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Rudolph Ernst "Rudy" Boesch was a contestant from Survivor: Borneo and Survivor: All-Stars.

A former Navy SEAL, Rudy is remembered for his begrudging-turned-lasting friendship with Richard Hatch, being a part of the first ever voting alliance, and being the oldest castaway to ever compete. He made it to the final three along with Richard and Kelly Wiglesworth. After he lost the Final Immunity Challenge to Kelly on Day 38, she voted him out that night, eliminating him one day before the Final Tribal Council.

He returned for All-Stars, where he aligned with Rupert Boneham and was voted out second due to an injury which made him a liability.

Profile

Retrieved from CBS.com

Rudy joined the Navy in April of 1945 and immediately volunteered for "secret and hazardous duty" with the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders, highly classified naval commando units. In 1951, six years after Scout and Raider training at Fort Pierce, Florida, Rudy completed UDT (Underwater Demolition Teams) training in Little Creek, Virginia, and was assigned to UDT-2 (redesigned as UDT-21 in 1953). He remained in UDT-21 for the next 11 years. During this period, he completed numerous specialized schools and deployed routinely to the Mediterranean and Caribbean areas with the Naval Amphibious Forces. Rudy became a proficient combat swimmer and expert in small-boat operations. In 1962, Rudy was one of the 50 hand-selected officers of the original SEAL (Sea-Air-Land) Team TWO, becoming one of their most distinguished members.

In 1967, Rudy was advanced to the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer and, between combat tours, served as the senior enlisted position of Command Master Chief. From 1968-1970, Rudy completed two combat deployments to Vietnam. Among his numerous awards, Rudy earned the Bronze Star Medal for heroic action during more than 45 combat operations. During and after his stint in Vietnam, Rudy was delegated the "Chief SEAL," and set physical and operational standards at SEAL Team TWO.

In the late 1980's, Rudy became the Naval Special Warfare Community "Bull Frog," a distinguishing award presented to the SEAL serving the longest time on active duty. Instead of retiring, Rudy was selected as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to USSOCOM. In August of 1988, Rudy headed to Tampa, Florida and entered into the "inner circle" of the Special Operations Command to advise on all enlisted matters of the Joint command. For his extraordinary performance, Rudy was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal - an award not often given to an enlisted man.

Master Chief Rudy retired from the U.S. Navy after completing over 45 years continuous activity. He was honorably discharged on August 1, 1990. Rudy and Marge, his wife of 42 years, are now involved in extensive volunteer work. In 1992, Rudy captained a 38' power boat during the "Americas Cup 1992" event. In 1996, he captained a support boat at the Summer Olympic Games. He continues as a Red Cross Volunteer and drives support vehicles and performs essential services during disaster-relief operations. He is also a volunteer for the Virginia Beach Police Department. Involved with many organizations, Rudy is a founding member of the UDT-SEAL Association and a founding member of the Association's Board of Directors, having once served as their President. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Special Operations Fund.

Rudy currently lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He and Marge have three children, Ellen Marie, Patricia Ann and Barbara Jean, and one granddaughter, Kelsey. His birth date is January 20, 1928.[1]

Rudy joined the Navy in April of 1945 and immediately volunteered for "secret and hazardous duty" with the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders, highly classified naval commando units. In 1951, six years after Scout and Raider training in Fort Pierce, Florida, Rudy completed UDT (Underwater Demolition Teams) training in Little Creek, Virginia, and was assigned to UDT-2 (redesigned as UDT-21 in 1953). He remained in UDT-21 for the next 11 years. During this period, he completed numerous specialized schools and was deployed routinely to the Mediterranean and Caribbean areas with the Naval Amphibious Forces. He became a proficient combat swimmer and expert in small-boat operations. In 1962, he was one of the 50 hand-selected officers of the original SEAL (Sea-Air-Land) Team TWO, becoming one of their most distinguished members.

