Taiwanese-Canadian model-actor dies from heart attack on Chinese reality show

Taiwanese-Canadian model-actor Godfrey Gao dies from heart attack while running in Chinese TV show 'Chase Me'

Godfrey Gao; incident scene (Weibo images)

Godfrey Gao; incident scene (Weibo images)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor died from a heart attack on the set of a Chinese reality TV show early on Wednesday morning (Nov. 27).

According to Maoyan Entertainment, a blogger broke the news early on Wednesday morning that Tsao Chih-hsiang (曹志翔), known by his stage name Godfrey Gao (高以翔), 35, had a medical emergency while filming the Zhejiang Television reality show "Chase Me" (追我吧). When running in a team event, Gao suddenly fell and lost consciousness.

Paramedics reportedly applied CPR on Gao for 15 minutes, after which his heart stopped beating for three minutes, before being resuscitated. He was then immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

Godfrey Gao (Facebook/Godfrey Gao photo)

Tencent News reported that an audience member heard Gao shout, "I can't carry on," before falling to the ground. Cameramen swarmed around him and kept filming, apparently believing that his actions were part of the show.

When Tencent News requested confirmation of the incident Zhejiang Television staff said, "Wait for us, thank you." The TV station responded to a similar inquiry by Sina Entertainment by saying, "There will be news updates later."

Zhejiang Television then announced that Gao had died at the age of 35 after doctors were unable to save him, reported FTV News. On its Weibo page at 11:46 a.m., Gao's agency, JetStar Entertainment, also confirmed the star's untimely death.

Notice posted on Weibo by JetStar Entertainment announcing Gao's death.

"Chase Me" is a Chinese reality show that is filmed at night in an urban area and involves two teams competing to win races. The first episode of the show aired on Nov. 8.

Gao was born in Taipei, in 1984, to a Taiwanese father and a Malaysian mother. He spent much of his childhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, before returning to Taiwan in 2004 to work as a model and actor.