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‘Once Upon a Time’ Alum Chris Gauthier Dead at 48: ‘You Were the Real Captain’

Once Upon a Time Alum Chris Gauthier Dead at 48
Chris Gauthier Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Once Upon a Time alum Chris Gauthier died on Friday, February 23. He was 48.

“We can confirm that our dear friend and client, Chris Gauthier, passed away on Friday morning, February 23, at the age of 48,” TriStar Appearances/Event Horizon Talent told TVLine in a statement. “As a beloved character actor, Chris shared his talents with so many of us both on television and in film.”

The statement concludes, “His loss is felt not just by his fans but by those of us who were lucky enough to know him more personally. On behalf of his family, we do ask for privacy during this time so that they are able to grieve properly.”

Gauthier is survived by his wife, Erin, and their two sons, Ben and Sebastian. A cause of death has not been publicly shared.

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As an actor, Gauthier appeared in episodes of Supernatural, Eureka, Smallville, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Joe Pickett. He also has several movie credits, including 40 Days and 40 Nights, Agent Cody Banks and Freddy vs. Jason. Additionally, the late actor played parts in many popular Hallmark Channel franchises, including The Christmas House, When Calls the Heart and Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Gauthier was perhaps best known for his role of Smee (Captain Hook’s right-hand man) on ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

“So sad to hear of the passing of Chris Gauthier,” Adam Horowitz, one of the OUAT showrunners, wrote via X on Sunday, February 25. “Such a kind, sweet, and talented person. You will be missed.”

Once Upon a Time Alum Chris Gauthier Dead at 48
Chris Gauthier Courtesy of Chris Gauthier/Instagram

Horowitz, 57, and Edward Kitsis cocreated OUAT about fairy tale characters living in the modern world. The show ran for seven series between 2011 and 2018. Peter Pan villain Captain Hook got the show treatment, brought to life by actor Colin O’Donoghue. In many of Hook’s seafaring plotlines, he was joined by first mate Smee.

O’Donoghue, 43, also mourned Gauthier’s death.

“Rest in Peace Chris! Heartbroken,” the Irish actor wrote via Instagram on Sunday, sharing a throwback pic from set. “My love and thoughts go out to Erin and the boys! You will be missed brother! You were the real captain!!”

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Other OUAT costars commented their own condolences on O’Donoughue’s post, including Keegan Connor Tracy, Lana Parilla, Karen David and Josh Dallas.

“Rest in peace, Chris. Love and light to his family,” Dallas, who played Prince Charming/David Nolan, wrote via Instagram comment.

Gauthier had long gushed about his tenure on the fairy tale-inspired series.

“[On] Once Upon a Time, we did a bunch of greenscreen work,” he said in a March 2021 YouTube interview. “I think that was a little bit of a trip for me, but I had come from theater, so working with an imaginary backdrop wasn’t something that I was scared of.”

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