Taiwanese-Canadian actor Godfrey Gao has died after collapsing on the set of the Chinese reality competition series Chase Me. He was 35. Gao was reportedly in the process of filming the show, which features two teams competing in physically demanding challenges after midnight, when he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Zhejiang Television confirmed that Gao collapsed while participating in a running challenge early Wednesday in the southeastern Chinese city of Ningbo. 'The on-site medical staff started treatment immediately and transported him to a hospital," the statement reads. "Unfortunately, after two hours of rescue treatment, the hospital pronounced him dead of sudden cardiac arrest."
Gao is known to North American audiences for his work as Magnus Bane in 2013 movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and also appeared in television series like Momo Love, Never Give Up Dodo, and God of War, Zhao Yun. His final film performance was in the movie Shanghai Fortress. Gao, who was born in Taiwan but raised mainly in Vancouver, Canada, was also a model and earned the distinction of being the first Asian model for a Louis Vuitton global campaign.
Fans and colleagues have been paying tribute to Gao on social media.
I am shocked & heartbroken to hear of Godfrey Gao's untimely passing. He was a pioneer in the Asian community that stretched our imaginations on what was possible in the industry. To the original Magnus who left us way too soon, you left an impression on us that'll last forever. pic.twitter.com/eYKlRJdlTJ— Harry Shum Jr (@HarryShumJr) November 27, 2019
Godfrey Gao was one of the first Asian men I heard about when I entered the business. He was a huge torch bearer for most of us. To see him pass at such a young age is unsettling. Thank you for your inspiration and for knocking down walls so we didn't have to. RIP pic.twitter.com/eXdaUYd8OE— Yoshi Sudarso (@yoshi_sudarso) November 27, 2019
#GodfreyGao— Old Heaven (@InOldHeaven) November 27, 2019
Photos of Godfrey Gao when he was a teenager in North Vancouver.
Argyle Secondary has always been proud of an alumnus like you. You'll be remembered forever, Godfrey.
Rest In Peace 🙏 pic.twitter.com/3AkycfHEZX