Taiwanese superstar Godfrey Gao has died after suffering an apparent heart attack while filming a Chinese reality TV show.
He collapsed yesterday in the Chinese city of Ningbo on the set of Chase Me, a sports reality show for China’s Zhejiang Television.
Taiwan News, citing Chinese news outlets, reported that an audience member heard Gao shout, “I can’t carry on,” before he fell to the ground.
“Cameramen swarmed around him and kept filming, apparently believing that his actions were part of the show,” Taiwan News reported.
Gao was born in Taipei to a Taiwanese father and a Malaysian mother but grew up in North Vancouver, Canada. He moved to Taipei in 2004 to start his acting career, appearing in Taiwanese television dramas.
“I wanted to make a name first here (in Asia) before trying to go for Hollywood,” Gao told the Vancouver Sun in 2013. “Now I hope to get more work in North America, but I’d like to keep playing (the two markets) off each other.”
He was the first Asian model to be signed by Louis Vuitton, in 2011. He later made his American film debut in 2013, starring as Magnus Bane in The Mortal Instrument: City of Bones, alongside Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Kevin Zegers.
Condolences from friends within the Asian film community are pouring in.
(via Vancouver Sun; photo: Avalon)