Friday star and former WWE personality Tommy "Tiny" Lister has died at the age of 62. The actor's family reportedly confirmed his death on social media, with TMZ adding that Lister was discovered unconscious at his Marina Del Rey apartment in Los Angeles.
According to TMZ, law enforcement received a call on Thursday about an unconscious male around 3 p.m. and he was not transported to a hospital from the apartment. Lister was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene. The actor's death follows a hoax on social media back in November after Friday actor Ice Cube tweeted a tribute to the man who inspired Lister's character Deebo in the film.
'Friday' Star Tommy 'Tiny' Lister Dead at 62 https://t.co/58PRxwPwTo— TMZ (@TMZ) December 11, 2020
Lister's career kicked off in the '80s with series bad guy roles, including his stint in the WWE (then WWF) as Zeus. The time in pro wrestling was a tie-in with the WWE film No Holds Barred, where Lister played Zeus and went head-to-head with superstar Hulk Hogan. The pair would then face-off at SummerSlam in a tag team match with "Macho Man" Randy Savage teaming with Lister. He'd reprise his wrestling persona in WCW as "Z Gangsta" in 1996.
But for many, Friday is Lister's most memorable role. Deebo was a menacing force in the film and loomed over the entire neighborhood until Ice Cube's Craig knocked him out in the finale. He returned for the sequel, Next Friday. Another memorable role for Lister was as President Lindberg in The Fifth Element, one of the few roles where the 6'5'' brute played a role that wasn't brutish at all. He also has a great role in Quentin Tarantino's Elmore Leonard adaptation Jackie Brown and a tense bit part in The Dark Knight as a prisoner on a ferry wired to explode. Lister also lended his voice to several roles, including Disney's Zootopia and Cartoon Network's Regular Show.
Lister's career spanned 30 years and actually came as a bit of shock to the performer due to his detached and deformed retina, resulting from being born blind in right eye. Referring to a curse at first, his work in film became a revelation for the "born again" Christian. "I started doing these movies and God said, Y'ou thought it was a curse. It was a blessing,'" he said in 2019. "[My eye] became my trademark in Hollywood."
Before his death, Lister was doing his part to have people combat the coronavirus pandemic. He urged kids while using his trademark tough talk from the big screen to put on gloves and masks to go outside.
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