Adan Canto, Actor in ‘The Cleaning Lady’ and ‘X-Men,’ Dies at 42


Adan Canto, the Mexican actor known for his roles in TV series such as “The Cleaning Lady” and “Designated Survivor” as well as for playing Sunspot in the film “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” died on Monday. He was 42.

His death was confirmed by his publicist, Jennifer Allen, who said the cause was appendiceal cancer. She did not say where he died.

In an acting career that spanned more than a decade, Mr. Canto played a range of roles including a furious criminal hellbent on having control, a poised politician and a fiery comic book hero.

Mr. Canto said in a 2013 interview with Collider that he had “always been fascinated by people, their psychology, what drives them and trying to understand them.”

In “The Cleaning Lady,” which premiered on Fox in 2022, Mr. Canto played the gangster Arman Morales, who recruits a woman, played by Elodie Yung, into his criminal organization after she witnesses a murder. The show is entering its third season this year.

He also played the politician Aaron Shore in “Designated Survivor,” a political drama on ABC that starred Kiefer Sutherland and Maggie Q. In 2014, Mr. Canto starred as the mutant Sunspot in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” his first major film role.

Mr. Canto was born on Dec. 5, 1981, in Ciudad Acuña, a city in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. He told Anthem Magazine in 2022 that at the age of 7, he was an extra in the 1992 movie adaptation of “Like Water for Chocolate,” which had filmed scenes in his hometown.

“I remember it vividly, just the experience of being on set and the creation of a world,” Mr. Canto told the magazine. “The wardrobe, the set design — it was a beautiful thing. But I just never thought I would get to be a part of that world.”

Mr. Canto also grew up in Del Rio, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

His career in entertainment officially began at the age of 16, when he decided to leave home to be a musician in Mexico City, where he would sing at bars and produce songs for TV.

He also found work acting in commercials there; after enough casting directors noticed his abilities, he was cast in the Mexican TV series “Estado de Gracia” in 2009.

“Music, in Mexico, just wasn’t working out,” Mr. Canto said in the interview with Collider. “So I fell into acting, and I just fell in love with it. It was amazing! It was a great safe place to just vent.”

In 2013, he made his acting debut in the United States in the “The Following,” a crime series that starred Kevin Bacon. He also appeared in “Narcos,” “Mixology” and “Blood and Oil.”

Mr. Canto also directed “The Shot,” a short film released in 2020 that won awards at the San Antonio Film Festival, the Los Angeles Movie Awards and the Iowa Independent Film Festival.

In his interview with Anthem Magazine, Mr. Canto said that he had felt a need to artistically express himself through directing.

“I just imagined certain worlds and imagined them in a certain way,” he said.

He met his wife, Stephanie Ann Canto, in Brooklyn in 2012. In addition to Ms. Canto, Mr. Canto is survived by his two children, Roman Alder, 3, and Eve Josephine, 1.



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