Neil Fingleton, the 7-feet and 7-inches tall British actor, who played the role of the giant Mag the Mighty in Game of Thrones, has died of heart failure, aged only 36.
Fingleton was born in County Durham, in north east England, according to the Daily Mail. At 16, he moved to the U.S. where he attended the Holy Name Central Catholic High School in Massachusetts. He later graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2004, with a history degree.
After he graduated from college, he took on a career as a professional basketball player and played in many European countries, including Spain, Italy, Greece and his native England. He also played in China.
But he later switched from playing basketball professionally to acting.
Neil Fingleton, who played the giant named Mag the Mighty, has sadly passed away at the age of 36. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/NgcdaYRd5M
— Jon Snow (@LordSnow) February 26, 2017
Fingleton played important roles in several films and TV series. He appeared as the giant Mag the Mighty in the ninth episode of Season 4 of the HBO TV series Game of Thrones, titled “The Watchers on the Wall.”
Mag the Mighty broke into the tunnel beneath the Wall and was killed by the Night’s Watch.
— ComicBookCast (@ComicBookCast) February 26, 2017
In 2015, he appeared as the villain the Fisher King in BBC’s TV series Doctor Who.
Fans took to social media to express their sorrow at the passing of the 36-year-old named Britain’s tallest man in 2007 by Guinness World Records.
“Extremely saddened to learn that #NeilFingleton has passed away, thoughts go with his family and friends in this sad time.”
“R.I.P Neil Fingleton you will be sadly missed. Your watch has now ended my friend.”
“Rip to the giant that is Neil Fingleton, Mag the Mighty, Game of Thrones, rest in peace mate, gutted.”
— E! News (@enews) February 26, 2017
“Very sad to hear of the tragic passing of Neil Fingleton. He followed his dreams. Rest in peace,” Game of Thrones co-star Ian Whyte tweeted.
“Sadly, it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton Britain’s Tallest man passed away on Saturday,” reads a post to the Facebook group The Tall Persons Club, according to the Guardian.
“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.”
— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) February 26, 2017
Fingleton, who weighed 14 lbs at birth and reached a towering height of 7 feet by age 11, once described himself as a “happy go lucky” person who was never bothered by his unusual height.
Guinness World Records named him the tallest man in Britain in 2007, dethroning Christopher Greener, who stood over 7 feet 6 inches tall. He was also ranked among the tallest 25 in the world.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 26, 2017
The world’s tallest man is currently 8 feet 3 inches tall Sultan Kosen from Turkey.
“I am one of three siblings — my sister who is 6ft 3in is the eldest at 30, my brother is 6ft 8in who is 29 and I am 7ft 7in at 26,” he said in an interview with Guinness World Records in 2006. “My mother is 6ft and my father was also.”
“My great grandfather was 6ft 8in. I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember,” he continued.
“My height really took off when I reached 11 and was touching 7 foot. By the time I was 16 I was 7ft 5in and stopping growing at 18 when I was 7ft 7.56 in.”
“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.”
— Matthew Rose (@rose962_matt) February 25, 2017
But he admitted that he causes a stir wherever he goes, with people pulling out their cameras and asking “What’s the weather like up there?”
Medical experts believe that being tall comes with some health risks. It is claimed that tall people suffer a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer. They are also more likely to develop spinal problems, such as scoliosis. But there is no evidence that they suffer a higher incidence of cardiovascular ailments, such as stroke or heart failure.
On the contrary, some researchers claim that shorter people have a higher incidence of stroke and heart failure.
[Featured Image by New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images]