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Neil Fingleton (1980 - 2017)

Getty / Jed Jacobsohn

Neil Fingleton (1980 - 2017)

Neil Fingleton, the British-born professional basketball player turned "Game of Thrones" actor, died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 36.

The 7-foot-7 Fingleton, who reportedly died of heart failure, played Mag the Mighty on the hit fantasy series.
Fingleton was among the 25 tallest men in the world.

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He was born Dec. 18, 1980, in Durham, England. He grew up in Durham and moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, during his mid-teens. After graduating from high school in 2000, he played briefly at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.

His professional basketball debut occurred in 2004 when he played with the Boston Frenzy of the American Basketball Association. He also played professionally in Greece, Italy, and Spain. By 2007, however, injuries prompted his decision to retire from pro basketball to pursue an acting career.

In addition to the TV series "Game of Thrones," he appeared in films including "417 Ronin" and "X-Men: First Class." He also appeared on the TV show "Doctor Who."

On the Guinness World Records website, Fingleton noted that he was one of three tall siblings.

"I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember," he said.

"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."

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