Model Godfrey Gao dies at 35 in China as medical officials say he suffered sudden cardiac arrest

Taiwanese-Canadian actor and supermodel Godfrey Gao, the first Asian model to be the face of Louis Vuitton, died while filming a TV show in China on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old collapsed in the eastern city of Ningbo while on the set of Chase Me, a competitive sports reality show on China’s Zhejiang Television.

Reports indicate that, during filming of a running sequence, Gao appeared to slow down before suddenly falling to the ground. 

A statement from the TV network said the actor and model was taken to hospital where it was confirmed he died as a result of a cardiac arrest.  

Godfrey Gao poses on the red carpet during the opening night of a Louis Vuitton exhibition in Hong Kong in 2017. The model, the first Asian male model to be the face of the luxury brand, died on Wednesday from a cardiac arrest while filming a Chinese reality TV show

Godfrey Gao poses on the red carpet during the opening night of a Louis Vuitton exhibition in Hong Kong in 2017. The model, the first Asian male model to be the face of the luxury brand, died on Wednesday from a cardiac arrest while filming a Chinese reality TV show

Godfrey Gao poses on the red carpet during the opening night of a Louis Vuitton exhibition in Hong Kong in 2017. The model, the first Asian male model to be the face of the luxury brand, died on Wednesday from a cardiac arrest while filming a Chinese reality TV show

Gone too soon: Taiwanese-Canadian actor and supermodel Godfrey Gao, 35, the first Asian to be the face of Louis Vuitton, died while filming a TV show in China on Wednesday

Gone too soon: Taiwanese-Canadian actor and supermodel Godfrey Gao, 35, the first Asian to be the face of Louis Vuitton, died while filming a TV show in China on Wednesday

Gone too soon: Taiwanese-Canadian actor and supermodel Godfrey Gao, 35, the first Asian to be the face of Louis Vuitton, died while filming a TV show in China on Wednesday

His management company Jetstar Entertainment said in a statement posted on the Twitter-like Weibo platform that Gao had fainted and was declared dead after nearly three hours of medical care.

The statement thanked ‘every fan who loves Godfrey’ and said his death was ‘extremely painful.’

The company continued: ‘We are very shocked and saddened and even until now find it impossible to accept. Thank you media friends and every fan of Godfrey’s for their concern. His management and team were present and his family were urgently rushed to the location.’ 

In 2011, Gao became the first Asian model to be signed by Louis Vuitton.

Tragic circumstances: Gao collapsed in the eastern city of Ningbo while on the set of Chase Me, a competitive sports reality show in China's Zhejiang Television

Tragic circumstances: Gao collapsed in the eastern city of Ningbo while on the set of Chase Me, a competitive sports reality show in China's Zhejiang Television

Tragic circumstances: Gao collapsed in the eastern city of Ningbo while on the set of Chase Me, a competitive sports reality show in China’s Zhejiang Television

Debonair: The handsome model/actor had taken to Instagram in a tux in a series of shots last week

Debonair: The handsome model/actor had taken to Instagram in a tux in a series of shots last week

Godfrey Gao poses for a shoot in Beijing in a dapper suit

Godfrey Gao poses for a shoot in Beijing in a dapper suit

Debonair: The handsome model/actor had taken to Instagram in a tux in a series of shots last week (image on the left). On the right he appears as he poses for a luxury fashion shoot in Beijing

The model had also ventured into film, having appeared in movies in both China and Hollywood. They included the 2019 Chinese film Shanghai Fortress, and the 2013 title, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and The Jade Pendant.

One of the last tweets he shared on his Twitter feed was with actor Adam Sandler. The two appeared in a selfie after what appeared to have been an impromptu game of tennis.  

Godfrey Gao appears in a tweet with fellow actor Adam Sandler after an impromptu game of tennis

Godfrey Gao appears in a tweet with fellow actor Adam Sandler after an impromptu game of tennis

Godfrey Gao appears in a tweet with fellow actor Adam Sandler after an impromptu game of tennis 

His co-star on the film Jamie Campbell took to Instagram to react to the sad news on Wednesday night.

Campbell posted a sweet black and white snap of the two men cuddles up with the caption: ‘our friend. Heartbroken’

'our friend. Heartbroken': His co-star on the film Jamie Campbell took to Instagram to react to the sad news on Wednesday night

'our friend. Heartbroken': His co-star on the film Jamie Campbell took to Instagram to react to the sad news on Wednesday night

‘our friend. Heartbroken’: His co-star on the film Jamie Campbell took to Instagram to react to the sad news on Wednesday night

He had next been slated to appear in a romantic comedy titled The Wedding Bible, according to iMDb.

Across social media, many people paid tribute to the late model-actor. 

‘Condolences to family and friends, may he rest In peace,’ one user wrote, while CNN’s Jeff Yang said, ‘Heartbreaking. He was just 35. We saw him at an event earlier this year. I can’t believe this.’

Godfrey Gao (far right) appears with friends on a night out in a photograph he shared on his Instagram page before he died. Friends, family and fans have been reacting to the news of the actor's sudden death on the set of a Chinese TV show

Godfrey Gao (far right) appears with friends on a night out in a photograph he shared on his Instagram page before he died. Friends, family and fans have been reacting to the news of the actor's sudden death on the set of a Chinese TV show

Godfrey Gao (far right) appears with friends on a night out in a photograph he shared on his Instagram page before he died. Friends, family and fans have been reacting to the news of the actor’s sudden death on the set of a Chinese TV show

Feedback: A number of people took to Twitter to pay memorial to the late model-actor

Feedback: A number of people took to Twitter to pay memorial to the late model-actor

Feedback: A number of people took to Twitter to pay memorial to the late model-actor

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