Carlos Lopez IV, a Cabarrus County native who parlayed a love of the martial arts and of acting into a successful career as a movie stuntman, died early Thursday in a fall at a Portuguese hotel, authorities said.
Lopez, 25, was on vacation in Lisbon with his girlfriend, according to friends and authorities in Portugal.
Police said a preliminary investigation indicated the death was accidental. He may have been trying out a stunt on his own, according to news reports.
Lopez, who graduated from Jay M. Robinson High School and the UNC School of the Arts, appeared in such movies as “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “22 Jump Street” and “Olympus Has Fallen,” and in television shows such as “Banshee,” which was predominantly filmed in the Charlotte area.
Lopez was a second-degree black belt and a member of the North Carolina Stuntmen’s Association.
In a statement issued to NBC News, association director Dale Girard called Lopez “a great friend ... a formidable role model with great respect, discipline and personality. He was very caring, giving and dedicated.”
UNCSA filmmaking school dean Susan Ruskin issued a statement, saying, “There were many of us who were fortunate enough to know the incomparable Carlos Lopez IV. Today, we mourn his loss.”
Police in Lisbon have not released details of the fatal fall, but some Portuguese news outlets reported that Lopez might have been trying a jump outside his fourth-story porch at the Goodnight Hostel.
A family member told the Observer on Sunday that there was no evidence that Lopez was involved in a risky jump, but there has been no explanation as to what caused him to fall four stories.
Lopez came from an athletic family.
His grandfather, Bill Smith, was a coach and manager in the Toronto Blue Jays’ baseball organization. His father, Carlos III, played football at the University of Virginia. And a sister, Lauren, was an all-conference soccer player at UNC Greensboro.
Most recently, Lopez had been working in a film titled “The Nest,” starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. That movie is tentatively scheduled for release in late 2015.
A memorial service for Lopez was held Sunday afternoon at First Presbyterian Church in Concord. He is survived by his parents, Carlos III and Julie, and sisters Erin Lopez and Lauren Lopez Salazar.