Mortal Kombat Online is shocked and saddened to report the passing of actor Darren Shahlavi.
An accomplished star of film and television; Shahlavi will be best known to readers as Kano in episodes of Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
Variety reports confirmation of the actor's death, age 42, via his agent. Shahlavi passed in his sleep of an undisclosed cause, last Wednesday (January 14). TMZ note authorities suspect an overdose of prescription medication.
Update: Following findings by the Los Angeles County Department Coroner in April; Vancouver based journalist Sabrina Furminger reported for The Westender: "Darren died of “a sudden and fatal heart attack,” his family wrote in a statement. “He was found to have Atherosclerosis (also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease or ASVD). His left anterior descending artery was 95% blocked, which must have been worsening for several years.” There's also this important clarification: “Darren had no drugs or medications in his body, and only 0.02% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration); to put this into context 0.08% is the BAC Driving Limit for both the US & UK. There are no other medical factors linked to his death.” Shahlavi lived in Vancouver - where Mortal Kombat was filmed - for thirteen years.
The Action Elite shared the following Facebook tribute, posted by Bobby Shahlavi:
It is with immense sadness we have to inform you all of the news of the death of our dearest Darren Shahlavi. Darren dared to dream and was brave enough to follow his dreams and make them a reality. He wanted to be a movie star! Sounds crazy right? But he made it happen. He fulfilled so many of his career ambitions and acted along side and met many of his childhood heroes and screen legends including Donnie Yen, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sammo Hung, Robin Williams & George Clooney to name just a few. He was a kind, honest and decent human being. You will be missed my dear Darren, by family, friends, colleagues and many fans. You are a legend and a legend never dies. Your films and your legacy will live on forever and you will always remain in our hearts. We are all so proud of you and you will continue to inspire us all for generations. Sleep well Darren and keep on dreaming. Love you always… Your family X
Shahlavi was all the right things: talented, dedicated and sincere. His passion for martial arts cinema was deeply rooted, as was his personal attitude. Positive experiences with the actor don't seem to be in short supply. When I interviewed him for Mortal Kombat Online in 2011, he was friendly, approachable, and interested. He kept track of the interview's publication. When I had catastrophic computer problems, he even volunteered assistance, without ever being asked. The quintessential good bloke.
We discussed his early interest, "I started Judo when I was seven years old, and once I saw Bruce Lee, I was hooked on martial arts and films." His fandom for the 1995 Mortal Kombat feature film and its soundtrack, the influence it had on his depiction of Kano in Legacy, and his near miss with the '97 sequel. Still a fan, he even discussed striving to improve upon the fight scenes of Legacy.
His down to earth attitude was a contrast to some of the screen villains he will be remembered for. His Kano had the cocky, rogueish swagger the character deserved. His role as Twister Milos in 2010 Donnie Yen film Ip Man 2 will go down as one of the all-time great fight movie villains. In recent years, his work continued to flourish in starring roles and mainstream franchises (eg; Arrow). Most recently, he was cast opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in the reboot to 1989 JCVD favourite, Kickboxer. His presence will be sorely missed.