Martial artist Darren Shahlavi, who appeared in the series Mortal Kombat: Legacy and Arrow and a string of Hollywood action movies, has died of a suspected overdose at the age of 42.
Although the Los Angeles Coroner is carrying out toxicology tests before determining the cause of death, the ripped actor had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, according to TMZ.
Shahlavi was found dead by his roommate on January 14 at his L.A. home.
His agent Kathy Carpenter confirmed her client’s death to the Hollywood Reporter, saying he was discovered after “apparently passing away in his sleep.”
Here’s what you need to know about the action star and his tragic death:
1. His ‘Arrow’ Co-Star Stephen Amell Paid Tribute to Darren on Twitter
Stephen Amell, star of CW’s ‘Arrow’ paid tribute to his friend and co-star. “He was a great dude & a patient, thoughtful partner,” he wrote on Twitter about the expert stuntman.
“RIP Darren Shahlavi. 1st guy I ever fought on Arrow,” he added. “Fight looked good because of him.”
Darren had several different roles on the hit show, including Constantine Drakon.
2. He Acted in Some Big Movies
Best known for his martial arts skills in ‘Mortal Kombat 2’, Darren also performed stunts in blockbusters like ‘300’, ‘Watchmen’ and ‘Night at the Museum.’
In 2002, he also appeared alongside Eddie Murphy in ‘I Spy’ and two years later had a part in ‘The Final Cut’ with Robin Williams.
In 2010, he starred in the cult film ‘Ip Man 2, the semi-autobiographical movie about karate king Bruce Lee’s real life kung fu master Ip Man that became the biggest Asian box office hit of the year.
3. Darren Was a Brit
Although his parents came from Iran, Darren was born in Stockport, Cheshire in England and started his martial arts training at the tender age of 7 at a local judo gym and dreamed of emulating his heroes like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. He was so good he moved first to Hong Kong to launch a stunt career before heading for Hollywood in the early 1990s to try his hand at acting.
4. He Played a Bad Guy in a Fight With Steven Seagal – and Lost
After honing his skills in Hong Kong, Darren was a match for Steven Seagal in the 2010 movie, ‘Born to Raise Hell.’ The classic fight between Seagal, playing a government agent, and Darren, as a Romanian club owner and drug dealer, only ends when Darren gets plugged with a bullet in the chest.
5. He Was Married to a Canadian Kickboxer
Darren was married for three years from 200-2003 to Luraina Undershute, a kickboxer from British Columbia, Canada, best known for her roles in movies like ‘Sometimes a Hero (2003), G.O.D.’ (2001) and ‘The Karate Dog (2005).
He is survived by his actress sibling Elisabeth Shalavi.