Sean Sasser, 'Real World' Alum, AIDS Activist, & Chef, Dies at 44

AIDS activist and former Real World: San Francisco guest star Sean Sasser has died of mesothelioma at the age of 44. Sasser, who was HIV positive, was a pastry chef at an upscale eatery in Washington, DC, but fans of the Real World will remember him as Pedro Zamora's partner. Sasser and Zamora introduced to a generation what it was like to be gay and living with HIV in the early '90s, and their open relationship touched the lives of millions of viewers with its simultaneously heartwarming and heart-wrenching story — Zamora died about a year after the show wrapped in 1994.

Zamora and Sasser exchanged vows and wedding bands on the show, years before gay marriage would become legal. Dressed in white, the men celebrated their love with Zamora's housemates and loved ones. Soon after, Zamora fell ill and passed away.

Recently, in May, Sasser talked to the Washington Blade about his passion for desserts and his love for cooking. His chocolate macaroons were described as "heavenly."

News of Sasser's death broke when Real World: San Francisco star Judd Winick tweeted the sad news. Winick, who was featured on the show along with Zamora and the wild card, Puck (who was recently arrested for domestic abuse) was Zamora's best friend and was close with Sasser and Sasser's husband, Michael.

[Image via MTV]