Kailia Posey, an actress who appeared on one memorable episode of TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, which led to a popular GIF, has died, according to a Facebook post by her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman. Her cause of death was not announced. She was 16.
Posey appeared at age 5 on the show in and episode titled “California Tropic Arizona.” She competed in that pageant against two other girls featured on the show in 2012.
While it was her only appearance, a cute clip of the five year old scrunching up her neck with a silly smile on her face became a GIF that caught fire on the internet and was dubbed “grinning girl.”
Kailia Posey, who became a popular GIF from her appearance on the reality TV show “Toddlers & Tiaras,” has died unexpectedly at age 16, her mom says pic.twitter.com/BVtBmUrQob
— BNO News (@BNONews) May 3, 2022
Posey also appeared in the 2019 horror film Eli opposite Lily Taylor and Sadie Sink.
According to her Instagram pages — she kept one as a personal account and one as an “Official Pageant page” — she continued to compete, being named Miss Teen Lynden WA USA in 2022 in early February.
Her mother posted several photos of Posey on Facebook, including one of her daughter with a halo around her head.
“I don’t have words or any thoughts,” wrote Marcy Posey Gatterman. “A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever.”
Just last Saturday, the proud mother posted photos of her daughter and friends smiling together on their way to prom.