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'Real World's' Frankie

Dies at 25

6/12/2007 6:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0612_frankie_realworld_sd-1Frankie Abernathy -- the punked-out, boat-phobic rock chick of MTV's "Real World: San Diego" fame -- died at the age of 25 on Saturday at her mother's home in Shorewood, Wisc.

Abernathy suffered from cystic fibrosis, though an official cause of death has yet to be determined, according to MTV News. During her stint in the "Real World" house, Frankie exhibited symptoms of cystic fibrosis, such as difficulty breathing and immune-system impairment, and it was a significant part of her storyline on the show.

Frankie had some tumultuous times on the show, and ended up leaving the house before the end of the season.


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Thats to bad. CF is a hard desease to live with. May her energy continue into the universe

2605 days ago


another real world family mrmber gone damn first it was pedro and now frankie.Alothough i loved those too on their prespective show's i think we should have more people with either a terminal disease or a perminate disability.that would really wake people's eye's up to "real life"

2605 days ago

Moxie me    

You Go Girl. You lived your life to the fullest you could with an extreme medical condition. Condolences to Family and Friends. May you Fly with the Angels.

2605 days ago

Holly Murphy    

I knew Frankie not on the show, but in real life. I always thought that she was a wonderful person who knew how relate to others and show a real side of herself that others are too ashamed or scared to show. She was a true person. I hardly ever saw her without her sis. It was obvious to me that they had a relationship with each other that most of us could only hope to have with our siblings. I think that those out there who like to bad-mouth Frankie should first look at themselves before they make a comment that can never be taken back. Kansas City will always love you, Frankie. You will forever be in our hearts. We miss you. See you on the other side.

2604 days ago


its always really sad when a good person dies before their time.

2604 days ago


as a member of the family trying to get over the death of frankie, i do thank all of you for writing such nice things about her, but for the ones who right such harsh mean things such as number 318, you did not know my cousin at all and i hope that when someone special in your family passes that no one will leave such mean things about them as i probably know you would not have kind words for them. my cousin was and always will be extremely loved by her entire family for the wonderful person and woman that she is. any person that frankie came in contact with or had a chance to meet she always made them feel like a million bucks and that is sometimes hard for anyone to do but yet she did it. my cousin did have cf and yes she knew that it had no cure in site that is noe of the reasons that she lived her life the way she did and not one of her family members ever looked down on her, the medication she took was to help the pain she was having which was unbelievable for her to go through. for the person that called her a certain name that is exteremly un necessary i hope that you realize my cosin would not be the type to play the name calling game she was and is a more mature person than that and i feel sorry for who ever felt the need to get to that level about someone that they might not of even known. but like i said in the start thank you so much to all that have written in with words of love for my cousin and the family and for the ones with harsh words grow up.

2604 days ago


To poster 326, you are right, if you continue to smoke, knowing it's not good for you, you risk a great chance of dying sooner. But I have to differ with your comment this time; even the healthiest of persons can contract an illness even if he/she is obedient about taking care of his/herself. Health problems do not always have to attribute to poor lifestyle.

2604 days ago


for any one calling my cousin a moron or punk kid i invite you to stop seeing as how you do not know her, as for the people say she did not have cf you have no idea in your little mind what you are talking about, she very much did have cf and her family will tell you she did if anyone ever asks,so for the non believers out there who say she didnt you can just stop talking cause you are making a fool out of yourself..

from her cousin an actual member of the family who knows her.

2604 days ago


TM, please try to ignore those that use hateful words, they are simply angry people, they don't know Frankie, and they don't know God. It only speaks about them, not your cousin. Those that judge, will too be judged. Continue your prayers, keep talking to her, listen to your heart. Frankie isn't away, she went home. In His name, amen.

2604 days ago


my sister Jennifer used to watch the real world all the time because of Frankie. My sister also passed away with cystic fibrosis at the age of 18, almost 4 years ago. There still is no cure, the cystic fibrosis foundation is always taking donations. Log on to to donate! God bless frankie.

2604 days ago


I remember watching her and being like "omg; she's so cool" I cried when I found out! RIP Frankie..

2604 days ago

Aunt Jessie    

Oh #72-nice try, but you have been fooled. There are a lot of websites and my spaces with imposters posing as Frankie-and you have viewed one. (They have been around since RW) I am Frankies aunt, and there are several errors in your posting. For one, she did not do the vest. For two, she can spell pilates. For three, she didn't not care to admit she was sick. For four, her meds were not the ones indicated-and her drs. were very compassionate. As far as Frankie chain smoking, guess again. She smoked on the real world-but she did quit. I just saw an MTV interview tonight where she says she wished she had never done that and basically apologized. There are 5 and 7 year olds who die of CF, and I am pretty certain they are well taken care of and don't smoke. Like Abbie said, for years she could ground Frankie if she didn't take care of herself. Once you are a grown up-you can't get grounded. Additionally-Frankie had burkholder cepatia, making contact with CF patients not possible. She "caught" it probably at the could be from pushing the elevator button, touching the sink-anything. And that is how easily it is transferred only to CF patients. It basically makes typical antibiotics useless and treatments ineffective. Unfortunately-her tiny little body gave out. She had been on so many medications and treatments for so long that it is a possibility that she had organ (heart) failure. Yes, there was actually a 60 year old with CF-but each patient and life is different. I am proud that Frankie had the life she had. She tried what she wanted to try, and lived with CF....more importantly-LIVED. Our family and friends will miss her terribly. We all appreciate your sweet thoughts. As we told her 80 year old grandma who cant imagine anyone saying anything bad about Frankie-when you are "known" by 500,000 people-they aren't all going to like you. Frankie will be in our lives forever, and those who know her....know her.

2604 days ago

Aunt Jessie    

RE: Passing on CF for #295....the deal with CF is, BOTH parents must be carriers of the gene. Being a carrier has no effects. Back in the olden days when Frankie was born, only "sweat tests" were avavilable to test children-and it wasn't a feasible option to test infants. Infants/children weren't tested unless requested-upon symptoms, as with Frankie at about 3. NOWDAYS they have test methods (thanks, researchers) and many hospitals test infants in their routine newborn procedures. Today, people and parents are more aware, and options of testing parents are available before conception as well. The CF gene was only recently identified.

2604 days ago


Why anyone would take the time to take potshots at someone how has passed on is beyond me!!! I guess that some people have far too much time on their hands and far too little brains to find something constuctive to do with either.

To the family - I am so sorry for your loss and may God give you peace in this most difficult time.
Please don't try to defend Frankie. You knew what kind of person she was as did all who knew her. The opinion of those who didn't know her doesn't matter in the slightest.

God bless you

2603 days ago


aw, this is so sad. that was my favorite season, and she was my favorite person on it. i feel bad for her family..RIP

2603 days ago
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