In 1967, Rudy was advanced to the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer and, between combat tours, served as the senior enlisted position of Command Master Chief. From 1968-1970, Rudy completed two combat deployments to Vietnam. Among the numerous awards he won the Bronze Star Medal for heroic action during more than 45 combat operations. During and after his stint in Vietnam, Rudy was delegated the "Chief SEAL" and set physical and operational standards at SEAL Team TWO.

In the late 1980s, Rudy became the Naval Special Warfare Community "Bull Frog," a distinguishing award presented to the SEAL serving the longest time on active duty. Instead of retiring, Rudy was selected as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to USSOCOM. In August of 1988, Rudy headed to Tampa, Florida and entered into the "inner circle" of the Special Operations Command to advise on all enlisted matters of the Joint command. For his extraordinary performance, Rudy was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, an award not often given to an enlisted man.

Master Chief Rudy retired from the U.S. Navy after completing more than 45 years of continuous activity. He was honorably discharged on August 1, 1990. He and Marge have since been involved in extensive volunteer work. In 1992, he captained a 38' power boat during the "Americas Cup 1992" event. In 1996, he captained a support boat at the Summer Olympic Games. He continues as a Red Cross Volunteer and drives support vehicles and performs essential services during disaster-relief operations. He is also a volunteer for the Virginia Beach Police Department. Involved with many organizations, Rudy is a founding member of the UDT-SEAL Association and a founding member of the Association's Board of Directors, having once served as their President. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Special Operations Fund.

Rudy and Marge have three children: Ellen Marie, Patricia Ann and Barbara Jean, and one granddaughter, Kelsey. They reside permanently in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His birth date is January 20, 1928.[2]

Survivor

Borneo

Placed on the orange Tagi tribe, Rudy quickly butted heads with his tribemates by his curmudgeonly personality and forcing his survival methods as a former Navy SEAL. Because of this, Rudy received three votes following his tribe's loss at the first Immunity Challenge, but was spared over the perceived weaker Sonja Christopher.

Over the days however, Rudy realized he needed to fit in with the group and began to soften up to his peers. He found himself appreciating the skills and wisdom of Richard Hatch, a fellow contestant with wilderness experience. Despite their differences, the two forged a lasting friendship which later turned into a voting alliance. Rudy was still a target when Tagi returned to Tribal Council on Day 9. Fortunately for him, the men of the tribe and Susan Hawk kept him for his work ethic over Stacey Stillman who was considered prissy.

Though initially averse with the idea of alliances, Rudy accepted being in one when Rich invited him along with Susan, and Kelly Wiglesworth. The four collected its first victim, Dirk Been after losing the Day 15 Immunity Challenge.

The tribes merged into the Rattana tribe on Day 20 and Rudy found himself in a position very much like the one he had encountered when he first began the game. This time, however, he had an alliance on his side, and none of the Pagong tribe seemed to be playing the same way. With Greg Buis winning the first individual Immunity Challenge, the Tagi Alliance was forced to choose someone other than Pagong's biggest physical threat. Rudy suggested to his alliance that they target Gretchen Cordy, whom they saw as Pagong's leader, and their four votes proved to be enough to vote her out, as every other vote was cast for a unique player. At the next Tribal Council, Greg was the next to go, and the Tagi Alliance was able to eliminate Pagong's biggest challenge threat.

By Day 26, however, the remaining Pagong members began to realize the need to form an alliance when Colleen Haskell and Jenna Lewis shared a reward feast and discussed turning the game around and overthrowing the Tagi Alliance. The following day, Rudy proved his smarts by winning a mental Immunity Challenge. At Tribal Council, the minority was not able to get the votes together, with Sean Kenniff employing his alphabet voting strategy yet again, leading to Jenna being voted out.

Although the Tagi Alliance now firmly held the majority on the Rattana tribe, Kelly faltered from the alliance and animosity grew between her and Susan. However, the alliance stayed strong as they booted Gervase Peterson, Colleen, and Sean in the next three Tribal Councils.

