Former Disney actor Michael Mantenuto has died, at the age of 35.
Michael was best known for his role in Walt Disney Pictures’ sports biopic ‘Miracle’, in which he appeared opposite Kurt Russell and Patricia Clarkson.
He starred as ice hockey player Jack O’Callahan, who injures himself early on in the film, but ultimately winds up returning to ice rink and playing an important role in the US team’s victory in 1980. This eventually came to be known as the “miracle on ice”.
Prior to landing the role of Jack O’Callahan, Michael had been an ice hockey player himself, which ultimately led to him bagging an audition.
After appearing in ‘Miracle’, he went on to star opposite Matthew McConaughey in ‘Surfer, Dude’, as well as in the 2006 TV movie, ‘Dirtbag’, which co-starred Melissa Joan Hart and Laura Bell Bundy.
However, Michael later decided an acting career wasn’t for him, and chose to enlist in the US military.
He was found dead in his car on Monday (24 April), at Saltwater State park in Seattle, with the King County medical examiner’s office eventually ruling his death had been a suicide.
Colonel Guillaume Beaurpere, commander of the late actor’s First Special Forces Group, broke the tragic news of his death, paying tribute in a statement.
He said: “Those of you that knew Mike will remember him for his passionate love for his family and his commitment to the health of the force.”
Michael is survived by his wife and two children.
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