Karm Gilespie had big dreams.
The actor, originally from Ballarat, had small parts in Blue Heelers and The Man From Snowy River, and toured a solo show based on the poetry of Banjo Paterson.
Last week, he was sentenced to death by Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court for attempting to smuggle 7.5 kilograms of methamphetamine out of China in his check-in luggage in December 2013.
Karm Gilespie has been sentenced to death in China. Post continues below video.
Around the time of his arrest, friends of 56-year-old Gilespie began to post on his social media accounts asking him to contact them. Another, a long-time pen pal from the United States, said she knew something was wrong when he didn't follow through on a promise to keep in better contact, made only days before he seemingly disappeared.
For more than six years, Gilespie's whereabouts were unknown.
Before he went missing, Gilespie taught poetry and drama in schools. In 2013, Scotch College in Melbourne wrote about his "ability to mesmerise the Year 8s with his interpretation of Banjo Paterson's works".
Gilespie turned to investing after giving up acting in 2009, and was also involved in motivational speaking and business coaching, according to his LinkedIn profile.
His social media is full of motivational posts and business advice.
"Welcome to 2013. I am planning to make each day count, one step at a time," he wrote to welcome in the new year on January 1, 2013.
In a post on Facebook, Bali-based entrepreneur Roger James Hamilton said he taught Gilespie seven years ago before he suddenly vanished.
"We spent a few years trying to find out how he could disappear so suddenly and so entirely. After that, we resigned ourselves to the idea that he had left because he wanted to start a new life," he wrote.
"Today I heard the news of what had happened to him."