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News: Actor Frank McRae dies, aged 77

The former NFL star turned actor, Frank McRae, sadly passed away at the end of April 2021, suffering from a fatal heart-attack. A gentle giant on and off screen, he lent his warmth and talent to a number of high calibre films and TV shows across 4 decades.

Starting his career as an NFL defence player with the Chicago Bears across 1967, it didn't take long for his attention to turn to acting thanks to his inimitable stature and style on screen. A man with great physique and screen magnetism, he was cast in a number of early supporting roles across crime thrillers, often playing heavies or sports coaches.

His first major role was opposite Sylvester Stallone in 1978s F.I.S.T., and it would be the first of four major collaborations with Stallone including Paradise Alley, Rocky II and Lock Up.

McRae also starred in popular movies such as 48 Hrs., *batteries not included, National Lampoon's Vacation and Loaded Weapon 1

Often playing police captains or the gentle giant, many of his roles in classic films opposite stars like Eddie Murphy, Jessica Tandy and Samuel L. Jackson made McRae recognised with tongue-in-cheek comedy and memorable scenes up against these Hollywood stars. His no-nonsense characters were often the highlights of these films when he didn't hold back!

However it would be in the 1989 James Bond adventure Licence to Kill opposite Timothy Dalton that McRae would cement international fame and recognition, playing Bond's American contact Sharkey who is an unwavering ally to 007, but unfortunately meets a grizzly end at the ends of evil villain Franz Sanchez.

Years later, he starred in the 1993 fantasy action film Last Action Hero with Arnold Schwarzenegger as fast talking Lieutenant Dekker. These supporting roles became firm fan favourites and helped gain McRae much acclaim and fan support.

He continued to act in TV and films across the next few years, and always remained a strong ambassador for sports, the film industry and supporting new and emerging talent in both fields.

His film career was a short and sweet one, but the roles he played are nothing but memorable and always lend to heart-warming, comical and intense moments on screen in big name blockbusters with big name stars.

Frank McRae


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