TV food and lifestyle guru B. Smith died at age 70 on Saturday night, her husband Dan Gasby announced.
Beautiful Smith began as a model in the 1960s and in 1976, became the first African-American woman featured on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine.
She then went into the restaurant business, opening a chain of B. Smith restaurants.
Smith's passion for cooking and home décor resulted in a weekly half-hour syndicated TV show, B. Smith With Style, which debuted in 1997.
Her successful home products line was the first from a black woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer when it debuted in 2001 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Gasby announced her death, saying, "It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith."
Smith's spouse said she passed away peacefully at 10:50 pm on Saturday at their home on Long Island after having battled Alzheimer's disease for several years.
Gasby, who married Smith in 1992, thanked the hospice caregivers who "helped us make B. comfortable in her final days. Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.'s dazzling and unforgettable smile."
In 2018, however, Gasby shocked Smith's fans by admitting he had a girlfriend who was living with him and helping care for his ailing wife.
As RadarOnline.com reported at the time, Gasby went public with his relationship with Alex Lerner, then 53.
Gasby posted a romantic photo with Lerner on a joint Facebook account he ran with wife Smith.
“Hate it or love it,” Gasby’s caption of him and his much-younger girlfriend read. “You can debate, but for me, I’m feelin’ great.”
The Washington Post published an expose on the married couple’s bizarre living situation in 2019. The outlet claimed that Lerner often traveled to Smith and Gasby’s East Hampton, New York home from her Manhattan apartment. There, she reportedly assisted Gasby in caring for his wife.
One outraged fan wrote on Facebook then, “You don’t bring your mistress in the house where your WIFE lives. She’s not dead.”
Gasby defended himself, saying, “I love my wife but I can’t let her take away my life!”
He added, “5-10 years from now when many of you will have an almost predestined meeting with Alzheimer’s because of genetics, obesity, and a myriad of inflammatory diseases, you’ll be wishing for someone to share moments with and ease the pain of loneliness and despair.”
Smith and Gasby co-authored a book, Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's.