Former Major League Baseball player-turned-actor Brad Lesley has died aged 54.

He was rushed to a hospital in Marina del Rey, California on Saturday (27Apr13) and passed away after suffering kidney failure, according to his ex-wife Chiho Svimonoff.

Lesley battled long-term kidney problems and had been living in a nursing home for the past seven months where he was receiving dialysis.

He played for the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers from 1982 to 1985 before moving to Japan's Hankyu Braves, where he was nicknamed The Animal for his aggressive style.

He later became a Japanese Tv star after appearing as a regular on the game show Takeshi's Castle for two seasons, and secured small parts in a slew of sports movies including Mr. Baseball and Little Big League.