In the aftermath of Adan Canto’s death, the 42-year-old actor’s co-stars and colleagues are among those leading tributes for their late friend.
Publicist Jennifer Allen confirmed Wednesday that Canto died on Jan. 8, after battling appendiceal cancer, a diagnosis he kept private.
“Adan had a depth of spirit that few truly knew,” Allen said in a statement to the Associated Press. “Those who glimpsed it were changed forever. He will be greatly missed by so many.”
The Mexican actor was best known for roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Designated Survivor (2016), Agent Game (2022) and The Cleaning Lady (2022), but he also directed his own short films Before Tomorrow and The Shot in 2014 and 2020 respectively.
Canto is survived by his wife Stephanie Ann Canto, and their two children, Roman Alder, 3, and Eve Josephine, 1. On Wednesday, Stephanie posted an image of her and Canto on Instagram, alongside a verse from the bible. “Forever my treasure, Adan, see you soon,” she wrote.
Canto’s loss has been felt by his industry peers, many of whom shared their own posts and statements.
Kiefer Sutherland, who portrayed Tom Kirkman alongside Canto’s character Aaron Shore in TV drama Designated Survivor, said he was “heartbroken” over his co-star’s death. “He was such a wonderful spirit. As an actor his desire to do well, to be great, and then do better, was truly impressive and he will be greatly missed,” Sutherland wrote. “I am also heartbroken for his wife, Steph and his two young children. Adan, may you rest in peace.”
Italia Ricci, who portrayed Canto’s love interest on Designated Survivor, said that she was “lost for words” in an Instagram post featuring herself and Kal Penn posing with Canto in the first of nine images. “He was the strongest person I know in every sense of the word and I am so angry that this happened. No one deserved this less than this sweet, brilliant, kind, and gentle man,” she said of her colleague. She added that she was “heartbroken” for the family.
Penn also shared an Instagram post of him laughing beside Canto, with seven other images of their time together. His caption praised the late actor as “so genuine and warm, immensely talented; such a good person who was simultaneously calm and motivating. And funny. He was very, very funny.” Penn also paid respect to Canto’s wife, children, and family.
Actress Maggie Q, who portrayed Hannah Wells on Designated Survivor, shared a trio of images of Canto on Instagram with the caption: “Beautiful friend… You are the level of person that Hollywood didn’t even deserve.” She also praised his moral compass, adding, “I don’t understand this. Anyone who knew you was a lucky one. That’s all I do know.”
Colleagues who worked with Canto on TV series The Cleaning Lady have also spoken of their grief. Oliver Hudson said: “I only knew Adan for 2 years but it was enough to know what an amazing friend, father and man he was. Wow did he loved [sic] his family. We would spend so much time talking about our kids and what kind of people they might become. I’m truly devastated. Love you, my man.”
Meanwhile Halle Berry honored her X-Men co-star Canto with a brief caption on Instagram. “I don’t have the words just yet… but my dear sweet friend Adan just gained his wings. Forever, forever in my heart,” she wrote.
Canto played a leading role in the 2021 horror film The Devil Below, alongside actor Jonathan Sadowski, who also paid tribute to him on Instagram. “I will always remember playing chess and guitar by a campfire under the Kentucky sky. You made a DAMN FINE Cacio e Pepe. You were a talent that words won’t do justice, and I can’t wrap my head around why you were taken so soon,” the actor wrote. He added that he would miss his friend and hopes he is taken to paradise by angels.
Fox Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, long-term collaborators with Canto, also released a statement marking the actor’s death. “We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Adan Canto. A wonderful actor and dear friend, we were honored to have him as part of the Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment families since his U.S. debut in The Following more than a decade ago,” the statement said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The statement concluded: “Most recently, he lit up the screen in The Cleaning Lady with a powerful performance that showcased his artistry, range, depth and vulnerability. This is an unfathomable loss, and we grieve alongside his wife Stephanie, their children and loved ones. We will miss Adan dearly.”