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Ex 'Gladiators' Star Strange Metal Taste Hours Before Death

EXCLUSIVE

0301-lee-reherman-GETTY-02Lee Reherman -- aka Hawk -- had a strange, metallic taste in his mouth just hours before his death, sources close to the former "American Gladiators" actor tell TMZ.

We're told Lee's girlfriend urged him to go to the ER late Monday night when he began complaining about the metal-y taste. 

A rep for Lee confirms he declined to seek medical attention, hoping to sleep it off. His girlfriend left the room to take a shower later that night and when she came back into the room, Lee had passed.

The actor's death seemed to come from out of the blue. We're told he'd been feeling great after his recent hip surgery and even began hitting the gym again.  

The cause of death is undetermined. The metallic taste in his mouth could come from a variety of causes, ranging from sinus infection to stroke. 

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