Bernadette Hunt, better known as Falcon from Gladiators, has passed away at the age of 59 after a battle with cancer.
Rick Jango, the partner of Falcon’s sister, made the sad announcement of Hunt’s passing in a Facebook group, where he posted a picture along with a tribute to the legendary Gladiator. It was later confirmed in a comment that the TV star’s funeral will be private, with only relatives in attendance.
"It is with great sadness that I have to tell you of my partner’s younger sister Bernadette Hunt,” Jango said. “Most people will remember her as Falcon From the hit TV Show Gladiators. I had the privilege to be in her company a few times & I have to say she was one of the most loveliest people I have ever met.
“She never had a bad word to say about anyone, indeed she was always known as the nicest ‘Gladiator’, always stopping to speak & sign autographs for anyone. She had been battling cancer for a number of years until sadly she lost the fight R.I.P. Bernie.”
But who was Falcon, and how did she become one of the more beloved Gladiators on the hit 90s show? Here is everything you need to know about her.
Who was Falcon?
Bernadette Hunt rose to fame in the 1990s as one of the main cast members of Gladiators, where she played the character of Falcon.
Before her time on the hit show, Hunt was pursuing a career in dancing, and had been accepted into the London Contemporary Ballet School when she was 18 years old. Unfortunately, she was forced to abandon her plans due to a back injury. After that, she began training to become an aerobics instructor.
Her teachers at college recognised her talent and suggested that she should consider pursuing bodybuilding. Within a few months, she participated in her first contest, Miss Natural Health 1992, which she won.
Hunt continued to win several other titles, such as Miss Novice Britain, Miss London and Home Countries 1992, and Miss South Britain. She was recruited to join the cast of Gladiators in 1993, where her Falcon character became one of the show’s most beloved and iconic.
Hunt’s impressive athleticism and aerial acrobatics made her one of the most popular and memorable gladiators on the show, and her performances in events such as Hang Tough and Skytrak are still remembered by fans today. Her ability to swing, twist and turn in mid-air while fending off challengers made her a fan favourite.
According to GladiatorsTV.com, fans considered Falcon to be the “nicest” UK Gladiator, as she was always willing to chat and sign autographs for fans, and had the time and energy outside of the show to support charitable organisations like Help the Aged and “children with leukaemia”.
Falcon remained a key Gladiators cast member until 1999. In recent years, Hunt worked as a fitness instructor at Basingstoke Sports Centre.