'Miracle' star Michael Mantenuto found dead at 35

Actor Michael Mantenuto best known for his role as Jack O'Callahan in Disney's Miracle was found dead in his car on Monday, April 24, due to an apparent suicide. He was 35.

The King County medical examiner's office told People that he was found Monday afternoon. His death was ruled a suicide after he was found having sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mantenuto starred in the iconic 2004 sports film Miracle alongside Kurt Russell. The film chronicles the true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won gold, defeating the Soviet Union in the medal match. Mantenuto played star defensemen, Jack O'Callahan.

Following Miracle, Mantenuto nabbed roles in the 2006 TV movie Dirtbags and 2008 comedy Surfer, Dude. However, he eventually left the field of acting and enlisted in the army.

Prior to his role in Miracle, Mantenuto was a hockey player in his hometown of Holliston, Massachusetts and played Division I hockey at the University of Maine.

In an interview about the film with The Boston Globe Mantenuto explained, “With this movie, I was able to combine the different parts of my life that were important to me. To be able to combine the acting, all the expression, the hockey and be able to segue from one career that I loved so much to another where I wanted my life to go … It was pretty special.”

In a statement, Army First Special Forces unit commander Col. Guillaume Beaurpere 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.”

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