Celebrated actor Mark Chamberlin was found lying next to his bike on Dexter Ave early Sunday, but friends and family are still struggling to figure out what happened. According to the Seattle Times, it is still not clear what caused him to fall from his bike. SPD was not called and is not investigating at this time. The fire department responded and took him to the hospital, where he stayed until Tuesday.
SFD real time 911 data shows two emergency calls around 10 a.m. to the intersection of Dexter Ave N and Dexter Way N, which is near the top of the hill before it curves down toward the Fremont Bridge. It is not yet clear which direction he was traveling (UPDATE: Commenter Alix says Mr. Chamberlin was further down the hill toward the Fremont Bridge and appeared to be headed down the hill. See comment below for more details). Construction began earlier this month on a major road project to repave and redesign Dexter Ave N. There is no indication that construction was a factor in this incident.
Chamberlin was about to be released from the hospital Tuesday when he died. From Seattle Times:
Peter Jacobs, a friend of Chamberlin’s who is also an actor, said Chamberlin got out of his hospital bed, said he felt unwell and died.
“Mark was a guy who a lot of people will say he was their closest friend,” said Jacobs, who had known him since 1995. “He was always willing to help with advice, anything you needed. He was one of the best people you know.”
The Settle theater scene is in morning for the loss of the Phinney Ridge actor, who recently starred in Taproot Theatre’s production of The Odyssey. Chamberlin was also President of the Board of the ALS Association’s Evergreen Chapter. Commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” ALS became a cause for Chamberlin after a friend died of the disease.
Chamberlin made an 85-mile bike ride every year to raise money for ALS research, according to the Times. Friends are raising money to install bike racks outside of Seattle theaters in his honor.
UPDATE 3/28 – Seattle Times reports that an embolism was responsible for Chamberlin’s death.