When news of Godfrey Gao’s passing broke, many were devastated. The 35-year-old actor-model had collapsed while filming Chinese reality TV show, Chase Me. The show involved intense physical tasks and it was during one of the running challenges that Godfrey collapsed.
He was taken to the hospital and attemps to resuscicate him proved to be unsuccessful. He passed away three hours later.
He reportedly had been working for 17 hours prior to his death. Filming for the show started at 8.30am on November 26 and Godfrey collapsed at 1.45am on November 27—about 17 hours after.
On November 25, Godfrey had attended an event in Taiwan, and actor Lau Juntian, said he appeared to have the flu. Despite this, he continued to film.
Fans were enraged and called for the show to be held responsible.
I'm more angry than anything about Godfrey Gao's death because it was 100% preventable. That show better take responsibility for this and take proper measures to ensure the safety of future guests; or just cancel the show in its entirety. What happened on #ChaseMe is NOT okay.
— Luna (@LunaIsFree_) November 27, 2019
Actor Xu Zheng was also among those who called for the producers to take responsibility for Godfrey’s death. He wrote on Weibo, “The show’s awareness of safety precautions is too poor.”
Last night, celebrities took it to social media to mourn the actor.
Jiro Wang lamented about how celebrities have to work beyond their limits in the name of professionalism. He wrote:
When staying up late becomes professionalism! When you give everything but are taken for granted! When did we get kidnapped by this word ‘professional’ and don’t even dare to make normal and reasonable demands for fear of being labelled ‘demanding’ and ’emotional’? What happened today is very sad and unacceptable. Just like that, he’s gone. I’ve known Xiang Xiang for many years, even though we hadn’t had a lot of personal interactions. But every time we worked together, he was a gentle, professional and sweet man. Of course, professionalism is important! But please remember to prioritise and protect yourself! Regardless of jobs or industries! Protect yourself! Love yourself! Life is unpredictable… Treat yourself better. Rest in peace, Godfrey.
Godfrey served as a groomsman at singer Christine Fan and her husband Blackie Chen’s wedding. She wrote:
It’s too sad. You were like an angel passing through the human world.
A few hours later, he uploaded a video with a longer caption:
Today is a heartbreaking day… This is my most precious movie, the day we first met 15 years ago… I remember you were only 20 years old, looking for opportunities from Canada back to Asia… I will never forget your motivation, humility and kindness these 15 years! We are all sad and reluctant to let you go. Thank you for coming to this world and bringing so many good memories to everyone! We will always remember you! See you in heaven. Thanks for everything @godfreygao
Belinda Lee wrote:
People who shine from within don’t need the spotlight. That’s who you are @godfreygao. Our industry has lost such an incredible talent but I believe his legacy will continue to shine and serves as an inspiration to the world! Rest in peace @godfreygao 💫🙏🏼
Local actress-model Sheila Sim posted a photo of her and Godfrey at an SK-II event and wrote:
I can’t believe it… Gone too soon. RIP @godfreygao 😢
Actress Shu Qi wrote:
Rest in peace🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Sonia Sui wrote:
Life is too capricious. You were such a big and warmhearted boy, RIP.
JJ Lin left posted a black square with no captions, which honestly, says a thousand words:
Cyndi Wang expressed her sadness through emojis.
Singapore-based actor Lawrence Wong uploaded photos taken by Godfrey and wrote:
He took these photos, even said he will show me around LA next time when I go. Life is fragile and strong, cruel and compassionate at the same time. Rest in peace, my friend @godfreygao. 🙏🏻
Harry Shum Jr, who plays Magnus in the drama version of Mortal Instruments, Shadowhunters, wrote:
I am shocked & heartbroken to hear of Godfrey Gao’s untimely passing. He was a pioneer in the Asian community that stretched our imaginations on what was possible in the industry. To the original Magnus who left us way too soon, you left an impression on us that’ll last forever.
I am shocked & heartbroken to hear of Godfrey Gao’s untimely passing. He was a pioneer in the Asian community that stretched our imaginations on what was possible in the industry. To the original Magnus who left us way too soon, you left an impression on us that’ll last forever. pic.twitter.com/eYKlRJdlTJ
— Harry Shum Jr (@HarryShumJr) November 27, 2019
Ken Kirby wrote:
Love this man. He paved the way, he had an open heart, he was NV. I cry as I write this, but that’s just it, that’s the ticket…you have to love people, you have to appreciate life. He was always hospitable, always good, always whole. Look at this legend, see the way he pushed, he fought, to be better……ALWAYS. TAKE over China TAKE over North America, he was THE guy. I love your passion, I love your soul and how you were the big kind Panda to everyone you know:) We must be strong, and carry on, cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven. Love you GOD
View this post on Instagram
Love this man. He paved the way, he had an open heart, he was NV. I cry as I write this, but that's just it, that's the ticket…you have to love people, you have to appreciate life. He was always hospitable, always good, always whole. Look at this legend, see the way he pushed, he fought, to be better……ALWAYS. TAKE over China TAKE over North America, he was THE guy. I love your passion, I love your soul and how you were the big kind Panda to everyone you know:) We must be strong, and carry on, cause I know I don't belong here in heaven. Love you GOD
Two of his managers, Wang Jun and Qiu Xiu Zhu, and his rumoured girlfriend, Su Xiang Han, reportedly will fly to Zhejiang to bring his body back to Taipei.
Xiu Zhu revealed that Godfrey had just gone through a health screening recently, and his test results came back fine.
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Image: TPG/Click Photos
35-Year-Old Actor Godfrey Gao Has Reportedly Passed Away
Taiwan-born Canadian model-actor Godfrey Gao, 35, has died after he collapsed while filming a Chinese variety series. His agency, JetStar Entertainment, confirmed this on Weibo. He was reportedly rushed to hospital, where he died after nearly three hours, according to JetStar’s statement.
According to Chinese media reports, he had been filming Chase Me—a night-time variety series by Zhejiang Television which focuses on physical tasks for its contestants.
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He reportedly collapsed at around 2am on Wednesday morning (Nov 27) midway through filming. Other celebrities on set included Hong Kong actor William Chan and boy band Fahrenheit member Calvin Chen.
In photographs circulating on the Web, William can be seen with his hands in a prayer position. Paramedics could also be seen working on someone, who is obscured in the photographs.
Netizens who claimed to witness the incident said that Godfrey’s heart stopped beating for a few minutes before it resumed and that he was rushed to the hospital.
The 1.93m tall actor first caught the public’s eye as a fashion model. He was the first Asian male model to appear in luxury brand’s Louis Vuitton ad campaign in 2011.
He has since been in Hollywood films like The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) and also became popular in China when he starred in Remembering Lichuan (2016), a television adaptation of a Chinese romance novel.
Image: TPG/Click Photos
Text: Jan Lee / The Straits Times / November 2019