Pro wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper dead at 61

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LOS ANGELES — “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, one of pro wrestling’s most iconic villains and one of the biggest stars in WWE history, was found dead in his Hollywood home on Friday. He was 61.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, 2005 WWE Hall of Fame inductee (Photo by J. Shearer/WireImage)
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, 2005 WWE Hall of Fame inductee (Photo by J. Shearer/WireImage)

According to TMZ Sports, Piper—born Roderick George Toombs—reportedly died of cardiac arrest in his sleep around noon on Friday. He had previously battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006, but was reportedly cancer-free at the time of his death.

Piper, who wrestled Hulk Hogan and Mr. T at the first Wrestlemania in 1985, was one of pro wrestling’s greatest stars. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and was named one of the top 50 villains in the history of the pro wrestling company.

Piper last wrestled in 2008, but appeared on television with the WWE until last year. He was also an actor, appearing in movies like “They Live” and “Hell Comes to Frog Town,” as well as in a recurring role on TV’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

“Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved my millions of fans around the world,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon in a statement on the company’s website on Friday. “I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

He is survived by his wife Kitty and four children.

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