Mexican-American actor Adan Canto, best known for roles in 'Designated Survivor' and 'The Cleaning Lady,' dead at 42 from cancer

 January 10, 2024

Mexican-born American actor Adan Canto just passed away at the astonishingly young age of 42, according to the Associated Press.

The rising Hollywood star died from appendiceal cancer, the prior diagnosis of which he had decided to keep private, per his publicist Jennifer Allen.

In a statement to the AP, Allen said of Canto, "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."

Became an American star over the past decade

The AP reported that Canto was born in Mexico and grew up in Texas but returned to his nation of origin at age 16 to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter, though it wasn't long before he began acting as well and landed gigs in several Mexican TV series and films.

He made his debut on American TV when he was cast for a recurring role in 2013's Kevin Bacon-led Fox weekly drama "The Following," after which he made his American film debut as a mutant named Sunspot in 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past."

Canto also made repeat appearances on other TV shows like "Mixology," "Blood & Oil," and "Second Chance," but finally hit it big with a top role in 2016's Keifer Sutherland-led Fox series "Designated Survivor."

His most recent role, which was reportedly cut short by his illness and now fully finished by his death, was as the leading male in 2022's Fox series "The Cleaning Lady," in which he portrayed a drug dealer who hired an immigrant woman to clean up his messes after she witnessed his criminal activity.

According to Canto's IMDb page, the relatively young actor had 25 credited acting appearances plus a couple of credits as a producer and director.

Death mourned by studio

Variety reported that Canto's untimely death from appendiceal cancer was confirmed by a statement released jointly by Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment, with whom the actor had worked on several projects.

"We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Adan Canto. A wonderful actor and dear friend, we were honored to have him as part of the Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment families since his U.S. debut in 'The Following' more than a decade ago," the joint statement said.

"Most recently, he lit up the screen in 'The Cleaning Lady' with a powerful performance that showcased his artistry, range, depth, and vulnerability," the statement added. "This is an unfathomable loss, and we grieve alongside his wife Stephanie, their children, and loved ones. We will miss Adan dearly."

As alluded to in that statement, Canto leaves behind his wife, Stephanie, and their two young children, Roman Alder and Eve Josephine.

Tributes from former colleagues and friends

The AP noted that tributes to Canto immediately came from many of his former colleagues and friends, including former "Designated Survivor" co-star Keifer Sutherland, who lamented in a social media post, "It seems lately I have had to make too many posts like this one, but I am heartbroken by the loss of Adan Canto. He was such a wonderful spirit."

"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," Sutherland added.

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