It’s a very sad day for wrestling fans.
His representative told TMZ, “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.”
Born Roderick George Toombs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Piper began his professional wrestling career at age 15. His gimmick was entering the ring with a kilt and bagpipes, a nod to his Scottish heritage, which lead to his nickname “Roddy the Piper.”
He started with the National Wrestling Association in 1973, working his way up to a full-time gig with the World Wrestling Federation by 1984. Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
He did a few guest-star spots on sketch shows and sitcoms and then hit it big, starring in the big-screen 1988 sci-fi flick They Live. From there, he worked on a number of movies and TV shows.
Piper was still an active celebrity at the time of his death: Less than a day ago, he tweeted that he was going to be a on a friend’s podcast Friday afternoon.
He has been married to his wife Kitty since 1982. They had four children and one grandchild. Piper announced he’d been diagnosed with Hodgkins’ Lymphoma in 2006.
His family confirmed his death on Facebook Friday afternoon.
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