Society

Actor Neil Fingleton Dies Of Heart Failure At 36 (Photos)

| by Jonathan Constante

"Game of Thrones" actor Neil Fingleton, Britain's tallest man, has died of heart failure at age 36.

The 7-foot-7 professional basketball player-turned-actor suffered fatal heart failure on Feb. 25, the Daily Mail reported.

Fingleton, who was born in County Durham, England, and later moved to the United States at age 16, was best known for his role as giant Mag The Mighty in the HBO hit series "Game of Thrones." Fingleton also played the villain The Fisher King in BBC's "Doctor Who" in 2015.

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Before acting, Fingleton studied at the University of North Carolina on a basketball scholarship. He went on to play professionally in China, Spain, Italy and England.

Fans paid tribute to the actor on social media.

"Extremely saddened to learn that [Neil Fingleton] has passed away, thoughts go with his family and friends in this sad time," tweeted one fan.

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"Sadly it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton Britain's Tallest man passed away on Saturday," wrote Facebook group The Tall Persons Club. "Neil started off in basketball in the USA before becoming a 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."

Fingleton, who was born weighing 14 pounds, described himself as a "happy go lucky guy." He once said his height didn't bother him, and said he's heard the joke "what's the weather like up there?" a million times.

"I do cause a bit of a stir wherever I go, with people pulling out cameras, but it doesn't bother me," Fingleton said during a 2007 interview with a local Durham newspaper, NME reported. "I've never been embarrassed about my height and I actually like the size I am. It's something unique and original."

He said friends and family had never made an issue of his height and that he was not self-conscious.

Fingleton was confirmed as Britain's tallest man in 2007. He was also confirmed as being among the tallest 25 men in the world. He issued a statement on the Guinness World Records website that year:

I am one of three siblings -- my sister who is 6ft3in is the eldest at 30, my brother is 6ft8in who is 29 and I am 7ft7in at 26... my mother is 6ft and my father was also.

My great grandfather was 6ft8in. I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember. My height really took off when I reached 11 and was touching 7 foot. By the time I was 16 I was 7ft5in and stopping growing at 18 when I was 7ft7.56'.

I have never been self conscious about my height. I am more conscious of going fat and bald so that should tell you. I never let my height play a negative part in my life.

I always do what I want, some tall people may be restricted as they are constantly stared at or people ask the same questions over and over. This is the only bad thing about being tall – the stupid remarks and questions. Other than that, being tall is great.

I have been doing acting work since my basketball career finished. I spent 8 years in the USA attending High School and College. I graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2004 with a degree in History.

I have played professionally in Greece, Italy, Spain. Now I am concentrating on acting and trying to move to LA soon to jump in with both feet so to speak.

 

Sources: Daily Mail, Matthew Rose/Twitter, Tall Persons Club/Facebook, NME / Photo credit: PA via ITV, Sky via Daily Mail, North News & Pictures LTD via Daily Mail

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