Rowdy Roddy Piper Dies At Age 61

TMZ reports:

Wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died at the age of 61 … TMZ Sports has learned. Piper — born Roderick George Toombs — died from cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in Hollywood on Thursday night. He was discovered on Friday. Piper was a wrestling icon — one of the biggest stars in the WWE back in the ’80s, and even wrestled in “Wrestlemania I” back in 1985 … squaring off against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Roddy’s rep tells us, “I am devastated at this news. Rod was a good friend as well as a client and one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss to us all.” Piper had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, but last November he said he was cancer free. A family source tells us he was “cancer free” at the time of his death.

  • Happy Dance

    Where’s the love for Lynn Anderson? She passed too….:) I loved Roddy Piper when I was younger…I always wanted to look under that kilt!

    • David Walker

      Good lord. You’re right. Lynn’s gone to that great beetle-free Rose Garden in the sky.

      • hudson11

        i bet there’s no powdery mildew or blackspot either. loved that song, btw. its probably the earliest song i remember that wasn’t a kiddy’s song. that and Delta Dawn, but that was a bit later.

    • BearEyes

      R.I.P. Lynn. Loved your music.

  • BearEyes

    Who?

    • say what you want about Rod, but i’m telling you: “They Live” is a documentary. at least, today it is.

      i wish more people had seen that back when we could’ve done something about it. Rod gets cult status for being in it.

      • Chicago joe

        Amen!

    • forcebear
  • bkmn

    RIP dude.

  • Robert Schaaf

    An egregious racist, even if it was all show to heighten his fake wrestling feuds. God, it was disgusting. A pretty effective actor, though. “They Live” (John Carpenter!) is a hoot.

  • Nexus1

    He was one of my favorite wrestlers as a kid. I grew out of my love of wrestling by the time I was 13, but there is still a place in my heart for all of my faves from back then. He made the most of his 61 years on this earth. I at least take consolation that he died as peacefully as one could. He will definitely be missed.

  • DonnaLee

    I would have liked seeing him in more movies. He was badass in the day.

  • Octavio

    Never knew anything about this person except for They Live. Great premise for a sci fi movie. They should make sequels. Mullets. Remember them?

  • Baltimatt

    Don’t recognize the name, but I noticed the age: the same as mine!

    • Michael Smith

      Wrestlers tend to die much younger than most.

      • Todd20036

        Not Olympic wrestlers. But in Professional wrestlers they use steroids. A lot

        • Anastasia Beaverhousen

          A WHOLE lot.

  • Joe in PA

    I think I know the name…I was kind of over wrestling by the time he was in the ring. But for “inspiration”, ahem, in my younger days I would watch the Von Erick’s wrestle. I just googled them, they are all dead! The ones on the far right and left were my favorites. 🙂

    • SockMikey

      My uncle ran some of the concession stands at the Sportatorium (near Downtown Dallas) where a lot of their wrestling occurred.

      I hawked Popcorn/Sodas there and saw the Von Erich’s many times.

      I admit as youth I had a mini-crush on a couple of the Von Erich’s. 🙂

      **
      In late 1966, McLemore formed a partnership with wrestler Jack Adkisson, who was known in the ring as Fritz Von Erich and bought the Dallas/Fort Worth Wrestling Office, breaking away from Paul Boesch and the Houston Wrestling Office. In January 1968, McLemore started suffering a series of heart attacks and was no longer able to attend to the company’s day-to-day business; he died on January 9, 1969, leaving Adkisson in charge. Adkisson’s promotion, which became known in the early 1980s as World Class Championship Wrestling and featured his sons as its top stars, was the most famous and successful wrestling federation to run regularly at the Dallas Sportatorium.

      ***

      Some other of the 3rd generation Von Erich’s that were also in wrestling are still around.

      Von Erich Family Tragedy
      http://www.retroist.com/2013/06/05/tragedy-in-texas-the-sad-story-of-the-von-erich-family/

      Kevin Von Erich is still alive.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Von_Erich

      On June 15, 2014 Kevin escorted his sons Ross and Marshall to the ring at TNA Slammiversary. He ended up having to apply his signature iron claw on DJ Z (Zema Ion) of the Bromans.

  • I liked him more for his movies than his wrestling, and that was the era I loved wrestling.

  • Ogre Magi

    Well damn, I loved him in Hell comes to Frogtown

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKwteCwCSMw

    and They Live

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJC4R1uXDaE

  • Mawm

    I loved. “They Live.” It was so campy.

    • William

      It was probably more true than we were ever supposed to know.

  • JCF

    Joe, how could you not show him in his KILT?! Scottish Pride, yo!

    • SockMikey

      “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in Kilt.

  • Emma Duncan

    I remember him from the whole Cyndi Lauper “rock and wrestling” connection in the mid 80’s during which two rather timeless quotes were made, Hulk Hogan’s comment about Roddy “He scared Dick Clark half to death, he’ll never be the same.” and whomever said “the only connection between rock music and wrestling, is that fans of both, are idiots.”

  • faux wrestling has always confused me. once, on a lark, i went to a live wwf performance. all i can say is ???

    there was this scary old man in the stands near where i was sitting with my friends. he was all by himself. he had a big american flag, and no matter what was happening in the ring, he just kept shouting, “USA! U. S. A!” it was weird.

    Rod was in They Live and i will always be fond of him for that. someone downthread said he was a racist; if true that’s a sad tarnish that i hope is not true. it wouldn’t surprise me, however.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    One of the top 10 best wrestlers in the history of pro wrestling. When he was working an audience he knew exactly what he was doing. Here’s one of his best matches and one of the best matches ever recorded.

    Piper vs. Valentine

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6AGldaYRh4

  • THEY LIVE forever! one of my fave childhood movies, and it still holds up as a raucous and satirical action film. RIP, dude. you rocked it.

  • astroworf

    He went from living on the streets into the wrestling business when he was 15 and was truly a talented bagpipe player. He will be missed.

  • Brian in Valdosta

    wow – I had the hots bad for this man back in the 80s … and I wasn’t even into the wrestling mania.

    May he rest in peace.