Harry Potter actor found in Death Valley

David Legeno, 50, the British movie actor best known as Harry Potter’s lycanthrope nemesis Fenrir Greyback, is dead following a desert hiking outing.

The British actor who appeared in the Harry Potter film series has been found dead in a remote part of California's Death Valley
The British actor who appeared in the Harry Potter film series has been found dead in a remote part of California's Death Valley

Dave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter books, has died while hiking in California, the US police have confirmed.

A pair of hikers discovered the 50-year-old in a remote part of the Death Valley in the early hours of last Sunday, the Inyo County Sheriff said. His death was confirmed by his management on Friday.

Police believe Legeno, who was also a mixed martial arts fighter, died of heat-related issues, but added that the Inyo County Coroner will determine the final cause of death.

A helicopter was sent out at the time to locate and retrieve his body. "There are no signs of foul play," a sheriff's department spokesman said.

A former bouncer, with experience in wrestling and boxing, Legeno took up professional mixed-martial arts at age 42 and adopted the ring name of The Enforcer.

He parlayed his fighting skills and imposing body into a movie career, landing bit parts as tough guys in such films as Guy Ritchie’s Snatch (2000) and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) before scoring the Potter role, which stretched over the franchise’s final three films.

Greyback, the vicious Voldemort-following werewolf, first terrorized Hogwarts in 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before being defeated by Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom in the climactic battle of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Legeno, whose credits also included Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Snow White and the Huntsman, is survived by a daughter.

Those who worked with the actor and former cage-fighter during his varied career paid tribute to him on social media.

Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, wrote on Twitter: "Gutted to hear the sad news about Dave Legeno. He was a true Big, Friendly, Gentleman. Was a pleasure every time we met #BFG #DaveLegeno."

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