In a scene straight out of a movie, former New England Patriots defensive tackle Houston Antwine and wife Evelyn tragically died within 24 hours of each other after long bouts with heart failure and lung cancer, respectively.

Houston Antwine passed away on Monday night at the age of 72 due to heart failure, while his wife died less than 24 hours later on Tuesday of lung cancer.

Antwine, a member of the franchise's 50th anniversary team, played 11 seasons with the Patriots from 1961-1971, including during the AFL-NFL merger years.

I am saddened to learn of the deaths of both Houston and Evelyn and want to express my deepest sympathies to the Antwine's daughter, Regina, and all who mourn her losses, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. Let us all cherish life and remind loved ones how we feel about them daily.

Antwine was a part of the Patriots 1960s All-Decade team and had been nominated as a finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame from 2009-11. He was recently beaten out in 2011 by former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

The former Southern Illinois University star was originally drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 1961 AFL Draft, but was traded before ever playing a game with the team. He recorded 39 unofficial sacks with the Patriots in 142 games with the team.

For those of us who grew up watching the Boston Patriots, this is a really sad day, Kraft said. In the 1960s, the defensive tackle tandem of 'Twine' and Jim Lee Hunt were as good as any in the league and helped propel the Patriots to the franchise's first division championship in 1963.

Service and burial information for Houston and Evelyn Antwine is not currently available.