Queer Eye Season 8: How Did Doody Keel Die?

As an incredibly exciting makeover reality series living up to its reputation and its parent eponymous original in every way imaginable, Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye‘ is honestly the perfect feel-good watch. That’s because it carefully revolves around five specialized experts (aka “Fab Five”) as they help individuals from all walks of life (or “Heroes”) be the best, most confident version of themselves. However, one of the most intriguingly inspiring people in its eighth season was actually hero Tim Keel’s older brother Tommy “Doody” Keel — so now, let’s just find out more about him, shall we?

Who is Doody Keel?

It was around 1958 when Tommy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, as the elder of two brothers, only to soon be nicknamed Doody after the then-famous phrase “Howdy Doody,” which stuck. “We grew up together,” Tim candidly recalled during his episode to make it clear they had a great relationship. “He’s seven years older than I am. We were always close, always hung out, and everything.” In fact, the former was the one to have introduced KISS to him back in the 1970s, just for this band to become his favorite of all time — it’s to such an extent he has collected thousands of memorabilia.

However, everything turned upside down for these brothers in 1986 as Tommy unexpectedly found himself in the hospital following a horrific car crash — he suffered a severe closed head injury. He was actually in a coma for three months, and only when he awoke were the doctors able to positively ascertain his left side was paralyzed, plus he had endured deteriorating brain damage. That’s when Tim stepped up to evolve into his older sibling’s sole caretaker despite being merely 21, and even though it was quite challenging for them at times, they remained close until the very end.

How Did Doody Keel Die?

We say “until the very end” because Doody unfortunately passed away on the morning of January 19, 2023, merely six months after production of Tim’s ‘Queer Eye’ episode came to a close. As for the cause of his death, since there’s no public obituary and no member of the Keel family has revealed the same either, all we know is that it was unexpected and it broke everyone’s heart. In fact, Tim evidently dealt with his initial grief privately before acknowledging his loss, and even then, he merely re-posted what his elder daughter Melody had penned to announce Doody’s death.

“My Uncle Doody passed away this morning,” Melody had written, in part, as seen above. “I adored him from the moment I met him. As soon as I could walk I wanted to push his wheelchair, and we spent many, many hours of me doing his makeup, dressing him in wigs, and making him be a guest in my plastic food restaurant. He was my captive audience, and he always met me with smiles and laughs (even though many others were met with a strong “f*** you!” If they tried to move him around.) When he got into the accident over thirty years ago they didn’t give him long to live, but my Dad’s unwavering love and commitment to him kept us with him for longer than anyone imagined possible.”

She then continued, “He loved listening to music, telling old stories, ripping apart magazines to hang “bow” in his room, eating anything and everything, and making us cry laugh. He taught me to always laugh, even if you’re in the most awful situation imaginable- just keep fucking laughing- it’s all about your state of mind. Life will never be the same without you, and I will love you and miss you and think of you forever my Doodle Bug.” Her post honestly made it clear that despite his injuries or any difficulties the family might have faced along the way, Doody was a full member of Tim Keel’s home and always treated as such, so his presence would be missed by them for decades to come.

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