UPDATED: Martial Artist Darren Shahlavi: 1972 - 2015
UPDATE: Three months after the tragic death of martial artist Darren Shahlavi, on 14 January at the age of 42, his family have received the official coroner's report from the Los Angeles County Coroners Department, and would like it to be known that Darren died of natural causes, rather than of a drug overdose, as some news outlets wrongly stated at the time of his death.
"Darren died on January 14, 2015 of natural causes: a sudden and fatal heart attack. 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.
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 he US & UK. There are no other medical factors linked to his death.
The Shahlavi family is raising funds to build a permanent memorial to Darren in Hollywood. More information can be found here."
This information was shared by former colleague, family friend and friend of the site Mike Leeder. You can read his heartfelt and passionate post in its entirety on his Facebook page here.
Martial artist and action star, Darren Shahlavi, passed away in his sleep on January 14th. A family member posted the announcement earlier today on Darren's Facebook page and tributes from action stars and action film sites started pouring in. Shahlavi's agent confirmed with Variety later in the day that the announcement was true. No cause of death has been released officially.
As any of the tributes share Shahlavi began practicing martial arts at an early age in the U.K. and began working in film in the early 90s. His big break came when he was cast as the villain across from Jing Wu in his debut film, Tai Chi Boxer, directed by the legendary Yuen Wo Ping in 1996.
He would continue to work in Hong Kong and down in Hollywood as actor, stunt man and choreographer. He fought against some of the best. He fought Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung in Ip Man 2. He went tête-à-tête with Michael Jai White in the first episode of French series Metal Hurlant Chronicles. He most recently worked with Jean-Claude Van Damme in Pound of Flesh.
If one thing is clear from all the tributes coming in from actors, stunt men, choreographers and his friends around the world is that Shahlavi was a much loved and respected man in the genre. He will be missed.
Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this time.