Darren Shahlavi, Martial Artist in ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Arrow,’ Dies at 42

Darren Shahlavi Dead
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Darren Shahlavi, a martial artist who appeared fighting in such works as the “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” TV series and “Arrow,” has died, his agent has confirmed. He was 42.

According to his agent, Shahlavi died in his sleep Jan. 14. A cause of death was not revealed.

Shahlavi recently finished shooting on “Pound of Flesh” with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and is also known for his work in “Ip Man 2” (2010), “Watchmen” (2009), “300” (2006) and “Alone in the Dark” (2005).

Shahlavi began martial arts training when he was 7 years old in Manchester, England. He cut his teeth by moving to Hong Kong in the early ’90s and becoming a stuntman in kung fu films, before he was discovered by director Yuen Woo Ping, who cast him as the villain in kung fu film “Tai Chi Chuan.”

Shahlavi then broke into Hollywood, scoring supporting roles as a boxer fighting Eddie Murphy in 2002’s “I Spy” and 2004’s “The Final Cut” with Robin Williams. In TV, he was a guest star in “Sanctuary,” “Human Target” and “Reaper.”

Shahlavi returned to Hong Kong action films in 2010, co-starring with Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung in “Ip Man 2,” the semi-autobiographical tale of Bruce Lee’s real-life kung fu master Ip Man. Shahlavi played the evil British boxing champ the Twister. The movie would go on to become the most successful Asian film at the box office in 2010.

In 2011, he appeared as Kano in “Mortal Kombat: Legacy.”

In the past few years, Shahlavi had a guest role in the CW’s “Arrow,” appeared in 2012’s “Metal Hurlant” and had a starring role in 2012 TV movie “Aladdin and the Death Lamp.”

On Tuesday, “Arrow” star Stephen Amell tweeted about the news.

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  1. Elsa Schultz says:

    He is a true role model, good looking man gone too soon. I love martial art and will defintely learn it. R.I.P Darren

  2. jeff says:

    MYFRIEND and v martial arts colleague R.I.P. the world will miss you !!

  3. Rex says:

    Sad to hear this, but VERY skeptical about the “reaction to a painkiller” info posted earlier. He did have some problems in the past, and people in his physical condition generally don’t have “toxic” reactions to simple painkillers. Still, a fantastic fighter/choreographer, and gone too soon. :(

  4. Heather Gray says:

    Fore info for people trying to find out more about this.

    Darren was recently prescribed a painkiller for his hip that he wasn’t used to, and a toxic reaction to it, has sadly taken him from us. His passing leaves a huge gap many of our hearts and in the industry, as his full potential had only just began to be explored. He leaves us a legacy with his film work, to enjoy, to learn from and to be inspired by, and lets remember the man and the way he lived…

    His family have been overwhelmed by the genuine emotional response to what happened, and are grateful for the heartfelt words and love that people are showing .

    There will be a funeral in the UK, followed by a memorial service in the States, and there is a fund being set up to take care of some of the expenses, and i’ll post a link to that as it becomes available.
    Lets continue to respect the man, his work and his family

    (From Scott Adkins Official Page)

  5. ifirefly says:

    Shocking to get up to this today. Darren was kind and caring to everyone, even the extras, and was always there to teach. He will be missed. His work on the second IP Man film was a joy to behold. Prayers to his loved ones from all of us.

  6. Luraina Undershute says:

    My prayers go to to Darren’s mom and sister. What a tragic loss. Darren always had my heart. I will forever cherish the time and memories we made together. RIP

  7. Tom says:

    Condolences to his family and loved ones. I enjoyed him on screen. My eyes lit up every time I would see him as a guest on a TV show or movie. So sad

  8. stevenmillan says:

    Very sad news to hear about Darren Shahlavi,for he was a heavily underrated actor with quite an extensive martial arts background,for at least he got the chance to shine in whatever film ot television show he appeared in.

  9. Patrick says:

    Very sad to die at such a young age and so talented, condolences to his family.

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