WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper has passed away from a heart attack and was discovered around noon today in his Hollywood home. The 61 year old was believed to be sleeping at the time of death. Although the “Hotrod” was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006, he has been cancer free for some time and that’s not believed to have been a factor.
“Our family is saddened by the sudden passing of our father and beloved husband,” reads a statement to TMZ. His manager also commented: “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.”
Piper is widely regarded as one of the top heels and talkers in the history of the wrestling business, rising to success during the territory era and then jumping to the then WWF for Wrestlemania 1, where he made history teaming with Paul Orndorff to take on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
He was also one of the few stars of the 80s to branch out in to movies, starring in cult sci-fi classic They Live in 1988.
Roddy Piper is survived by his wife, 3 daughters, and son Colt who has done MMA and was also considering following in his father’s footsteps.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Vince McMahon told WWE.com:
“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. “I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”
Hulk Hogan told TMZ:
“He was my best friend. He is a legend. God’s gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace. Much love forever, HH.”
One of the true greats of all time. My heart goes out to his family and the fans he entertained over the years. RIP Rowdy.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) July 31, 2015
Absolutely gutted to hear of the passing of Roddy Piper.A good friend to me.No one sent chills up my spine like him when…
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) July 31, 2015
Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Roddy Piper. He was one of the true all-time greats in our industry! RIP, Hot Rod…
— Howard Finkel (@howardfinkel) July 31, 2015
RIP to Roddy Piper. Prayers to his family and loved ones.
— Kevin Nash (@RealKevinNash) July 31, 2015
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Roddy Piper's passing. He was one of a kind and one of the all time greats. #prowrestling
— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) July 31, 2015
Completely devastated right now, as is everyone. We've lost two of the greatest of all time in a matter of weeks. 1st Dream & now Roddy.
— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) July 31, 2015
Just heard my friend and a huge influence on me Hot Rod-Roddy Piper has passed away. Rest well friend, you will be missed. #lifeWellLived
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) July 31, 2015
I'm stunned! 1st Dusty now Roddy I'm incredibly bummed! He was one my favorite people on our planet GOD BLESS HOT ROD pic.twitter.com/Q7FsmO8D4G
— Diamond Dallas Page (@RealDDP) July 31, 2015