The pain and grief surrounding the sudden death of Ip Man 2 and Bloodmoon co-star action star and genre legend, actor, Darren Shahlavi, in January this year, still lingers for fans, and even moreso for close friends and relatives. Considering Shahlavi's undisputed health in a career resumé spanning well over twenty years, it was certainly a shock for the martial arts and film community as questions still remained how Shahlavi passed away in his Los Angeles home.
Of course, that didn't stop the salacious reporting from TMZ among other mediums and the trolls around the web from feeding the false narrative alleging drugs and alcohol were somehow involved in the action star's death while an official report from the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner remained pending. Well, the Shahlavi family finally got what they needed this week and have released an official statement with the specifics, stating no less what will be for many, the obvious, as this now closes one more chapter for the Shahlavi family in their enduring efforts to keep his legacy alive amid the ongoing healing process.
Read the full statement below via Westender:
Darren's family recently received a Coroner’s report from the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, and would like to share the results with his friends, colleagues and fans.
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.
It seems unlikely that someone as fit as Darren – who was so dedicated to exercise and fitness and had such a healthy low fat/dairy diet – should have heart disease, but we have been told that a genetic predisposition resulted in the development of heart disease and is not uncommon in otherwise healthy young men, including athletes and other professional sportsmen and women*.
Evidence for Darren’s level of physical fitness at the time of his death can be seen in his recent work. Darren had just finished filming Pound of Flesh and Kickboxer: Vengeance, both with Jean-Claude Van Damme – not to mention Tomorrowland with George Clooney. He was, as far as physical fitness goes, at the top of his game.
Darren’s family are devastated that his underlying heart condition was never diagnosed to allow him the opportunity of treatment. Typically, Atherosclerosis begins in childhood, and Darren showed no apparent symptoms prior to death. Who would have thought that Darren who was regarded as very fit would die so suddenly as a result of this 'silent killer'!
We have all been in shock for the past11 weeks with so many unanswered questions, but would now like to focus on the lessons that can be learned from Darren's untimely death. We do feel that Darren would be the first to join us in sending warnings and advice to the friends and colleagues that he loved that regular health screening can save lives.
This is our message and we do hope that somehow positive publicity in Darren's name can be made available to other young men and women, that may help them to take seriously the possibility that their body holds terrible secrets that can be revealed if they are tested routinely throughout life.
We hope that no other family has to go through the grief and pain that we are experiencing and that their loved ones get screening and subsequent treatment if necessary, that could prevent the tragic outcome that all who loved Darren are trying to come to terms with.
The Shahlavi family is raising funds to build a permanent memorial to Darren in Hollywood. More information at https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/1zf7/darren-shahlavi-memorial-fund