The hearts of Disney fans around the world are heavy today as news breaks that Miracle star Michael Mantenuto has passed away.
Michael starred in the 2004 Disney movie Miracle where he played the character, Jack O'Callahan. The film followed Jack and several other great hockey players that came from around the United States who were trying to compete for a spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Not only did the movie showcase Michael's hockey skills, it also depicted the determination, resilience, and friendship that comes hand in hand with athletes at this level of competition.
Before the movie, Michael was a star hockey player at the University of Maine. After the flick wrapped, Michael reportedly acted in two others including Dirt Bags and Surfer, Dude alongside Matthew McConaughey.
However, Michael didn't continue acting. He left the spotlight and then went on to enlist in the army and joined the Special Forces. It was his commander, Col. Guillaume Beaurpere, that announced his death.
A press release about Michael's death stated, "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."
TMZ is reporting that Michael was found in his car by police in Washington State. The 35-year-old former Disney star allegedly committed suicide. There's very little details about what led up to this event and what Michael has been doing recently.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and fans at the very difficult time.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, there are many resources available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text Crisis Text Line at 741-741.