Mike Martone
Source: TLC

'Unpolished' Star Big Mike Martone Passed Away in May of 2020

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Feb. 23 2021, Updated 8:49 p.m. ET

The Long Island beauty and nail scene is the subject of the TLC reality series Unpolished, which focuses on the family-owned Salon Martone in Elwood. 

Sisters Bria (hair and makeup) and Lexi Martone (nails) are the central figures on the show, and their grandma, Foxy, assists.

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While Season 1 of Unpolished showcased the Martone family drama and the regular throes of running a business, Season 2 will be quite different. In addition to detailing the pandemic shutdowns and safety precautions, one larger-than-life personality will be missing: "Big Mike" Martone. 

Lexi and Bria's father died in between filming Seasons 1 and 2, and the beauty experts have been candid on social media about their shared devastation regarding his passing. 

bigmikemartone
Source: Instagram
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What happened to "Big Mike" Martone? He passed away in the spring of 2020.

The Martone family patriarch and the longtime plumber died in May of 2020. TLC confirmed the news in a statement.

"TLC is incredibly saddened at the passing of 'Big Mike' Martone, beloved father, grandfather, and patriarch of the Martone family. Our love and condolences go out to the entire Unpolished family at this difficult time," the network tweeted on May 11. 

Bria also took to social media to share her tribute to her late father. 

"RIP to the man I looked at as my Superman! Daddy, to everyone you were BIG MIKE but to me you were my dad, my hero, my problem solver, my provider, my protector, and the most loving, sweetest, most giving man out there and I can't even believe that you're gone!" she wrote. "It doesn't even feel real that you're not with us anymore!"

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"There's nothing I wanted more then for you to be by my side on my wedding day to walk me down the aisle and give me away! I know that if you could you would have done everything in your power to hold on and push through to be there but I know you couldn’t! Daddy, you will be so missed by so many people," she wrote, before adding how much Big Mike did for his loved ones.

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What was Big Mike's cause of death?

A cause of death has never publicly been revealed. A "tipster" told TV Shows Ace that he passed away from cancer, but this has not been confirmed. Others have speculated online that COVID-19 could have played a part. Again, none of this has been corroborated by the family. 

It remains to be seen if the Martone sisters will discuss what happened to their dad on the show. The teaser trailer for Season 2 revealed that they will talk about "something terrible" that "has changed" their family. 

Did Bria Martone get married?

Big Mike's passing came just four months before he was set to walk Bria down the aisle. Despite dealing with this immense loss and the pandemic restrictions, Bria did go ahead with her wedding. She married Matt Mancuso Sept. 12, 2020. 

The lead-up to their wedding, including their personal drama, will be featured storylines in Season 2 of the show. 

Unpolished airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC. 

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