Pro Wrestling Legend 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper Dies at 61
Pro wrestling legend "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died Friday at age 61, ET confirms. The actor and wrestler, born Roderick George Toombs, reportedly suffered a heart attack at his home in Hollywood.
Piper joined the WWE in 1984 after getting his start in pro wrestling in the late ‘70s. He was well-known for his rivalry with Hulk Hogan, and he and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff took on Hogan and Mr. T in the very first WrestleMania back in 1985.
"Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world,"said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon in a statement posted on the WWE website. "I extend my deepest condolences to his family."
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Piper’s agent Jay Schacter confirmed the death to ET, saying that the wrestler "passed peacefully in his sleep" on Thursday night.
"I am shocked and beyond devastated," Schacter told ET in a statement. "He was an Icon, a legend, an amazing man and a true friend. He was also one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss for us all."
Piper battled Hodgkins lymphoma after being diagnosed in 2006, but was reportedly deemed cancer-free last November.
The wrestler was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and is survived by his wife Kitty and their four children.
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Big names from pro wrestling and across the entertainment world immediately took to Twitter to express their condolences at the news of Piper’s death.
Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who… https://t.co/WkGjYehXim— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) July 31, 2015
Love you always #RoddyPiper Thanks for making it ok to be weird. pic.twitter.com/uKkwhP84qr— Seth Green (@SethGreen) July 31, 2015