April 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM ET
Brazilian actor Tiago Klimeck’s artistic endeavor led to his ill-fated demise when he died by accidentally hanging himself during a stage performance of Judas in the “Passion of the Christ.”
Performing for an annual Good Friday production in Itarare, Brazil, the 27-year-old was playing the role of Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus and committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree, reports CNN affiliate, TV Record. While enacting the death scene, Klimeck hung for four minutes on a tree before other actors realized something was wrong.
Janaina Carvalho, a member of the theatre group, told Yahoo! News, "I started talking to Tiago and asked him to help us to take the rope. When I realized he did not answer, I and other actors call for help.”
Klimeck was unconscious when removed from the tree, and immediately rushed to the hospital. Scans found the incident caused cerebral anoxia due to lack of oxygen to the brain, leading to a medically induced coma. The actor was placed on life support following the tragedy, and removed just over two weeks later on April 22 when he passed. An autopsy was scheduled for the next day.
According to TV Record, Klimeck wore a harness under his robe during the play, and had done so in performances of the show for the past three years. Police investigator Jose Victor Bassetti told the outlet that the costume equipment was on loan from the local fire department, and was being used unsupervised because the actor was familiar with it. Both the harness and the rope are now being investigated at the Criminal Institute of Sorocaba.
Some report Klimeck may have gotten material from his clothes caught on the harness cord when he jumped from a ladder during the scene.
In an interview with TV Record, Luiz Carlos Rosner, a nearby sandwich vendor, described his encounter with one of Klimeck’s castmates.
"One of the actors came over to me, desperate, explaining there was someone unconscious hanging from the rope and that he wanted to cut it," recalled Rosner. "I was a little worried about giving him a knife in the middle of the crowd."
Klimeck was buried Itarare on Monday, April 23.
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