With just themselves left in the game, Tagi Alliance was finally forced to turn on each other. Kelly won another crucial Immunity Challenge, leaving only Rudy, Richard, and Susan vulnerable at Tribal Council. By this point in the game, Rudy and Richard had grown extremely close and had a final two deal with each other. That night, the two both voted against Susan, while Kelly and Susan voted against Richard, resulting in a tie. In the tiebreaker, Kelly changed her mind and voted against Susan, sending her to the jury.

By Day 38, Rudy was seen as the biggest threat in the game, having garnered more respect for his straightforwardness and blunt, down-to-earth personality than Kelly or Richard. At the Final Immunity Challenge, Richard stepped out of the challenge, claiming that he knew that both Rudy and Kelly would take him to the Final Tribal Council. This left Rudy to face off against Kelly, who had won several of the last few challenges. Rudy fought hard to win, but ultimately removed his hand from the idol during a revolution of positions and lost the challenge. Kelly cast the sole vote to eliminate him at that night's Tribal Council, deeming that he was more of a jury threat than Richard was.

At the Final Tribal Council, Rudy expressed his frustration for the mistake that resulted in his loss at the Immunity Challenge the previous day, and kept his word and alliance by voting to for Richard, who became the first Sole Survivor in a 4-3 vote.

Voting History

Rudy's Voting History
Episode Rudy's
Votes
Voted Against
Rudy
1 Sonja Kelly, Sonja, Stacey
2 Tagi Tribe Immune
3 Stacey Kelly, Stacey
4 Tagi Tribe Immune
5 Dirk Sean
6 Tagi Tribe Immune
7 Gretchen Gretchen
8 Greg -
9 Jenna Individual Immunity
10 Gervase -
11 Colleen -
12 Sean -
13 Susan;
Susan
1
-
Ineligible Kelly
Voted Out, Day 38
Voted for
Sole Survivor
Richard

^1 In The Final Four, the vote ended with a 2-2 tie between Richard and Susan, forcing a revote. Rudy did not change his vote on the revote.

All-Stars

Rudy returned to play for a second time in the All-Stars season, where he was placed on the Saboga tribe. He formed an alliance with Rupert Boneham as both parties identified each other as loyal players. On Day 3, he joined his fellow non-winners Rupert, fellow Borneo returnee Jenna Lewis, and Jerri Manthey vote out former Sole Survivor Tina Wesson. After Saboga lost the second Immunity Challenge, he thought that his tribe was voting out the last former winner on their tribe, Ethan Zohn. Unfortunately for Rudy, his tribe saw him as a burden due to his age and, coupled with an ankle injury sustained at the previous Reward Challenge, everyone other than Rupert voted him out. 

Voting History

Rudy's Voting History
Episode Rudy's
Votes
Voted Against
Rudy
1 Tina -
2 Ethan Ethan,
Jenna L., Jerri
Voted Out, Day 6

Post-Survivor

Death

Trivia

  • To this day, Rudy is the oldest person to appear on Survivor, being 72 in Borneo and 75 in All-Stars.
    • Rudy is the only Survivor contestant born in the 1920s.
    • He is the first person to compete on Survivor in their seventies. He would later be followed by Joe del Campo, who was 71 during the filming of Kaôh Rōng.
    • In All-Stars, Rudy was the first castaway to be the oldest of the season but not make it to the merge phase of the game.
  • Rudy is the first contestant to ever give a confessional.
  • Rudy is the first contestant from Virginia.
  • Rudy is the first person to receive votes at more than one Tribal Council and still be safe.
  • Rudy is the oldest contestant to win an individual Immunity Challenge.
  • Instead of asking a question at the Final Tribal Council in Borneo, Rudy simply stated to the finalists that he felt stupid about the day before when he lost the Final Immunity Challenge and was voted out.
  • Rudy is the first castaway to place 17th in a season.
  • Rudy is the first castaway to be voted out of multiple seasons.
  • Samoa castaway Brett Clouser said in an interview that Rudy is his favorite Survivor castaway.[9]
  • According to his Heroes vs. Villains profile, Rupert Boneham listed Rudy as the previous Survivor castaway he respected the most.[10]

References

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