Veteran character actor Frank McRae dies at 80

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WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 13:   Actor/Athlete Frank McRae attends the
Frank McRae has died after suffering a heart attack. (Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Veteran character actor Frank McRae, who appeared in the James Bond film Licence To Kill, has died at the age of 80 after suffering a heart attack.

The US film and TV star passed away in California on 29 April, his daughter-in-law confirmed to Variety.

McRae was initially known for playing in the NFL but made the move to Hollywood with roles in films such as Hard Times, Rocky II, Paradise Alley and 48 Hours and became known as a character actor.

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In 1989, he appeared alongside then-007 Timothy Dalton as Sharkey in Licence To Kill and he shared the screen with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1993’s Last Action Hero.

Frank McRae laying in bed in a scene from the film 'Paradise Alley', 1978. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)
Frank McRae in the film 'Paradise Alley'. (Universal/Getty Images)

More recent projects include the 2005 and 2006 television dramas Love's Long Journey and Love’s Abiding Joy.

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Fans have paid tribute on social media following news of McRae’s death and a message posted by the official James Bond Twitter said: “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.”

One person said McRae was in some of their favourite childhood films, calling the actor “a giant man with a giant heart”.

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“Such a wonderful actor who elevated every scene & movie he appeared in,” said another, calling the actor "irreplaceable".

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“Sad to hear Frank McRae has passed away,” posted one fan. 

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“His character Sharkey was one of the highlights of Licence to Kill; charismatic and provided great comic relief.”

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McRae also appeared in several television shows during his career, including Magnum, ER and Hill Street Blues.

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