Chris Gauthier, character actor known for 'Once Upon a Time' and 'Watchmen,' dies at 48

Chris Gauthier, a Canadian actor best known for his roles in "Once Upon a Time" and Zack Snyder's "Watchmen," has died. He was 48.

The actor died on Friday morning after a "brief illness," his talent agency, TriStar Appearances, confirmed to USA TODAY on Monday.

"As a beloved character actor, Chris shared his talents with so many of us both on television and in film," the agency said in a statement. "His loss is felt not just by his fans but by those of us who were lucky enough to know him more personally."

His management, RED Mgmt, also shared a statement Monday with USA TODAY.

"He was a kind, witty, passionate and empathetic man and we will all miss him dearly," the statement read. "Our hearts go out to his family that he spoke of with such love and pride and we ask that you respect their privacy during this difficult time."

In a statement posted to Facebook Sunday, Chad Colvin, a partner agent at TriStar Appearances, shared news of his death. "When his wife reached out to me yesterday with the news, I wept tears of disbelief for hours," he wrote. "It's taken me til now to fully mentally and emotionally steel myself to write this."

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Colvin continued: "Without Chris and his enthusiasm and dedication, I wouldn't be where I am now."

Gauthier played William Smee at various points between Seasons 2 and 7 of the Ginnifer Goodwin-led ABC fantasy series "Once Upon a Time" and Shack in 2003's "Freddy vs. Jason."

His other credits include the 2009 action-drama film "Watchmen" as Seymour and the 2002 romantic comedy "40 Days and 40 Nights" as Mikey.

Gauthier also starred in a number of Christmas television films, including "Paper Angels" and the "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" series of films. His latest credit was in the 2023 Hallmark holiday film "Ms. Christmas Comes to Town." He had two upcoming roles in the comedy sci-fi series "The Triple Eight" and the horror film "Chimera's Ghost."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chris Gauthier dead: 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Watchmen' actor was 48