Adan Canto: X-Men and Designated Survivor star dies of cancer at 42

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Adan Canto in the second hour At Long Last episode of THE CLEANING LADY 2-hour season finaleImage source, Fox/Getty Images

Actor Adan Canto, who was known for US TV shows like Designated Survivor and films including X-Men: Days of Future Past, has died at the age of 42.

The Mexican star had suffered from appendiceal cancer, his publicist said.

Canto portrayed the vice president elect in Designated Survivor alongside Kiefer Sutherland, who paid tribute to the actor as “such a wonderful spirit”.

In the 2014 X-Men film, Canto played mutant Sunspot, and co-star Halle Berry later cast him in her movie Bruised.

‘Dear sweet friend’

The actress and director wrote on Instagram: “I don’t have the words just yet… but my dear sweet friend Adan just gained his wings. Forever, forever in my heart.”

Canto’s wife Stephanie Ann posted a photo of the couple, a Bible passage and the words: “Forever my treasure Adan, see you soon.”

In a statement, his publicist Jennifer Allen said: “Adan had a depth of spirit that few truly knew. Those who glimpsed it were changed forever. He will be greatly missed by so many.”

Kiefer Sutherland and Adan Canto in Designated Survivor

Image source, Disney/Getty Images

In his message, Sutherland added: “As an actor his desire to do well, to be great, and then do better, was truly impressive and he will be greatly missed. I am also heartbroken for his wife, Steph and his two young children. Adan, may you rest in peace.”

Canto played Aaron Shore in the first two seasons of Designated Survivor, which aired on the ABC network in 2016 and 17 before being picked up by Netflix for a third and final season.

Co-star Maggie Q wrote: “Beautiful friend… You are the level of person that Hollywood didn’t even deserve. Kindness and warmth and generosity of spirit – total dedication to your family, and ALWAYS doing the right thing. No one had your moral compass nor did they even come close.

“I don’t understand this. Anyone who knew you was a lucky one. That’s all I do know.”

Adan Canto in front of a screen showing his name and a poster image for X-Men: Days of Future Past

Image source, Getty Images

Italia Ricci, another Designated Survivor castmate, wrote that she was “completely lost for words”.

“He was the strongest person I know in every sense of the word and I am so angry that this happened. No-one deserved this less than this sweet, brilliant, kind, and gentle man…

“I’m so sorry for everyone hurting at this devastating loss and am beyond heartbroken for his family. You’ll be in my heart always.”

Canto went on to star as gangster Arman Morales in Fox’s crime drama The Cleaning Lady in 2022.

“He’ll always be our Arman,” Fox posted on X. “Adan Canto, your memory will be cherished forever.”

‘An unfathomable loss’

In a joint statement, Fox and Warner Bros Television described him as “a wonderful actor and dear friend”.

“Most recently, he lit up the screen in The Cleaning Lady with a powerful performance that showcased his artistry, range, depth and vulnerability,” the broadcasters said.

“This is an unfathomable loss, and we grieve alongside his wife Stephanie, their children and loved ones. We will miss Adan dearly.”

Canto made his breakthrough in the US in Fox thriller The Following with Kevin Bacon in 2013, and appeared in ABC sitcom Mixology and drama Blood & Oil.

He also appeared as Colombian politician Rodrigo Lara Bonilla in Netflix’s Narcos, and his film credits included spy thriller Agent Game in 2022.

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