Actor Neil Fingleton, best known for his roles as Mag the Mighty in Game of Thrones, Fisher King in Doctor Who and as one of the Russian General’s bodyguards in X-Men: First Class has died at the age of 36. Fingleton is believed to have passed away on Saturday, February 25 due to heart failure, in his hometown of Durham, England.
Per The Guardian, a statement on the Tall Persons Club’s Facebook page on Sunday, February 26 said:
“Sadly it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton, Britain’s Tallest Man, passed away on Saturday. Neil became Britain’s Tallest Man in 2007 passing the height of Chris Greener. Neil started off in basketball in the USA before becoming an actor and starring in the X-men first class and also recently in the Game of Thrones. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.”
Sky News also learned from Fingleton’s agent, Kenneth Earle, that the actor had an accident around a year ago when he fell out of bed, which landed him in the hospital for around a week. He later recovered. Earle went on to describe his client as a “gentle giant” who was “very polite, respectful and a nice guy”. There’s no word on whether or not the fall was in any way related to his death.
Fingleton was born on December 18, 1980, in Durham, England and was not only Britain’s Tallest Man but among the 25 tallest men in the world, measuring in at 7 feet, 7.56 inches. At 16-years-old he took part in a basketball camp in Connecticut, before deciding to move to the United States for high school, graduating from Holy Name Central Catholic High School in 2000. As part of the Holy Name Central basketball team, he helped achieve the Central Massachusetts Division I title as well as a berth in the 1999 Massachusetts final game, and a 22-4 record. He debuted professionally in the 2004-05 season with the Boston Frenzy but was waived in December 2004.
Two documentaries were made in the UK about him in 2007, before Fingleton moved into acting, starring in films such as X-Men: First Class (2011) 47 Ronin (2013) and Jupiter Ascending (2015), as well as television shows such as Game of Thrones (2014) and Doctor Who (2015). He also worked as a stunt performer and motion capture actor in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).