‘Passion of the Christ’ Actor Christo Jivkov Dead at 48 from Cancer

ROME, ITALY - MARCH 6 : Bulgarian actor Christo Jivkov poses during the photocall for the
Elisabetta Villa/Getty

Bulgarian actor Christo Jivkov, who famously played St. John in Mel Gibson’s 2004 religious epic The Passion of the Christ, has died at the age of 48 from cancer.

Jivkov died last Friday in Los Angeles and was reportedly slated to return in his role as St. John in The Passion of the Christ sequel. As CBN reported this past January, the sequel would begin production this spring.

Actor, director, producer Mel Gibson will begin production on the sequel of his mega-hit film, The Passion of the Christ, this spring, according to a new report.

Veteran film journalist Jordan Ruimy shared Wednesday that Gibson will begin filming The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection in the next few months.

The cast will star Jim Caviezel who will reprise the role of Jesus, Maia Morgenstern as Mary, Christo Jivkov as John, and Francesco De Vito as Peter.

In a statement to Facebook over the weekend, Red Carpet Films, the independent production company that Jivkov co-founded, said that the company is “devastated” over his passing.

“Today we lost our beloved friend and dear colleague Hristo Zhivkov, one of the founders of Red Carpet. There are no words to describe the pain of this loss. We will never forget you!” it said.

File/Actor Christo Jivkov poses for a portrait session to promote the movie ‘In Memory of Myself’ during the 57th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) on February 12, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. (MJ Kim/Getty)

Mel Gibson also mourned the loss of Jivkov and rejoiced that his suffering from cancer had ended so he can have “eternal bliss.”

“My dear friend Christo has lost his heroic battle with cancer. Right to the last moment he was filled with hope and his spirit was strong,” Gibson said.

“I’ll miss him but I know his suffering is over and he has eternal bliss. God keep him.”


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