Frank McRae, best known for his roles in "James Bond" and "Last Action Hero," has died. He was 80.
The actor's daughter-in-law confirmed to Variety he died in Santa Monica, California, on April 29 from a heart attack.
The James Bond franchise also shared the news on Twitter.
"We are sorry to hear that Frank McRae, who played Sharkey in Licence To Kill, has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends," the tweet read.
Frank McRae was first an NFL player before he became an actor. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, he was a star high school athlete who went on to briefly play defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams before turning his sights to show business. Over the course of his decades-long career, McRae appeared in over 40 movies. Because of his tall frame (McRae stood 6 feet, 6 inches tall), he was often cast as a tough guy.
He acted alongside Sylvester Stallone in several movies in the '70s and '80s, including "F.I.S.T.," "Paradise Alley," "Lock Up," and "Rocky II." He also landed a part in 1973's "Dillinger" by standing in a production executive's parking space until he was granted a meeting, according to IMDB.
Then, in 1989, he was cast in one of his most memorable roles, as Bond's friend Sharkey in "Licence to Kill." He went on to feature in comedies like "National Lampoon's Vacation," and "Used Cars," as well as 1993's blockbusters, "Last Action Hero" and "Loaded Weapon 1."
McRae enjoyed a fruitful career, but in a 2014 interview with "The Actor's Journey" he admitted it took hard work to get there.
"You have to keep dreaming that dream," he said. "You just can't say 'I want to learn all I can from high school and then this is going to catapult me into becoming a big star. The majority of people, it takes years of hard work, it takes years of dedication, it takes years of rejection, believe me, a lot of rejection."
McRae added, it took self-belief in order to succeed.
"You have to believe in yourself, you have to keep going when the door closes. You have to find out how to open the door again," he continued. "If you cannot open that door then you must find another door to open. But constantly keep knocking on the door, keep knocking on the door. And one day you're able to hit the door and you're able to knock it down. You walk in and, when you go in, you must be prepared because that might be the only break that you will ever get."
The late actor is survived by his son Marcellus and his grandchildren Camden, Jensen, and Holden.
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