Vancouver-raised actor and model Godfrey Gao dead at 35
Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor reportedly fell while running
Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor Godfrey Gao has died at the age of 35, according to a statement released by his agency.
Gao was filming Chase Me, a Chinese variety series, when he reportedly fell while running on Wednesday. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to JetStar Entertainment.
The actor was born in Taiwan and raised on B.C.'s North Shore. He went to Queensbury Elementary and Argyle High School in North Vancouver, later studying at Capilano University.
Gao became the first Asian model to appear in a Louis Vuitton ad after booking a spring campaign in 2011. He starred in movies such as The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Love is a Broadway Hit, The Jade Pendant and performed the voiceover for Ken, Barbie's counterpart, in the Taiwan version of Toy Story 3 in 2010.
In 2015, Gao signed a deal with the Canadian Tourism Commission to become its new ambassador for the commission's marketing and awareness campaign for Asian markets.
"I love the outdoors and Vancouver, Toronto and Whistler offers the best nature so, it's a great chance for me to come back home and actually revisit Vancouver like I never did before," Gao told the CBC in an interview in 2015, referring to tourism campaigns shot in Canada.
Gao's body was to be transported to Taipei, Taiwan's capital, on Wednesday.
Gao spoke with CBC in 2015 about his rise to fame and why he was passionate about promoting Canada:
With files from Belle Puri and The Associated Press