Actor Best Known For ‘Passion Of The Christ’ Dies At 48

In 2004, the movie “Passion of the Christ,” which was directed by Mel Gibson, starred actor Jim Caviezel as Jesus. It was a box office hit. The movie told the story of the end of Jesus’ life and his death and resurrection, the story that many Christians are celebrating on Easter.

Now, we have the sad news that a little over a week before Easter, one of the lead actors in the “Passion” film has died. Bulgarian actor Christo Jivkov, who played one of Jesus’s disciples, the apostle John, died at the age of 48. The cause of death was lung cancer.

Jivkov was a founding member of the independent production company Red Carpet Films, and Red Carpet Films’ Facebook page announced the sad news. In the post, the company explains, “Today we lost our beloved friend and dear colleague Christo Jivkov, co-founder of “Red Carpet”. Wе are truly devastated by this untimed loss. We will never forget you!”

According to IMDB, Jivkov was scheduled to reprise his role as John in a sequel to the “Passion” movie, which is listed as being in pre-production under the title “The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.” Gibson is listed as the writer and director of the sequel and Caviezel is once again scheduled to play Jesus.

Upon hearing the news of Jivkov’s death, Gibson spoke about his colleague. He said, “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. I’ll miss him but I know his suffering is over and he has eternal bliss. God keep him.“

Gibson has previously confirmed that the sequel to “Passion” is in the works. In 2022, he said that he has “two scripts” for the potential film. He said, “They’re both good,” but he was struggling to get the story to a place where it “really resonates with someone who may not know anything about the core story.” The film would tell the story of the events that transpire between Good Friday, which is the Friday before Easter when Jesus dies on the cross, and the resurrection on Easter. 

Jivkov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1975. Besides “Passion,” Jivkov is also known for his roles in the films “The Profession of Arms” and “In Memory of Me.”

Rest in peace.