Actor and model Godfrey Gao, who grew up in B.C. and was an ambassador for Canadian tourism, collapsed and died while shooting a TV show on Wednesday.
Gao, 35, was filming “Chase Me,” a reality TV show for China’s Zhejiang Television that features competitive sports, in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo, according to Apple Daily.
“Our beloved Godfrey collapsed while filming on set. Unfortunately following three hours of medical rescue efforts, he left us,” said JetStar’s statement. It added that his family “rushed to the scene.”
Gao was born in Taipei, but he grew up in North Vancouver, B.C. and graduated from Capilano University.
In 2011, he became the first Asian male model for luxury brand Louis Vuitton. A few years later, he appeared in Hollywood movies “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” and “The Jade Pendant,” followed by starring roles in several Chinese and Taiwanese blockbusters.
In 2015, he became an ambassador for the Canadian Tourism Commission, hosting a a travel program aimed at drumming up interest among visitors from China.
“I grew up in B.C. It is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada. Vancouver is so multicultural and that’s one of the things I enjoyed most while growing up in Vancouver, as you get everything from culture to cuisine,” Gao told HuffPost B.C. in 2016.
Watch from 2015: Godfrey Gao returns to Vancouver for Canadian tourism campaign