Godfrey Gao

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Godfrey Gao
Yi Ren *Yi Zhang NO.146 Gao Yi Xiang .jpg
Gao in 2017
Born
Tsao Chih-hsiang (曹志翔)

(1984-09-22)22 September 1984
Died27 November 2019(2019-11-27) (aged 35)
NationalityCanadian, Taiwanese
Alma mater Capilano University
OccupationActor, model
Years active2004–2019
Musical career
Also known asGodfrey Tsao
Gao Yixiang
Kao Yi-hsiang
Website godfreygao.com
Godfrey Gao
Chinese
Birth name
Chinese

Godfrey Gao (Chinese :高以翔; pinyin :Gāo Yǐxiáng; 22 September 1984 – 27 November 2019) was a Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor. Described as Asia's first male supermodel, [1] [2] Gao was the first male Asian model to appear in a campaign for Louis Vuitton. As an actor, he was known for his roles as Magnus Bane in the 2013 film adaptation of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones , and for his leading role in the Chinese television series Remembering Lichuan.

Contents

Early life

Gao was born Tsao Chih-hsiang in Taipei on 22 September 1984. [3] [4] [5] Gao's father is a Taiwanese of Shanghainese descent, and worked as a general manager at Michelin Taiwan; his mother is a Malaysian of Peranakan Chinese descent from George Town who won the Miss Penang beauty pageant in 1970. [6] The youngest of three brothers, [7] Gao moved with his family to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, during his childhood. [7] He attended Queensbury Elementary School and Argyle Secondary School, [8] and later studied at Capilano University [9] where the 6'4" Gao played basketball for the school's team. [7]

Career

Gao returned to Taiwan to work as a model in 2004, and was managed by JetStar Entertainment. [10] [11] Gao and fellow male models Sphinx Ting, Victor Chen  [ zh ], and Lan Chun-tien  [ zh ] were collectively nicknamed the "Fashion 4" (F4), and jointly released a book in 2009. [7] In 2011, he became the first Asian model for the fashion brand Louis Vuitton. [9] [12]

Gao began appearing in minor roles in Chinese television dramas in 2006, and had his first starring role in the 2010 television drama Volleyball Lover . [7] In 2013, he made his American film debut as Magnus Bane in the film adaption of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones . [13] His starring role in the 2016 drama Remembering Lichuan was widely acclaimed, and earned him the nickname of the "nation's husband" in Chinese media. [7] [12] Gao's other notable credits include the 2015 film Wedding Bible alongside Korean actress Yoo In-na, [14] and the 2017 romantic comedy film Love is a Broadway Hit , alongside Wang Likun, Wang Chuanjun, Yuan Li and Naren Weiss. [15]

Death

On 27 November 2019 at about 1:45 am, Gao collapsed in Ningbo while filming Chase Me , a sports reality television series broadcast on Zhejiang Television. [9] [16] He was taken to a hospital, where after attempts at resuscitation for nearly three hours, he was pronounced dead. [17] [18] Gao's death was confirmed in a statement on the social media site Sina Weibo by his agency JetStar Entertainment [19] that stated, "We are very shocked and saddened and even until now find it impossible to accept." [12] [18]

The producers of Chase Me said in a statement that Gao died from cardiac arrest. [20] [21] [22] Gao's death prompted increased scrutiny and criticism of the series, which involves contestants competing in physically strenuous challenges late at night, [23] and of the safety standards of Chinese reality television productions more broadly. [24] Gao had reportedly been filming for 17 hours at the time of his collapse; [25] actor and director Xu Zheng stated that the series' producers "must be held responsible" for what he claimed were poor health and safety conditions. [26] In a statement on Sina Weibo, Zhejiang Television stated that they were "deeply regretful and sorry for the irreparable and serious consequences that this incident has caused, and are willing to take up responsibility." [27]

Gao's body was moved to a local funeral home on 28 November 2019, [9] [28] [29] and returned to Taiwan on 2 December 2019. [30] [31] Gao's funeral will be held in Taiwan on 15 December 2019. [32] [33] The funeral will be a Buddhist funeral per the request of Gao's mother, [34] and his remains will be interred at Chin Pao San. [35]

Filmography

Film

TitleYearRoleNotes
All About Women 2008X [36]
Toy Story 3 2010 Ken [lower-alpha 1] [37]
101 Proposals2013Xu Zhuo [38]
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 2013 Magnus Bane [39]
Wedding Bible2015Chikai [40]
Min & Max 2016Zhang Xiao [41]
My Other Home 2017Yang Xi Ya [42]
Love is a Broadway Hit 2017Song Wei Dong [15]
The Jade Pendant 2017Tom [43]
Legend of the Ancient Sword 2018Xia Yize [44]
Shanghai Fortress 2019Yang Jiannan [45]

Television series

TitleYearRoleNotes
The Kid from Heaven2006Luo Yixiang [46]
Chao Ji Pai Tang Super2006Big Mac (cameo) [46]
Love Queen2006Wang Zhixun [46]
Wanna Be A Tough Guy2007Tiger [47]
Bull Fighting 2007Tank [48]
Momo Love 2009Chen He [49]
Volleyball Lover 2010Bai Qianrui [50]
Odd Perfect Match2010Ying Kaitai [51]
The Queen of SOP 2012Gao Ziqi [48]
Hello Gorgeous2013Li Zhen [52]
Never Give Up Dodo 2013Xiu Fei [53]
God of War, Zhao Yun 2015 Lü Bu [54]
Remembering Lichuan2016Wang Lichuan [55]
The Gravity of a Rainbow2019Ji Huang [56]
We Are All Alone2020Mu Yebai [57]

Awards

YearNominated workCategoryAwardResultNotesCitation
2017 The Jade Pendant Most Popular Actor Golden Angel Awards Won [58]

Notes

  1. Mandarin voice-over for Taiwan release.

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