Retired fighter, Harry Potter actor Dave Legeno found dead in desert

Friday, July 11, 2014

Retired British MMA heavyweight and actor in the final three Harry Potter movies Dave Legeno, 50, was found dead in Death Valley, Calif.

According to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, Legeno's remains were found by a pair of hikers in a remote wash below Manly Beacon, west of Zabriskie Point in Death Valley on Sunday.

Legeno had been hiking in the desert.

Foul play is not suspected. The cause of death is believed to be heat related.

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

Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported air temperature in the world, at 134 °F.

Legeno began his mixed martial arts career at age 42 in England's storied Cage Rage promotion, where he remained until his retirement some two years later. He began 0-3, and then turned things around 100%, with wins over Kimo Leopoldo, Alan Murdock, Dan Severn, and Herb Dean.

Legeno also enjoyed a successful career in television and film, most notably playing the werewold Fenrir Greyback in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2. The films producers asked him to cease fighting while shooting.

He had just finished production for “The Last Knights” starring Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen.

Legeno leaves behind a daughter Wendy, 23.

“I used to read her the Potter books when she was young and so now she’s a beautiful woman it was wonderful to take her to the premiere,” he said in 2009. “We were picked up in a limo and walked up the red carpet together.”