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Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov, whose defection from the Soviet Union helped catapult him into a successful acting career, was found dead May 18 at his home in West Hollywood, Calif. He was 45.

Paramedics declared Godunov dead shortly before noon at his home, sheriffs deputies said. Godunov had been seeing a physician for an undisclosed condition, they said, and that Godunov had been visited regularly by a nurse.

Because the nurse had not heard from him since May 8, she went to his home to check on him.

It was not known how long Godunov had been dead.

Officers said there were no signs of trauma and that police had no plans to investigate further. Cause of death was listed as natural causes.

Godunov came to the U.S. in 1979 after spending 13 years with the Bolshoi Ballet. He joined American Ballet Theatre in New York, dancing there for three years until he fell out with artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The tall, lean dancer with long, straight flaxen hair appeared on his own TV show, “Godunov: The World to Dance In,” in 1983-84 before starting his acting career as an an Amish farmer in the Harrison Ford thriller ‘Witness” in 1985. Other movie credits include “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks, and “Die Hard” with Bruce Willis.

Just weeks ago he was filming a movie in Budapest.

Godunov became a U.S. citizen in 1987.

Born on Sakhalin Island in the former Soviet Union on Nov. 28,1949, Godunov quickly showed talent as a dancer; he won the gold medal in the Moscow Intl. Ballet Competition in 1973.