TORONTO — Darren Shahlavi, a part-time Vancouver resident who appeared in a string of made-in-Canada movies and TV shows as both an actor and stuntman, has died. He was 42.
Shahlavi’s agent Kathy Carpenter said he was found by his roommate at home in Los Angeles on Jan. 14.
The official cause of death has not yet been determined but TMZ reported Tuesday that police sources said he appeared to have died from a prescription drug overdose.
“I play characters on screen & try to find my own in my spare time,” reads the description on Shahlavi’s Twitter profile, which shows him based in Los Angeles and Vancouver. He last tweeted on Jan. 8.
Shahlavi was born in the UK to Iranian parents and developed a passion for martial arts at an early age. In the mid-‘90s, he moved to Hong Kong to pursue a career in action films.
BELOW: A compilation of movie scenes featuring Darren Shahlavi.
He later moved to British Columbia, where he landed small roles in made-in-Vancouver movies like 2002’s I Spy, 2004’s The Final Cut and the upcoming George Clooney feature Tomorrowland.
He appeared in Vancouver-shot TV series like Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Continuum, Smallville, Bionic Woman, Sanctuary, Intelligence, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Human Target.
“Tragic,” tweeted Continuum creator Simon Barry. “Darren was a true gentleman and multi talented. He will be missed by his #Continuum family.”
Shahlavi also had a role in the pilot episode of Arrow, a series that is filmed in Vancouver. On Tuesday, star Stephen Amell remembered him on Twitter:
Shahlavi also worked on projects in Toronto and Montreal during his career.
He worked extensively as a stuntman, including in Vancouver-shot movies like The Chronicles of Riddick, Blade: Trinity, Night at the Museum, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
Last year, Shahlavi battled Jean-Claude Van Damme in Pound of Flesh.
“After a lot of hard work, Darren was about to step up to the next level when he was sadly taken from us, far too early,” wrote fellow performer Mike Leeder in an online tribute. “I had known Darren for more than 25 years and we’d shared more than a few cinematic adventures and a hell of a friendship, and were looking forward for more to come.
“We lost one of the good guys with Darren’s passing, but his legacy continues with the films he left behind.”
Shahlavi’s three-year marriage to Canadian kick boxer Luraina Undershute ended in 2003.
One of his sisters is actress Elisabeth Shahlavi.
Younger sister Malouse Shahlavi tweeted: “I can not begin to explain how much you will be missed by me and our family. You were an amazing person with endless talent. You will be forever loved by so many.”