Gladiator Actor Mike Mitchell Dead at 65
Mike Mitchell — an actor featured in acclaimed blockbusters like Gladiator and Braveheart — has died. TMZ first broke the news on Saturday, suggesting the actor died from a heart attack while in Turkey. Mitchell's management team confirmed the news with the tabloid. He was 65.
"It was very hard to believe ... The sudden death of an international actor we managed, an honest person, a real actor, a true friend, my dear friend, has saddened us deeply," Mitchell's manager said in a statement obtained by the site. "I've always been honored to be your manager. I wish patience to you wife, dear Denise Mitchell, and your children. Getting to know you and gaining your friendship is invaluable. Sleep in the lights. RIP."
Prior to the launch of his acting career, Mitchell served as a professional bodybuilder, rising the ranks until he won the world's top powerlifting honors — Mr. Universe. Throughout his lifting career, Mitchell won five separate asters Mr. World titles and in 2010, he was given the World Fitness Federation's Living Legend Award.
His first acting credits came as an extra and stunt worker on Braveheart, a production he was cast in because of his size. He quickly followed that up with Gladiator, Skyfall, and a slew of independent movies. Mitchell increasingly turned to acting after he suffered an initial heart attack in 2006 after winning his fifth Mr. Wrold title.
He's survived by his wife.