MTV’s ‘Catfish’ Star Mike Fortunato Dies: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

RIP Michael Fortunato Catfish, Mike Fortunato Dies Pulmonary Embolism, Michael Fortunato Dead, Ashley Sawyer Michael Fortunato Catfish


Tonight was the finale of MTV’s show “Catfish” and while many should be excited, we are saddened to hear that a star from this season has passed away. Read on for the 5 Fast Facts on Michael Fortunato and the details surrounding his death.

1. Michael Died From a Pulmonary Embolism

Fortunato passed away on Saturday in Hartford, Connecticut, as reported by MTV. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism.

A spokesperson for the Farmington, Connecticut, chief medical examiner’s office told MTV News that Fortunato died at Hartford Hospital as a result of a pulmonary embolism due to deep vein thrombosis, with other significant contributing factors including obesity and cardiomyopathy.

2. It Was Michael’s Sister Who Gave Word to MTV

Michael’s sister Gena let MTV know that her brother had passed away. Gena revealed:

I don’t even know where to start … He was a little kid at heart — a gentle giant. He’s somebody who put everybody before himself; everybody else came before him. The biggest heart that you’d ever meet.

3. Fortunato Is Known From His Appearance on the Show Catfish

MTV writes:

The 26-year-old New Jersey native starred in the “Ashley and Mike” episode from season two, which followed he and 20-year-old Ashley Sawyer as they met for the first time after being in a seven-year online relationship.

According to Wikipedia:

Catfish: The TV Show is an American reality-based docudrama television series airing on MTV about the truths and lies of online dating. The series is based on the 2010 film Catfish and is hosted by Nev Schulman.

4. Ashley Sawyer Heard From Michael Just Before He Died

RIP Michael Fortunato Catfish, Mike Fortunato Dies Pulmonary Embolism, Michael Fortunato Dead, Ashley Sawyer Michael Fortunato Catfish

Apparently, Mike had texted his Catfish flame early on Saturday morning to tell her he was thinking about going to the hospital. Later, he wrote that he had changed his mind. Sawyer told MTV:

He would give anybody the last shirt he had — anything … He would put his life on hold just to make sure other people moved forward. He always put people first.

Sawyer also called him “the most honest, loyal person I’d ever met in my life.”

5. The News of Michael’s Death Falls On the Day of the Catfish Finale

Tonight was the Season 2 finale of Catfish. It’s sad to hear of Michael’s death on what should be a celebratory day. The network actually released a statement reading:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Michael Fortunato. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

After tonight’s finale, Nev and Max from the show addressed the tragic death of Michael, giving some background on his role on the show, his relationship with Ashley Sawyer, and some of the sad details of Michael’s death.

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