Chris Hyndman remembered as 'a vibrant spirit'
Published Wednesday, August 5, 2015 11:34AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 5, 2015 5:38PM EDT
Chris Hyndman, the Canadian designer and TV host whose body was found late Monday night, is being remembered as a "vibrant spirit" and "a bright light," who was both the life of the party, and a "wonderfully sensitive" friend.
No cause of death has been released, but police say there is no criminal investigation underway into the 49-year-old's death.
Hyndman is being remembered as a talented designer who adored the glamorous life, but who fell into fame almost accidentally.
Long-time fashion journalist Jeanne Beker, who was friends with Hyndman for more than 30 years, says she was totally stunned when she heard of his death Tuesday.
"I was just absolutely ripped apart, totally incredulous, really, as I still am. It's incomprehensible to me," she told CTV News Channel from New York.
Beker first met Hyndman when he was a makeup artist at The Bay in downtown Toronto. After they started chatting, Beker was so charmed, she invited him to become one of her makeup artists at CityTV.
Hyndman soon began approaching producers to try to get his business and romantic partner, Steven Sabados, a TV show. But the producers were just as interested in Hyndman. The pair was convinced to team up for an interior design show, which shot the pair into the Canadian limelight. Several more design and fashion shows soon followed.
While Hyndman had a larger-than-life side that he brought out while on camera, Beker said he was also self-aware, true to himself, and a "wonderfully" sensitive. He was there for her as a friend when her marriage fell apart and she slipped into depression.
"Chris was all about heart. He really scraped me off the floor when my marriage ended and I was so absolutely devastated," she said.
"He would come over every night and talk me out of killing myself, telling me that I had these two young children to live for, that I had to just keep on going."
Beker says she loved that Hyndman, who was born and raised in Newfoundland, stayed true to his East Coast roots and adored his mother, even while he indulged his love of big-city glamour.
Hyndman and Sabados' long-running CBC talk show "Steven and Chris" has now been suspended. A memorial has been set up at CBC's Toronto headquarters where fans are leaving flowers and messages in a book of condolences.
No plans for a funeral have been announced, but the CBC says it is planning a celebration of Hyndman's life at a later date.