Actor and professional wrestler Tommy "Tiny" Lister died at the age of 62 on Thursday, according to his manager Cindy Cowan. Law enforcement was called to the scene of Lister's Marina Del Ray, California, residence just before 3 p.m. on Thursday after there was a call regarding an unconscious male.
Cowan revealed that Lister displayed symptoms of COVID-19 in recent days. The actor had been working on a film, but had to cancel shooting as a result of feeling ill.
Lister wasn't transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner has yet to reveal a cause of death for the 6-foot-5 entertainer.
Lister appeared in the 1989 wrestling film "No Holds Barred," which was actually financed by the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). He starred as Zeus, who was the nemesis of Hulk Hogan in the film.
Following the film, Lister took the gimmick into the WWF and was billed as "Zeus: The Human Wrecking Machine." As part of a storyline, Lister wanted to defeat Hogan in the ring since Hogan's character came out victorious in the movie.
Lister ended up forming a tag team with Hogan's rival "Macho Man" Randy Savage and the two faced off with Hogan and Brutus Beefcake at SummerSlam in 1989. Hogan and Beefcake came out on the winning end of the match and Hogan recorded the pin on Zeus to win the match for his team.
Zeus was also featured in a storyline leading up to Survivor Series that year as he formed a partnership with Ted DiBiase. The two joined forces with the Powers of Pain to face off against Hogan, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Demolition. Zeus was eliminated from the match via a disqualification after refusing the referee's orders to break a chokehold on Hogan.
Following his run in the WWF, Lister appeared in World Championship Wrestling as Z-Gangsta.
Lister also appeared in several high-profile movies including "The Dark Knight," "The Fifth Element" and "Zootopia." Lister played President Lindberg in "The Fifth Element" but will perhaps best be remembers on the big screen as Deebo in the "Friday" film series. One of Lister's co-stars, Ice Cube, took to Twitter to remember the entertainer shortly after his death was announced.
RIP Tiny “Deebo” Lister. America’s favorite bully was a born entertainer who would pop into character at the drop of a hat terrifying people on and off camera. Followed by a big smile and laugh. Thank you for being a good dude at heart. I miss you already. pic.twitter.com/jIl8yEZU9c— Ice Cube (@icecube) December 11, 2020
Before his entertainment career, Lister was the 1982 NCAA Division II shot put champion at Cal State Los Angeles. Shortly after college, Lister played for the New Orleans Breakers of the United States Football League, but was cut after just two exhibition games and decided to pursue acting.