Mike Mitchell, Actor Known for ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Braveheart,’ Dies at 65

by Emily Morgan

Veteran actor Mike Mitchell, who appeared in blockbuster films like Gladiator and Braveheart, has passed away, per reports from TMZ. 

According to Mitchell’s rep, the actor and bodybuilder died Friday on a boat in Turkey. His family says they believe he died from natural causes, although they have yet to release any specific details. 

Mitchell’s rep stated, “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. 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.”

Mitchell started out as a bodybuilder and rose to the top … he won Mr. Universe along with numerous World Fitness Federation’s Fitness World Championships. He was honored in 2005 in Italy with the Grimek International Award for outstanding contribution to the sport.

Mitchell began his long-winded career as a bodybuilder and quickly climbed to the top as an athlete. He won the Mr. Universe title along with numerous World Fitness Federation Fitness World Championships.

Mitchell kept competing and ultimately won the title of Britain’s Strongest Man. He also won five Masters Mr. World titles along the way. In 2010, the WWF awarded him with the highest honor: the Living Legend Award.

On-screen, he was as equally successful. He got his first big break as an actor in 1994. He was cast in Braveheart because of his imposing physical stature and muscular appearnce. 

Mike Mitchell Remembered as Accomplished Body Builder and Actor

Released on May 24, 1995, Braveheart grossed $75.6 million in the US and grossed $210.4 million worldwide. At the 68th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Effects Editing.

He later appeared in GladiatorThe PlanetOne Day RemovalsCity of Hell, Life on the Line, and a brief appearance as Frank Findlayin Emmerdale.

Mike sadly underwent a severe setback in 2006 after winning his 5th World Fitness title. That year he suffered a heart attack. However, that didn’t keep him from acting. Following the heart attack, he worked alongside Andrew Garfield, Sean Bean, David Morrissey, Peter Mullins, Tara Cardinal, John Henshaw, Billy Murray, Craig Fairbrass, and others. 

More recently, he landed another significant role when he shot the new Corporate Vodafone Commercial and worked on the James Bond franchise film, Skyfall. 

Leading up to his death, he lived on a boat in Turkey with his wife. As a qualified Yacht Skipper, Mitchell regularly lived on his own yacht around the Mediterranean. At the time of his death, he was in pre-production for two films: Blood Island and The Tales of Ravna. 

Mike was 65.