I hate to have to write these stories, and this one in particular is really pulling on my heart as I’m writing this in legit tears. According to TMZ and other accredible media outlets, it has been confirmed that the man, the legend, Roddy Piper has died from cardiac arrest at the age of 61 in his sleep at his home in Hollywood, California.
Hot Rod was born Roderick George Toombs April 17, 1954 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and took an early interest in the wrestling sport at the tender age of 15. Although born canadian, Roddy took his scottish heritage and incorporated it into his wrestling persona; playing the bagpipes toward the ring became a regular schtick of his and after years of paying his dues, caught the eye of the big guns in the industry. The WWF, or now the WWE where he currently holds a spot in the Hall of Fame. Piper is considered one of the greatest talkers and so called “heels” of all time in the industry. But let’s face facts: Piper holds that title outside of the wrestling genre easily as well.
Roddy soon ventured into other media territories, such as starring in the beautiful 1987 John Carpenter classic, They Live. The completely underrated horror movie that dares to touch on the corruption and enslavement of America. Among many other television and movie cameos, Piper plays himself as the protagonist in the 2013 film Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies.
On November 27, 2006, it was announced on WWE.com that Piper had Hodgekins Lymphoma and as of last year claimed to be cancer free.
Toombs is survived by his wife Kitty and their four children Anastacia Shea, Ariel Teal, Falon Danika, and son Colton Baird who is pursuing a wrestling career and has been under Roddy’s training and supervision.
Upon hearing the news today John Carpenter himself released a statement via his twitter page:
“Devastated to hear the news of my friend Roddy Piper’s passing today. He was a great wrestler, a masterful entertainer and a good friend.”
I honestly cannot fathom a world without Hot Rod.. But I suppose this is a reality that has come to light and all I can say is thank you Roddy. Thank you for giving us years beyond years of entertainment with your witty, feisty and honorable attitude. You were truly one of a kind and will be sorely missed.
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