The body of Taiwanese-Canadian actor and model Godfrey Gao (高以翔), who died on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack in China, was returned home yesterday.
Gao’s girlfriend, Bella, and his elder brother, Charles Gao (高宇橋), accompanied the body, which arrived at Taoyuan International Airport at about 2am on a China Eastern Airlines flight.
Godfrey Gao, 35, passed away after he collapsed while competing as a guest in the Chase Me reality show produced by Zhejiang Satellite TV in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.
His heart stopped beating for about three minutes, local Chinese-language media have reported.
He was rushed to a hospital and underwent emergency treatment for almost three hours, but doctors were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead, his agency JetStar said.
Guests on the show, which started early last month, are divided into two teams and compete in various physically challenging missions.
Before filming, Godfrey Gao had worked 17 hours straight and was probably fatigued, which might have contributed to his collapse, local media reported.
After Godfrey Gao’s body arrived in Taiwan, his family held a simple memorial ceremony before it was moved to Municipal Taipei First Funeral Parlour.
He is to be laid to rest at Chinpaoshan Cemetery in New Taipei City and a memorial service has been scheduled for Dec. 15, local media reported.
Godfrey Gao’s fans gathered outside the funeral parlor where his body was kept in Hangzhou, before it was transported to Shanghai Pudong Airport for its flight home.
Godfrey Gao was born in Taipei in Sept. 22, 1984, to a Taiwanese father and a Malaysian mother, and has two elder brothers.
He studied in Canada and earned a bachelor’s degree before returning home to pursue a career in entertainment in 2004.
Several participants in Chinese reality shows have been injured over the past few years.
Wu Mochou (吳莫愁), a Chinese singer, fell and sustained a concussion during filming of the Trump Card show in January 2016. That show was also produced by Zhejiang Satellite TV.
Zhang Jie (張杰), another Chinese singer, was injured after being deprived of oxygen while competing in the same show in March last year.
Godfrey Gao’s death sparked an outcry from Chinese Internet users, who urged the company to pay more attention to the safety of the contestants in its reality shows.
Some accused the Chase Me production team of not providing adequate first aid to Godfrey Gao and criticized it for continuing filming after he collapsed.
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