Josh Marks, the gentle giant who was a finalist on Season 3 of Fox's hit TV show "MasterChef," has reportedly died just weeks after a bizarre confrontation with law enforcement officers.
Judge Graham Elliott, one of the three judges on the show, Tweeted about 10 p.m. Friday night: "My heart goes out to the family of #MasterChef finalist Josh Marks, who passed away today. Please send thoughts/prayers their way!"
Efforts to reach representatives for the show were not immediately successful late Friday night. Hector Alsaro, the news affair officer for the Chicago Police Department, told the Times the identity of the victim had not yet been formally released, in part because it was not immediately clear whether the next of kin had been notified. He said the case remained under investigation.
Earlier this summer, Marks, who has a history of mental illness, was arrested during a confrontation with law enforcement officers. It reportedly took five officers to control him. He allegedly claimed at the time that he had been possessed by "MasterChef" judge Gordon Ramsay and that he had been transformed into God. The incident allegedly caused sponsors to distance themselves from him.
Friends and family set up a legal fund in his name while he was hospitalized for treatment. Marks' Twitter feed vaguely acknowledged the summer incident, thanked people for their support, then seemed to try to put the incident in the rear-view mirror.
Marks, who stood over 7 feet tall, was a sweet-natured yet competitive finalist during Season 3 of "MasterChef." In the end, he stood -- make that towered -- over his friendly rival, Christine Ha, who made headlines for being a legally blind competitor.
Marks made a name for himself by taking risks, cooking global cuisine, and bucking convention (and, sometimes, common sense). He often employed technically complex maneuvers and dazzling plating techniques, but sometimes fell short on the basics. For example, he prepared a butter-poached lobster-and-grits appetizer for his final dish, and while it was deemed "visually stunning" it was also deemed undercooked by the judges, who ultimately gave the Season 3 title to Ha.