Chinese media outlets have reported that Taiwanese actor Godfrey Gao passed away today (Nov 27).
The 35-year-old was said to have collapsed in the wee hours of the morning while filming a new episode of Chinese variety show Chase Me. The show focuses on two teams of guests competing to win races, using their athletic abilities to come out on top. In earlier episodes, the celebrity guests were even pitted against Olympic athletes.
News of Godfrey’s condition first came from audience members who were present during filming. They shared accounts of the incident on Weibo, revealing that Godfrey had appeared extremely tired moments before his collapse, and was continuously saying, “I can’t go on anymore.”
The staff members initially thought that Godfrey was exaggerating his fatigue for the cameras. It was only when fellow cast member, Chinese actor Johnny Huang, yelled for a doctor that they realised there was something wrong.
Witnesses went on to share that a staff member could be heard crying that the actor’s “heart had stopped for three minutes”. After 10 minutes of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), the doctor managed to get the actor’s heart beating again, and Godfrey was rushed to the hospital.
However, news outlets have since reported that Godfrey could not be resuscitated upon arrival at the hospital, and that the actor passed away earlier today.
When reached for a comment, the variety show’s production company, Zhejiang Television, would only request for the media to “wait” for more updates. Godfrey’s manager, on the other hand, did not respond to requests for a statement.
Godfrey shot to fame in 2016 Chinese drama Remembering Wang Lichuan, and was nicknamed the “nation’s husband” after that. He was also consistently included in American film critics group TC Chandler’s annual list of “100 Most Handsome Faces”, and made his American film debut in action-adventure film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in 2013.