'The Walking Dead' actor and former firefighter Dango Nguyen dies after 'hard-fought battle with cancer'
Nguyen was also a celebrated firefighter who had served in the Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services
Beloved Georgia firefighter Dango Nguyen, who had also appeared on the popular zombie apocalypse drama 'The Walking Dead', passed away this weekend after a "hard-fought battle with cancer".
The news was announced by the Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services on Facebook on Saturday, August 10, alongside praises for the 48-year-old, for his commitment to the job, his inspiring strength and the way he touched the lives of those he came across.
"It is with tremendous sadness that we mourn the loss of one of our former firefighters. Dango Nguyen passed away early this morning after a hard-fought battle with cancer," they wrote, adding: "Dango was a member of our department for almost 20 years. Dango was a sergeant with our department when he left to pursue a career in the entertainment industry and other interests."
According to his IMDb page, Nguyen performed under the stage name Dango Nu Yen and had begun his acting career in 2011. Just a year later, Nguyen scored the role of the guard in season three of 'The Walking Dead', appearing in several episodes throughout the third installment of the AMC drama a year later. The role saw him protecting the town of Woodbury and the Governor (David Morrissey) from Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
Even though Nguyen's stint on the show ended in 2013, he went on to star in other massive shows like 'Banshee', 'MacGyver', 'The Gifted' and 'Star' as well as a four-year stint on 'The Originals'. In 2015, he pursued a career in stunts and went on to be a stunt performer in several shows he acted in, including the 'The Red Road' with Jason Momoa and Netflix’s 'Insatiable', reveals his IMDb page.
After he was diagnosed with the terminal illness, Nguyen continued documenting his health on his Instagram to keep followers in the loop on his progress. He even had shirts made with the words "Dango Strong", as a token of inspiration to keep battling the deadly disease.
Nguyen wasn't serving in the fire department at the time of his death, but the Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services paid tribute to him, mentioning how he always remained a valuable member of their squad who would be missed for all he shared with the world. "Once you’re a firefighter, you’re always part of our family. And Dango was a very well known member of our family," they wrote. The post added: "He will always be remembered for his physical and mental strength. He was an aggressive and tenacious firefighter and first responder. He was also an excellent fire officer. He carried out his service to our community with a high level of pride in his craft, as well as a competitive spirit that made everyone else that he worked with better too."
The tribute ended with: "He touched many lives. We will all remember his quick wit, high energy, and unwavering determination. We all aspire to be Dango Strong." Nguyen is survived by his wife of two years, Michelle, and his family.