Former Star Wars Actor Kan Bonfils Dies During Play Rehearsal

Ben Arnold
Contributor

British actor Kan Bonfils, who had appeared as a Jedi master in ‘Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace’, has died after collapsing during rehearsals for a theatre production.

Bonfils was preparing for a role in Dante’s Inferno at The Rag Factory in east London on Monday evening, when he collapsed.

Fellow members of the Craft Theatre Company tried to resuscitate him at the scene.

He was then taken by paramedics to the Royal London Hospital in cardiac arrest, but later died.

The precise cause of death is not known.

Chris Hislop, a spokesperson for Craft Theatre, said: “During rehearsals for an upcoming performance, he collapsed and was unable to be resuscitated. His sudden loss is a tragedy, and he will be sorely missed.

“The director and actors tried to resuscitate him but 45 minutes later he had died. It has come as a huge shock to everyone.

“The entire company are in shock. There is absolutely severe sadness, it is a real tragedy. I think they are holding it together by talking it through and by being there for each other.”

Bonfils starred as the Jedi master Saesee Tiin in the 1999 movie ‘The Phantom Menace’, alongside Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson.

He also played roles in Bond film ‘Skyfall’, ‘Batman Begins’, and ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’, with Angelina Jolie, as well as several roles in the West End, including ‘Miss Saigon’ at the Theatre Royal and ‘The King & I’ at the London Palladium, where he played the lead.

In addition, he modelled for the likes of Hermes and Oswald Boateng.

A spokesperson for the London Ambulance service said: “At 6.30pm on January 5 we were called to reports of a person unwell at an address in Heneage Street.

“We sent a medical responder, three ambulance crews and an advance paramedic to the scene, and we treated one patient, reported to be in his 30s, who was in cardiac arrest. He was taken to Royal London Hospital as a priority.”

Image credits: Twitter/Lucasfilm

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