The family of West End star Darius Campbell Danesh have announced that the actor and singer has been found dead in his apartment in Rochester, Minnesota in the US on 11 August 2022. He was 41.
The former Pop Idol contestant became a well-known theatre star, performing in West End musicals including Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Funny Girl with Sheridan Smith, Gone With the Wind, From Here To Eternity and more.
The cause of death is currently unknown.
A statement from the family said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Darius Campbell Danesh. Darius was found unresponsive in bed in his apartment room in Rochester, Minnesota, on August 11 and was pronounced dead in the afternoon by the local medical examiners’ office. The local police department have confirmed that there were no signs of intent or suspicious circumstances. The cause of his sudden death is unknown at this stage while medical examinations continue. We ask that you kindly respect our wishes for privacy at this time whilst we come to terms with the tragic loss of our son and brother.”
Originally from Scotland, Darius was a singer-songwriter and an actor, who came to fame in 2001 appearing in ITV’s Popstars, and also in Pop Idol. In May 2010 he won the first series of ITV’s Popstar to Operastar
In recent years he has worked as a film producer, with projects including Imperium starring Daniel Radcliffe, and Tomorrow starring Sebastian Street.
He was previously married to actress Natasha Henstridge.
Tributes for the actor include Stuart Brayson, composer of From Here to Eternity, who said: “I’m shocked & very sad to hear of the death of Darius Campbell. He was a lovely man & total professional when he played the role of Warden in From Here To Eternity. Talented, dedicated & passionate about the work. I pass on my deepest sympathy to his family. Fly my friend. RIP”
West End theatre impresario Sonia Friedman, who produced Funny Girl in the West End and on tour, said: “RIP Darius Campbell. All involved in the London and UK Tour productions of Funny Girl were fortunate to have known and worked with him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Gareth Gates, who appeared with Darius on Pop Idol, said in a statement: “I can’t quite believe the news of my dear friend Darius passing. I’m heartbroken. Darius took me under his wing during our time in Pop Idol, like a big brother; always looking out for me and for that I thank you my friend. I will miss our chats. He was one of the most beautiful, intelligent and gentle souls I was lucky enough to know, a soul that lit up every room. Goodbye my friend. Forever in my heart.”
Theatre director Tamara Harvey, who directed Darius in From Here to Eternity, said: “Darius was a true gentleman with a heart the size of a planet and a beautiful sincerity on stage. His kindness carried me through some difficult moments. Not sure the world is ever ready to lose the good ones but this is too too soon.”
Main photo: Darius Campbell Danesh in Funny Girl. Credit: Johan Persson