Vancouver-raised supermodel and actor Godfrey Gao dead at 35

Nov 26 2019, 8:51 pm

Multiple overseas Asian media outlets are reporting Taiwanese-Canadian actor and supermodel Godfrey Gao has suddenly passed away. He was 35 years old.

According to FTV News, the Vancouver-raised actor and model was filming Chase Me — an extreme physical exertion reality show — in Zhejiang, China during the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 27 when he collapsed. He was rushed to hospital, but later succumbed to the condition, reported as a heart attack.

This has also been reported by Chinese state television CGTN, Hong Kong Apple News, and Singapore’s Strait Times Network, which reports that Gao’s agency, JetStar Entertainment, has confirmed his death over their channel on social media platform Weibo.

Gao was born in Taipei, Taiwan, but his family moved to Vancouver during his childhood, where he attended Queensbury Elementary and Argyle Secondary, and graduated from Capilano University.

 

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Gao was a household name in Asia, where he has sealed lucrative modelling contracts — appearing on popular Asian magazine covers — and starred in a number of Chinese and Taiwanese television shows. He was the first Asian model for Louis Vuitton, which earned him the title of the “world’s first Asian supermodel.”

In 2015, he signed a deal to become the Canadian Tourism Commission’s new ambassador for its marketing and awareness campaign within the Chinese market.

Daily Hive interviewed Gao in 2011, when his modelling career began to quickly transition into a successful acting career.

He has starred in movies such as The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Love is a Broadway Hit, The Jade Pendant, Legend of the Ancient Sword, and the Mandarin voiceover for Ken (of “Barbie and Ken”) in the Taiwan version of Toy Story 3.

In television, he had major roles in series that include Bull Fighting, Momo Love, Volleyball Lover, The Queen of SOP, Never Give Up Dodo, God of War Zhao Yun, and Remembering Lichuan.

“It was hard to be accepted, being Asian in the mainstream spotlight, but I’m seeing more and more now which is good. I feel like I have a gap to fill being an Asian male, represented in the mainstream. There is a bit of pressure on me and hopefully I will get to the top by working hard and tackle anything that comes in my way,” Gao told Daily Hive at the time, adding that he wanted to make more inroads into both the Hollywood and Asian entertainment industries.

When it comes to being away in Asia for extended periods and his affinity for Vancouver, he described it in this way: “I miss Vancouver. I cannot stress that enough. I feel like every time I come back home my nasal congestion is cleared due to fresh air, and I would feel refreshed. Not saying the air in Asia is super bad, but I think it’s also the natural beauty of Vancouver, surrounded by oceans and mountains. Other things I miss is the multicultural food… and all the outdoor activities in Vancouver. Last but not least, my family still resides in North Van, so I miss spending good quality times with them.”

 

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