“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, a pillar of professional wrestling in its 1980s heyday, who always wore a kilt into the ring because of his Scottish heritage, has died, TMZ reported Friday. He was 61.
Piper, a Canadian whose real name is Roderick George Toombs, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2006 but was declared cancer-free late last year. TMZ said he died of natural causes.
Mashable‘s messages and emails left with listed representatives for Piper were not immediately returned Friday.
Intense, brash and loud but affable, quick-witted and always willing to indulge fans with handshakes and autographs, Piper was a mainstay of the WWF (which would eventually become the WWE) at the height of its popularity, and was always a fan favorite despite his usual “villain” mantle. Though he was from Canada he was billed as coming from Glasgow, Scotland, and during matches would often fly into a “Scottish rage.”
Piper, who appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, had the lead role in the 1988 film They Live, John Carpenter’s cult classic about a nameless drifter who discovers a ruling class of aliens who can only be seen through special sunglasses.
But Piper will always be best remembered for his time in the ring – he was a headlining wrestler for several pay-per-view and big television events, took part in the first WrestleMania in 1985 and despite never winning an outright title was named the sport’s No. 1 villain by the WWE.
- April, 17, 1954
- Saskatchewan, Canada
- July, 30, 2015
- Hollywood, California
Cause of Death
- died of a heart-attack in his sleep
- Ashes scattered at family ranch in Gaston, Oregon