Updated Thursday, February 22, 2024-07:24

Paul D'Amato

, the actor who inspired the well-known character of


in the X-men comics, died this Monday at his home in

East Brookfield

, Massachusetts, due to a brain disease called progressive supranuclear palsy, according to ' The Hollywood Reporter'.

D'Amato had been fighting this rare disease for more than four years.

He was also known for playing a jaded Vietnam veteran in the 1978 film, 'Deer Hunter', opposite

Robert De Niro


Although he also played a variety of characters in the television police drama 'Law and Order'.

His fiancée

Marina Re

told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor was the "most wonderful, sweetest guy" who fought "very hard" against his illness.

Paul's co-star in the 1977 ice hockey comedy-drama 'Slap Shot,'

Steve Carlson

, also confirmed the news of his death in a post on "deepest condolences to family, friends and actors."

It was the late actor's performance as



in 'Slap Shot', which also starred Paul Newman, which inspired the X-Men comic book character Wolverine.


John Byrne

said of the actor: "He just had that look. He had crazy eyes. And that's what Wolverine needs to have."

In his later years, Paul worked as a boot fitter at a Vermont

ski shop


Born in Worcester and later raised in Spencer, Massachusetts, he began working as a stagehand when he was about 14 years old, which inspired him to become an actor.

He was an athlete and actor and appeared in theater productions and on the ice hockey team while attending

Emerson College


Paul also appeared in a number of charity golf tournaments and sports meets, including the Enfield tournament, in which he played for about 10 years and raised funds for scholarships.