Khan Bonfils, an English actor who appeared in James Bond movie Skyfall and as Jedi master Saesee Tiin in the 1999 film Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, has collapsed and died during rehearsals for a theatre production. The Independent reports that Mr. Bonfils was rehearsing for Dante’s Inferno, which was due to open at The Rag Factory in East London this week when he collapsed yesterday.
Members of the Craft Theatre company and paramedics fought to save his life but he could not be resuscitated.
The Telegraph reports that Chris Hislop, spokesperson for the Craft Theatre company, said
”Kan collapsed during a rehearsal and the director Rocky Rodriguez Jr. performed CPR on location. An ambulance was called out but unfortunately he couldn’t be resuscitated.”
He added that the cause of Khan Bonfils death had not yet been ascertained.
A statement from Craft Theatre said: ”With great sadness, we announce the death of Khan Bonfils. His sudden loss is a tragedy and he will be sorely missed.”
Mr Hislop said the cast and crew were devastated by Mr Bonfils’ death.
He said, ”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.”
Mr Hislop explained that the play was due to open this coming Thursday and that he hoped that another actor from the ensemble would replace Khan Bonfils in the cast.
Mr Hislop said, ”It was due to open on Thursday. If things go to plan and if the incoming actor is able to do the job we are hoping to open on Saturday.”
Metro says that as well as his appearance in The Phantom Menace, Khan Bonfils had also shown up in a string of blockbusters including Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life, Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, Batman Begins, and more recently Skyfall.
He also appeared in several West End productions including The King and I and Miss Saigon.
Mr Bonfils who was just 43 years old worked opposite Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor in The Phantom Menace and with Daniel Craig in Skyfall. Khan also appeared in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan.
Friends and fans took to Twitter to express their sorrow at Khan Bonfils death. Fellow actor Daniel York said that Khan was one of the fittest and healthiest actors he had ever worked with.
One fan expressed their sorrow by simply tweeting “May the Force be with you Master Tiin.”