenship passed away a couple of years ago in the spring of 2019. He was 95 years old at the time, so he certainly lived a long and full life. Blankenship had been one of the most prominent figures on the show ever since its inception. Shortly after his death, the cast and crew held a touching memorial service in his honor at the site of Borehole 10-X, Blankenship's most thrilling discovery in his more than 60 years of hunting for treasure on the island.

Blankenship was survived by his daughter, Linda Flowers, and his son Dave. Dan was originally a contractor from Florida but became intrigued at the idea of finding treasure on the foreign island after reading about it in Reader's Digest. Although the big treasure that he dreamed of decades ago never came to fruition during his lifetime, his never-ending quest was a Herculean endeavor that few people would ever be capable of.

Drake Tester died a tragic death due to chronic illness

Drake Tester didn't make many appearances on the show, but he left a mark on the cast and crew nonetheless. He showed up more prominently during a few episodes of Season 3, as well as some other archived footage. He was the son of Craig Tester, the long-time business partner of co-star Marty Lagina. His stepbrother is Craig's other son (through marriage) Jack Begley, the prospector who's not afraid to get hands-on and do the dirtier jobs required to find the treasure everyone is searching for.

Drake's death is one of the most tragic of all (so far) among the "Oak Island" cast members, largely due to the fact he was only 16 years old when he passed, per his obituary. According to 9 and 10 News, Drake suffered from a seizure disorder since birth. The disorder took his life in the Spring of 2017, but he was fondly remembered by his teachers and classmates from Traverse City Central High. They admired him for "his smile and his energy," and his unique talents, including his beatboxing skills. "Oak Island" shared the news during the Season 5 premiere where Craig Tester broke the news to the Lagina brothers via video conference.

Fred Nolan was one of Nova Scotia's first professional surveyors

Fred Nolan also had a fairly minimal presence on the show, but he was just as passionate of a treasure hunter as anybody else. Like Dan Blankenship, he lived a long, full life and passed away at the ripe old age of 89, according to his obituary. He was survived by his wife Ora, his son Thomas, his brother Frank, three nieces, a nephew, and two granddaughters.

As per Nolan's obituary, he was a professional land surveyor and one of the first professional surveyors in all of Nova Scotia at the time. Another thing he had in common with Blankenship was his fascination with the history and myths surrounding Oak Island. He first got bit by the treasure hunting bug when he started studying Spanish maps, and he spent nearly five decades prospecting the island alongside other treasure hunters. He may not have spent a whole lot of time in front of the camera, but he was an invaluable consultant behind the scenes.