British actor Dave Legeno, who played a villain in three of the Harry Potter films, has died while hiking in California’s Death Valley.Police say Legeno, 50, was found by another pair of hikers and that he appeared to have died of “heat-related issues”.
The actor played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in Harry Potter and had roles opposite Brad Pitt in Snatch and Christian Bale in Batman Begins. He was also due to appear in the forthcoming film Sword of Vengeance.
Legeno was also a professional boxer, wrestler and martial artist.
A sheriff’s department spokesman said: “It appears that Legeno died of heat-related issues, but the Inyo County Coroner will determine the final cause of death.
“There are no signs of foul play.”
Fellow Harry Potter star Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, paid tribute to his colleague.
“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,” he wrote.
Felton also posted a picture on Instagram of a publicity poster for the Harry Potter films, saying: “Dave Legeno. It was always a pleasure. He was a great talent with a heart of gold and always had time.”
Death Valley is a basin that lies 282ft below sea level and is the hottest national park in the US.
It is near the border of the states of California and Nevada and covers an area of some 3,000 square miles (7,800 sq km).
Average temperatures in July are around 48C (116F).