Dango Nguyen, a former Georgia firefighter and actor on “The Walking Dead,” has died.
The Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services announced on their official Facebook account Saturday that Nguyen died from cancer. He was 48.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we mourn the loss of one of our former firefighters,” the department’s statement reads. “Dango Nguyen passed away early this morning after a hard-fought battle with cancer.”
Nguyen served as a firefighter for 20 years before he left to pursue a career in entertainment. He was featured on Season 3 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as a bodyguard for the Governor, a villain who sparred with the show’s lead character, Rick Grimes.
USA TODAY reached out to AMC Network for comment.
“He will always be remembered for his physical and mental strength. He was an aggressive and tenacious firefighter and first responder,” the statement continued. “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.”
In addition to acting and his career in public service, Nguyen trained to become a professional wrestler, according to his IMDb profile.
His childhood friend, WWE hall of famer Rob Van Dam, took to Twitter to pay tribute.
“In high school Dango and I felt Achilles’ choice of a hero’s fate was best-exciting life, but short. Later, w/the love of family & friends, I’m sure he’d of reconsidered the option, but he lived an amazing life and rescued many people before he passed yesterday. RIP Dango Nguyen,” Van Dam tweeted Sunday to his 1.1 million followers.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘The Walking Dead’ actor Dango Nguyen dies from cancer at 48