I was a huge fan of “Roddy” Rowdy Piper and loved his movies like They Live and Marked Man; this comes as a terrible shock.
According to Variety he was born Roderick George Toombs and joined the WWE in 1984 after getting his start with the NWA in the late 1970s. He and Hulk Hogan met in landmark matchups including MTV’s “The War to Settle the Score” and the first WrestleMania, where Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff took on Hogan and Mr. T.
Piper’s agent Jay Schacter confirmed the news, first reported by TMZ, to Variety.
“Rod passed peacefully in his sleep last night,” Schacter said in an email. “I am shocked and beyond devastated.”
Piper had suffered a bout of Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2006 but was reportedly deemed cancer-free last November.
The wrestler had also made a foray into film acting, starring in John Carpenter’s sci-fi pic “They Live,”
“Devastated to hear the news of my friend Roddy Piper’s passing today. He was a great wrestler, a masterful entertainer and a good friend,” Carpenter wrote on Facebook.
He came here to chew bubblegum and kick some ass and he’s all outta bubblegum.
RIP Mr. Piper, you will be missed.