Taiwanese-Canadian model-actor Godfrey Gao has died after suffering an apparent heart attack while on set in China.
Gao was filming a sports reality show titled Chase Me in Ningbo on Wednesday when he died. He was 35.
Producers of the Zhejiang Television show said Gao “suddenly fell down to the ground while running; medical staff treated him on the spot.”
According to Zhejiang Television’s statement, the Vancouver-raised actor was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“The on-site medical staff started treatment immediately and transported him to a hospital,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, after two hours of rescue treatment, the hospital pronounced him dead of sudden cardiac arrest.”
His agency, JetStar Entertainment, also confirmed his death in a statement.
“In the early hours of Nov. 27, our beloved Godfrey collapsed while filming on set. Following three hours of rescue efforts, he unfortunately left us. We are very shocked and saddened and even until now find it impossible to accept,” the statement said.
“Thank you media friends and every fan of Godfrey’s for their concern. His management and team were present, and his family were urgently rushed to the location. Please respect Godfrey’s family in this time of sorrow and refrain from disturbing them. We will accompany Godfrey’s family to handle discreet funeral arrangements. Thank you, everyone.”
The Taiwan-born Gao initially rose to fame by becoming the first Asian male model for the luxury brand Louis Vuitton.
He acted in numerous television dramas and movies, including a role in the Hollywood film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
Many fans took to social media to share their condolences after news of his passing spread.
His body will be transported on Wednesday to Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.
— With files from the Associated Press