Dimitri Diatchenko, 'Sons of Anarchy', 'Chernobyl Diaries' Actor, Cause of Death Revealed

Dimitri Diatchenko, famous for his roles in Chernobyl Diaries and Sons of Anarchy, died from accidental fentanyl and valium overdose, according to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Daytona Beach, Florida. Diatchenko's official cause of death is listed as a combination of fentanyl and diazepam toxicity. He also suffered from cardiomegaly — an enlarged heart — and had moderate coronary artery disease.

The report, according to TMZ, also lists the cause of death as an accident following following "illicit drug abuse with prescription drug use." Notably, the report also says Diatchenko, who was 52 at the time of his death, "sustained injury by electrocution [at 220 volts] while at work several days prior to being found dead at his home." The medical examiner ultimately excluded a delayed arrhythmia from the electrical shock as a cause of death. The report stated he had long-standing prescriptions for hydrocodone and diazepam, but did not confirm a fentanyl prescription.

As previously reported, Diatchenko died suddenly in April in Daytona Beach, Florida. His family was worried about him after not hearing from him for several days. Diatchenko's agent, Roger Paul, confirmed his death at the time and said it could have had to do with an electrical shock he got while working days earlier.

A San Francisco native, Diatchenko landed a number of high-profile roles throughout his career, including on shows like How I Met Your Mother, Bones and Criminal Minds. One of his most well known was as the head Russian in Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy. The first-generation American, whose mother was Greek and Swedish but whose father came from Ukraine, had a natural talent for playing Russian characters and did so in projects like Get Smart, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Chernobyl Diaries. His performance in the latter earned him significant critical praise.


Born in 1968, Diatchenko started studying classical guitar at the age of 7 and eventually earned his Masters Degree in Music from Florida State University in 1996. The next year, he landed his first big-screen role as a trainee in director Ridley Scott's military drama, G.I. Jane starring Demi Moore. He continued to teach classical guitar well into his acting career and played both solo and band gigs around the Los Angeles area.

The actor was survived by siblings, nieces and nephews. His family asked at the time of his death that anyone wishing to send flowers instead make a donation to Love Thy Neighbor International.