A Taiwanese-Canadian actor and model has died aged 35 after suffering an apparent heart attack while filming a competitive reality TV show.
Godfrey Gao collapsed while filming an episode of Chinese TV show Chase Me, and despite two hours of trying to revive him he died early on Wednesday, his agency JetStar Entertainment confirmed.
He was running during filming in Ningbo, eastern China, overnight on Tuesday when he suddenly slowed down and fell to the ground, Zhejiang Television, which makes Chase Me, said in a statement.
It added: “The show’s medical staff began rescue efforts right away, and then rushed him to the hospital.
” After more than two hours of effort, the hospital announced that Gao died suddenly of cardiogenic shock. For this we feel incomparable pain and extreme sorrow. “
Chase Me, which involves two celebrity teams competing through physical challenges at night, has been criticized by fans concerned about the physical demands it places on contestants.
A post about their concerns on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, had more than 200 million views by Wednesday afternoon local time.
Three episodes of Chase Me have been broadcast since its 8 November pilot, with celebrities competing against sportsmen including Olympic athletes, China’s most successful flyweight boxer, a Chinese national basketball team member and a MMA fighter.
Taiwan News reported an audience member heard Gao shout “I can’t carry on” – before he fell to the ground.
Gao was a major TV and film star in China and Taiwan , with his 2013 portrayal of Magnus Bane in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones alongside Lily Collins propelling him into Hollywood.
In 2011, he became the first Asian male model to star in a Louis Vuitton campaign, and worked with other major brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, while becoming a front-row regular at Milan and Paris men’s fashion weeks.
He was born in Taipei but grew up in Vancouver, Canada, before returning to Taipei in 2004 to start his acting career.
In 2013, he told the Vancouver Sun: “I wanted to make a name first here (in Asia) before trying to go for Hollywood.
” Now I hope to get more work in North America, but I’d like to keep playing both off each other. “
A keen basketball fan, Gao played in a 2017 charity all-star game with NBA star Jeremy Lin.