The Des Moines Police Department in Washington state found Mantenuto dead in his car on Monday afternoon, ABC's WCVB reports. Mantenuto's passing was apparently a death by suicide, as he suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Miracle was Mantenuto's breakout role. Before starring in the movie, Mantenuto played college hockey at the University of Maine. The role was a perfect fit for him — in addition to his hockey background, Mantenuto majored in theater.
Miracle told the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and its surprising victory over the Soviet Union's hockey team. Mantenuto played O'Callahan, a defenseman on the team. Kurt Russell also starred in Miracle, playing coach Herb Brooks. O'Callahan himself spoke highly of Mantenuto's portrayal of him, telling Irish America in 2007 that "all the actors did great, and they were really into it."
After Miracle, Mantenuto acted in 2006's Dirtbags and 2008's Surfer, Dude. He went on to join the Army after leaving acting behind.
"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," read a press release from Col. Guillaume Beaurpere, who commanded the U.S. Army's First Special Forces Group unit to which Mantenuto belonged. Beaurpere was the one to announce Mantenuto's death. The press release was published on the unit's Facebook page on Wednesday.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.