gTaiwanese-Canadian model and actor Odfrey Gao has died after collapsing on a television set in China.
Gao, 35, was filming the Chinese reality series Chase mea competition show in which contestants compete on a variety of physical challenges, when he passed out and later died of an apparent heart attack, the Associated press reports.
JetStar Entertainment, Gao’s agency, confirmed the actor’s death in a statement posted on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform. According to the agency, Godfrey collapsed during filming early Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, after three hours of medical rescue efforts, he left us. We are shocked and saddened and even so far we find this impossible to accept,” the statement read, according to a translation by WWD. .
An additional statement from Chase me Producers said medical professionals treated Gao as soon as he collapsed and the actor was later rushed to hospital. “We feel extremely distressed and extremely sad,” the producers said in a statement, CNN reports.
Born in Taiwan, Gao grew up in Vancouver, Canada. He returned to Asia early in his modeling career; her breakthrough came in 2011 as the first Asian male model to feature in a Louis Vuitton advertising campaign. Alongside her modeling, Gao went on to develop a successful television career in Taiwan and China, and became known throughout Asia for her roles in shows like Remember Lichuan, God of War Zhao Yun, Never give up Dodo and Mom Love.
He also starred in the 2013 film The Mortal Instruments: City of Darkness and the movie 2019 Shanghai Fortress.
Gao’s death was mourned Wednesday on social media by fans and fellow artists. Actor Yoshi Sudarso tweeted that Gao broke down barriers for the portrayal of Asian men on screen.
Although it is generally expected for reality TV productions to provide regular medical checks to participants, the specifics of Chase meon the care tray – or Gao’s specific health status – are unclear. South China morning shift reports that many Gao fans have discussed their concerns about physical demands shows like Chase me place on competitors.
The highly physical aspects of some reality TV shows have already taken their toll on contestants. In 2013, Gérald Babin, candidate for the French version of Survivor, died of a heart attack after filming a challenge on the show. His death sparked several questions about how he was treated on the show and a criminal investigation into the show’s producer and host.
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