Neil Fingleton, the man behind Doctor Who‘s Fisher King alien mask, has passed away at the age of 36.
Named the United Kingdom’s tallest man in 2007, Fingleton died of a reported heart attack, according to BBC News.
Standing at 7 feet 7.56 inches, the Englishman as a teenager moved to the US, where he helped the Holy Name Central Catholic High School basketball team earn the Central Massachusetts Division title in 2000.
He moved on to play semi-professionally for the ABA (American Basketball Association), NBA, English Basketball League, and Liga ACB (Spanish basketball league). An injury forced him into retirement in 2007.
“I have played professionally in Greece, Italy, [and] Spain,” Fingleton said in a Guinness World Records statement. “Now I am concentrating on acting and trying to move to LA soon to jump in with both feet so to speak.”
The career change panned out, and the athlete-cum-actor appeared in 2011’s X-Men: FIrst Class (as “Russian General’s Bodyguard 1”), 2013’s 47 Ronin (as “Lovecraftian Samurai”), and 2015’s Jupiter Ascending (credited as “Sargorn Fight Sequence”).
Fingleton also found success back in the UK, where he portrayed Mag the Mighty in a 2014 episode of Game of Thrones (“The Watchers on the Wall”), and hammed it up in the Fisher King costume for the 2015 Doctor Who episode “Before the Flood.”
The character—an alien warlord with a twisted plan to conquer Earth—is represented by not one man, but three: Fingleton as the physically imposing beast, Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead) as the haunting voice, and Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor as its “roar.”
The BBC’s official Doctor Who Twitter account paid tribute to Fingleton this week, sharing a behind-the-scenes photo of the towering actor leaning against the TARDIS with Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi (himself 6 feet tall).
The Whoniverse also recently lost John Hurt, known for roles in Midnight Express, Alien, The Elephant Man, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and, of course, Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special. The legendary British actor died in January, three days after his 77th birthday, following his fight with pancreatic cancer.