Drag Race Star Bandit Has Died Aged 38

Credit: WOW Presents Plus & @‌bandilicous/Instagram

Drag Race star Bandit has tragically died aged 38 years old.

Bandit, whose real name was Bandit Janthawanm, was a fashion designer who placed fourth on the second season of Drag Race Thailand in 2019.

The reality TV series, based on the American series hosted by RuPaul, differs from the international franchise as the challenges reflect Thai culture, including mythology, food and pop culture.

Notably, the drag performer won the acting challenge, alongside series winner Angele Anang, Vanda Miss Joaquim, Genie, Miss Gimhuay, and Mocha Diva.

A statement regarding Bandit’s death has been shared by Drag Race Thailand host Pangina Heals.

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It reads: “We’re all completely lost because Bandit has been a light. He has taught me. I would not be the same person I am today without Bandit teaching me about fashion.

“He’s been such a visionary, such a giver. He’s always telling other people, ‘You can do this’ or ‘Do that to be better’, in terms of making sure other people have their fashion game on.

“He was such a funny person, such charisma, such magnetism, and without him, all of us don’t know what to do.”

WOW Presents Plus – the network which hosts Drag Race – has taken to X (formerly known as Twitter) and shared a statement.

“We’re heartbroken to learn that Bandit, who competed on the 2nd season of Drag Race Thailand, has passed away. Bandit was a light in her local community and internationally, and she will be so missed. Our thoughts are with her family and friends,” it says.

“Rest in peace, Bandit.”

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Drag Race fans have also flocked to social media and paid tribute to the performer and designer.

“RIP Bandit,” one fan writes. “Have a safe flight to heaven, my queen. It’s unbelievable to me”

Another adds: “RIP Bandit. It was amazing to see you compete on Drag Race Thailand, rest easy my love.”

Bandit, whose real name was Bandit Janthawanm, has died aged 38 years old. Credit: @bandilicous/Instagram

While a third pens: “Give it up for Bandit one last time. A true inspiration and friend.”

“I’m so so so heartbroken right now,” somebody else comments. “Truly an amazing queen, we miss her!”

A fifth says: “She was a powerhouse on her season. So creative and knew how to turn looks. She’ll be missed.”

Bandit reportedly died on December 26 in Thailand, as per Entertainment Weekly.

At the time of writing, the performer’s cause of death has yet to be disclosed.

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.