Dave Legeno, Harry Potter

Warner Bros./YouTube

UPDATE: The Inyo County Coroner tells E! News that an autopsy was completed and cause of death was due to the heat.

Dave Legeno, who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in three Harry Potter movies, has died at age 50.

The British actor's body was found in Death Valley in California on Sunday, July 6, police said in a statement. He had been hiking in the area, the hottest and driest place on Earth. Temperatures there have surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in recent days.

Police said another hiker, who was hiking with a friend and did not know Legeno, had reported the discovery of human remains. Authorities located the body and had it airlifted by helicopter. The man was later identified as the actor.

"It appears that Legeno died of heat related issues, but the Inyo County Coroner will determine the final cause of death," police said. "There are no signs of foul play."

Legeno is survived by an adult daughter, according to the UK newspaper The Daily Mail.

Legeno, a 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pound former wrestler and cage fighter who often went by the nickname Death Wish, made his onscreen acting debut in Guy Ritchie's hit 2000 movie Snatch, which also starred Brad Pitt.

He later appeared on British shows such as The Bill and EastEnders and in movies such as Batman Begins, playing a League of Shadows warrior, before filming his villain role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the two-part Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the sixth, seventh and final installments in the hit series.

He also played Broch in the 2012 film Snow White and the Huntsman, which starred Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth. Legeno had recently finished two acting projects, including the movie The Last Knights, with Morgan Freeman, and was about to start another film prior to his death.

Dave Legeno


When asked in 2006 about his career switch from fighting to acting, which he did in his late 30s, he told the UK newspaper Metro, "It's something I always wanted to do."

"I remember I was nine years old and thumbed through the complete works of Shakespeare and found the opening speech from Richard III," he said. "I probably didn't understand a great deal of it but I found the words magical and remember sitting there thinking: ‘What am I doing reading Shakespeare? I'm only nine' but I was transfixed."

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