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It's been a devastating weekend for the entertainment community in terms of celebrity deaths, and we recently learned that 36-year-old Game of Thrones actor Neil Fingleton has died. The actor, who once held the record as Britain's tallest man, died on Saturday, February 25. May he rest in peace, a free folk forever.
News broke on Sunday that the actor had passed away, with The Mirror revealing his cause of death was heart failure.
At 7'7," Neil Fingleton stood out in public, but also on the big and small screen. On Game of Thrones in particular, he memorably played Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg, otherwise known as Mag The Mighty. The character was the leader of the giants and a wildling on the HBO series who was involved with the storm against Castle Black and who was killed during the subsequent battle, but not before he took out Grenn and several other members of the Night's Watch.
The actor also took roles on the big screen, including X-Men: First Class and 47 Ronin. In addition, he played Fisher King in a 2015 episode of Doctor Who.
Outside of the world of acting, Neil Fingleton was known for being very tall, holding records for his height and remaining among the 25 tallest people in the world at the time of his death. He used his height to his advantage, moving to the U.S. to play basketball in college at the University of North Carolina and Holy Cross. He later played ball professionally in Europe, in countries including Spain, England, Italy, China and Greece. Following his basketball career, he got into acting.
Still, it was probably Game of Thrones that the actor was most known for, despite only appearing in Season 4 of the popular HBO drama. Although getting killed off the show is a frequent hazard of acting on Game of Thrones, we haven't had to deal with the loss of very many of the show's actors in real life. Peter Vaughan was a memorable exception, and it's devastating to lose someone like Neil Fingleton at such a young age. Game of Thrones actor Ian Whye, who also played a giant, Wun Wun, on the fantasy drama, shared this kind post regarding the loss of Fingleton.
Our thoughts go out to Neil Fingleton's family and friends as well as all the fans who avidly follow the HBO show.