Bella Ciao actor Taran Kootenhayoo passes away at 27
Canadian Indigenous actor and artist Taran Kootenhayoo who was famous for his role in the indie drama ‘Bella Ciao’ has passed away on December 31, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter on Monday.
The cause of death has not been mentioned. Indigenous streetwear maker Section 35, for which the actor modelled its latest fashions, was the first to announce Kootenhayoo’s death on its Instagram account on Jan. 1: “Creator called a legend home. We love you and you will be missed. Rest in Power Brother.” Born in Cold Lake, Alberta and a member of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Kootenhayoo attended acting school at Capilano College in Vancouver and graduated in 2015. He was known for his star-turn as Niki, a young homeless man looking for his missing sister, in Bella Ciao!, the 2018 indie feature by director Carolyn Combs about intersecting characters in an east Vancouver multicultural community.
“Our loss is immeasurable. He was a gifted and disciplined collaborator, a warm and generous friend. Words don’t capture our deep respect and affection for him. We wish him well on his journey. In his honour, and with the approval of his sister Cheyanna J. V. Kootenhayoo, we are making his performance in the film available to all,” the official website for Bella Ciao! wrote.
Taran Kootenhayoo also played the character of Remy in the 2018 Canadian TV series Literally, and voiced the role of Randall in the animated fantasy series Molly of Denali, according to Hollywood Reporter.
Taran Kootenhayoo was named as a Star to Watch at the Whistler Film Festival in 2018 and earned the Most Promising Newcomer trophy at the Jessie Theatre Awards a year later.