Former Dancing With the Stars contestant Danica McKellar recently celebrated her 46th birthday. As a tribute to her, fellow Dancing With the Stars contestant and former Celebrity Big Brother star Jonathan Bennett took to Instagram to let everyone know what an amazing woman she is and how she has been a wonderful friend to him over the years, including helping him cope with his father’s brain cancer and death. Here’s what he revealed about their years-long friendship.
When Bennett’s Dad Became Sick and Died, McKellar Was There For Them
When Bennett was on Dancing With the Stars in season 19, he frequently talked about his father David’s death earlier that year and how Dancing With the Stars had been his father’s favorite show. In an interview with the Toledo Blade, he talked about how his father would watch the show in hospice.
“I just lost my father to brain cancer not but three months ago and this was his favorite show on television,” said Bennett. “And when he was sick in hospice the only show he wanted to watch was Dancing with the Stars because he said this show made him feel good. So I’m doing this performance not just for myself but for my father because I know how badly he loved the show and how thrilled he would be that I’m on it.
He added, “I’m also doing this dance for my mother because she passed away a year before that and they both were huge fans of the show.”
David Bennett died of brain cancer in April 2014 at the age of 74. Ruthanne Bennett died in late 2012 at the age of 67. Bennett said the “biggest reason” he wanted to do Dancing With the Stars was because of “how much they would love” to see him on it.
But it turns out that after David Bennett became sick, McKellar took him as her date to Dancing With the Stars so that he could experience it in person before he became too ill to travel.
McKellar was on season 18, the spring season when Bennett passed away. Jonathan wrote on Instagram, “When my dad got sick, she made his last trip to LA better and took him as her date to DWTS.”
He added that when his dad “was really sick,” McKellar “sent him fresh baked goods to make his appetite better.”
Bennett Went on to Say That McKellar Is Always the Person To Lift His Spirits
Bennett revealed that McKellar was there for him through all the highs and lows over the years.
“When I got voted of DWTS, she took me to lunch the next day to make my spirits better. When I got voted off Celebrity Big Brother, she was the first person to come over to help me laugh at it better. When I got engaged, she was the first person we saw, to celebrate better,” wrote Bennett, who recently became engaged to his longtime boyfriend Jaymes Vaughan.
In fact, McKellar posted the engagement celebration to her own Instagram, writing, “I felt so lucky to see my good friends @jonathandbennett & @jaymesv just days after their engagement this week, as they were only in town for a few hours! They are such an amazing couple and with the biggests hearts. Congratulations, you guys!! Love you so much!”
Bennett responded to her post with, “From the moment we met you have always been my guardian angel through so many big life moments. I could feel my dad smiling down on us during our engagement celebration lunch. We LOVE you.”
In his birthday tribute to her, Bennett added, “If there’s one thing for certain it’s the fact that having @danicamckellar in your life makes it better. I hope you have the happiest birthday, and thank you for making everyone around you better.”
Bennett and McKellar met on the set of the 2013 Lifetime movie The Wrong Woman and have been close ever since. His birthday tribute post includes many photos of them together over the years.
In response to the lovely tribute, McKellar wrote in the comments, “Omg I’m crying! Love you so much, Jonathan!!”
And one of Jonathan’s brothers chimed in by saying it was “awesome” what she did for their father and that she’s “such a good friend” to Jonathan.
Bennett and McKellar are staples of the Hallmark channel, so perhaps we need a new Christmas movie where they play best friends!
Dancing With the Stars season 30 should return in 2021 but ABC has not announced when it will premiere yet.