‘Game Of Thrones’ Stars Who’ve Died In Real Life: Diana Rigg, Max Von Sydow, & More

A handful of actors from the popular HBO series have passed away since starring in the show. Find out more about the stars who have died in real life.

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Game Of Thrones rose to be one of the most popular TV series of all time. Many years after the original A Song of Ice And Fire books were first released, the show premiered in 2011 and rapidly became one of the highest-rated dramas ever. Fans quickly grew attached to the wide-ranging ensemble, including Peter Dinklage, Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, and many more.

Through the show’s eight seasons and since the final episode aired in 2019, a few actors, such as Diana Rigg, Peter Vaughan, and more have sadly passed away. With the premiere of House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones universe will continue to expand, but some of the series’ stars will not be able to see what it may become. Here, we remember some of the actors from the show who have sadly passed on.

Diana Rigg

Diana was beloved as Olenna. (Niviere David/ABACAPRESS.COM/Shutterstock/Helen Sloan/HBO)

There are so many memorable women throughout Game of Thrones, and Diana became one of the most iconic when she made her debut as Olenna Tyrell in 2013. She was the House Tyrell matriarch from seasons three to seven when her character was killed off by poisoning. Diana sadly passed away in September 2020 at 82 years old, following a battle with cancer.

Her daughter Rachael Stirling shared the news of her death in a statement. “My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family,” she said. “he died of cancer diagnosed in March, and spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession. I will miss her beyond words.”

An iconic actress long before joining the Game of Thrones franchise, Diana was also notably a star of the 60s British TV show The Avengers, and she also played James Bond’s wife in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, as well as many other roles. She won an Emmy in 1997 for her portrayal of Mrs. Danvers in the mini-series Rebecca. 

Max von Sydow

Max earned an Emmy nomination for his performance on ‘GoT.’ (Jim Smeal/Shutterstock/Macall B. Polay/HBO)

Max von Sydow was only briefly in Game of Thrones, but he was easily one of the biggest standout performances. The Swedish-French actor played the Three-Eyed-Raven, who Bran Stark sees in his dreams. The guest-starring role earned him an Outstanding Guest Actor in a drama series in 2011. He died in March 2020 at age 90.

Max had an expansive and impressive career as an actor. He’s perhaps most well-known for his role as a knight who plays a game of chess against Death in Ingar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. He was nominated for two Oscars for leading actor in Pelle eroberen in 1989 and then for supporting in 2012 for Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close. Some of his other major roles included Flash Gordon, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Minority Report.

Peter Vaughan

Peter was a character actor who had over 200 acting credits when he died. (Mike Webster/Shutterstock/Helen Sloan/HBO)

Peter Vaughan was a beloved actor during the first five seasons of Game of Thrones. He played the blind Night Watch member Maester Aemon, who was a kind and guiding character to Jon Snow. Peter himself was partially blind in his later career His role on the HBO series was his final performance. He died at 93 of natural causes in December 2016. “He died peacefully with his family around him,” his rep told the BBC at the time.

While Game of Thrones was his last appearance, Peter was a legendary character actor with over 200 credits dating as far back as 1954 listed on his IMDb page. Some of his other major film roles included appearances in Straw Dogs, Brazil, Death at a Funeral, and Time Bandits.

Neil Fingleton

Neil played Mag the Mighty and was the tallest British man. (RH5/ZOB/WENN/Newscom/MEGA)

Neil Fingleton wasn’t a regular on Game of Thrones, but he made three appearances on the show as the giant Mag The  Mighty. The role was fitting for him, as he was Britain’s tallest man during his life. A representative said that he died from heart failure at 36 in February 2017, per Deadline“Sadly it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton Britain’s Tallest man passed away on Saturday,” The Tall Persons Club said in a statement on Facebook. “Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.”

Standing at 7’7″, Neil had varied careers throughout his life before his death at a young age. He played college basketball at UNC Chapel Hill and College of the Holy Cross, before a brief stint in the ABA, which is a semi-professional league. After his time in the United States, he returned to the UK to play basketball and also played in Spain.

After his basketball career, Neil began acting with small roles in X-Men: First Class and 47 Ronan. He also notably performed stunts and motion capture for the Ultron Character in Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015.

Roy Dotrice

Not only did Roy appear in the show, but he also narrated the audiobooks. ( Republic Pictures Corp. / Everett Collection)

Guinness World Record-holding actor Roy Dotrice made his final acting appearances in 2 episodes of Game of Thrones, where he played the Head of the Alchemists’ Guild Hallyne. While his role in the TV series may have been small, Roy was a major part in the book’s fame. He was the audiobook narrator for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, which earned him a Guinness World  Record for most character voices in an audiobook. Later in his career, he stepped away from the voice work and Julian Glover took his place. Roy died at 94 in October 2017, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Some of Roy’s other notable roles included playing the father in the Beauty and the Beast TV series, which aired from 1987 to 1990, and The Cutting Edge. Perhaps his biggest role though was playing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s father Leopold in the classic biopic Amadeus.

B.J. Hogg

B.J. Hogg made a one-off appearance as the knight Addam Marbrand in the first season of the fantasy series. The Northern Irish actor died in his home at 65-years-old in April 2020, per BBCOther than the lone appearance on Game of Thrones, B.J. was best known for his role on the sitcom Give My Head Peace. He also made appearances in a few other film projects such as Hunger and Your Highness.

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