HOUSTON — A beauty queen from Deer Park is dead at the age of 45, her family confirmed in a statement Sunday.
Chelsi Smith, who was crowned Miss Universe in 1995, suffered from liver cancer.
She is the first biracial woman to win the pageant's triple crown, winning Miss Texas, Miss USA and Miss Universe.
Smith went on to have a career in entertainment, singing with Music World/Columbia/Sony Music records in 1999 as well as having various acting roles in film and television.
Her family released the following statement Sunday:
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Chelsi Smith has passed away following a protracted illness.
Chelsi was our loving daughter, niece, and friend. We will miss her infectious laughter, joie de vivre, and free spirit. She left an indelible mark on all those who knew her.
As much as Chelsi cherished her privacy, she always appreciated the expressions of love and good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
While we mourn the loss of this vivacious and kind-hearted woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young women around the world that their dreams are possible through a loving heart and an enlightened mind."
Smith's memorial service will be held in Houston. There is no word yet on the date.