Throughout the years, Gold Rush has seen some beloved cast members come and go. This includes the notable foreman Gene Cheeseman, who worked for Tony Beets and Parker Schnabel. Since leaving the show, fans are curious to find out what Gene is doing now. There have even been false rumors that he passed away.
Cheeseman was born on October 23, 1968 and grew up in a family of gold miners in Juneau, Alaska. In the late 1800s, his great-great-grandfather was one of Alaska’s earliest gold miners.
Gene’s grandfather and uncle were heavy machinery workers, and he followed in their footsteps. At age six, he got his first taste of operating heavy machinery, removing snow with a D6 bulldozer. The Alaska native worked as a contractor after finishing school, focusing on road maintenance and construction projects.
Joining Gold Rush
Gene quickly became a skilled foreman thanks to his family background and personal experience. This led him to working with Parker Schnabel. Consequently, he became a regular cast member on Gold Rush.
He started appearing on the show in its fourth season as the foreman of Parker’s crew at Scribner Creek Claim. However, in season six, Gene got frustrated with Parker and left the team.
Tony Beets hired Cheeseman as a skipper to operate an ancient Viking Dredge. During his time on the series, he became known for his work ethic and bush mechanics, which made him a fan favorite.
Cheeseman left Gold Rush in 2017. No announcements or reasons were given for his departure, but sources say that he left on his own terms. Not long after, he also disappeared from social media, leaving his fans curious.
Thankfully, he made a cameo appearance in 2020. In season ten, he returned briefly to help Rick Ness. After that, he vanished from our screens once again, but this gave viewers some clarity.
His short return hinted that he’s still working in the mining industry but in a less public role. Also, it cleared up that Gene Cheeseman is still alive, as some people speculated he died. Gene does have a Twitter account, he hasn’t tweeted since 2018 but recent likes show that he still uses the account.
Net Worth and Earnings
As a former member of Parker Schnabel’s crew, Cheeseman was making around $34 per hour. Considering that most of Parker’s men worked for an average of 75 hours per week, he was earning $2,550 in gross pay.
It can be assumed that he made a similar figure working as a skipper for Tony Beets. Plus, he earned extra income for appearing on TV. Now, it’s likely he’s still working as a miner and earning a decent salary. Gene’s net worth is estimated to be $500,000.
Gene Cheeseman married Jennifer George in the late 1980s, according to reports. The pair had two boys (Garrett and Cole), but they eventually got divorced. It is rumored that Gene has been single since then.