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Joey Kovar of 'Real World' dead at 29

CHICAGO - Joey Kovar, a native of Evergreen Park, Ill., who appeared in the television shows “Real World: Hollywood” and “Celebrity Rehab 3,” was found dead Friday morning in south suburban Chicago Ridge, according to family and police.

Chicago Ridge police and paramedics were called to an apartment building on South Sayre Avenue shortly before 9 a.m. CDT and found the 29-year-old Kovar dead, authorities said.

Police said they were conducting a death investigation but indicated no foul play was suspected. An autopsy is expected to be performed Saturday.

Kovar, an aspiring actor, continued to live in Evergreen Park while appearing in the reality TV shows. The former personal trainer and body builder had battled drug and alcohol abuse.

Kovar told the Chicago Tribune in 2009 that he believed his honesty about using drugs and partying, combined with his personality, were reasons why he got picked for “Real World: Hollywood.”

“We kind of have an ‘I don’t give a (bleep)’ attitude. What you see is what you get,” Kovar said. “People want edgy. People want attitude. People want in-your-face, and that’s what Chicagoans bring. The attitude we have is what’s going to draw the ratings.”

Kovar’s family said he had been sober for about six months. David Kovar said his brother Joey was at a friend’s home overnight, but that family members had spoken with him on Thursday evening.

“Everyone is in shock right now. He seemed fine, he was happier and he was doing better,” David Kovar said.

David Kovar disputed a TMZ report that said his family suspected Joey Kovar died from a drug overdose. “That is not what anyone is suspecting, my brother was doing very well,” David Kovar said. “Everything was going very well. The very, very last thing that our family is suspecting is drugs.”

Kovar had a 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.

He was discovered on the street by a talent scout in Chicago when he was 24 years old and quickly made his name on the reality shows.

David Kovar said his brother was unfazed by fame. He said his life revolved around his children. “He loved them more than anything, he was just a great father,” said his brother. “He never let any of that go to his head. He was still about being by family.”

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