Roderick George Toombs, better known as wrestling superstar "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died at his home on Thursday and was discovered Friday. (Source: Flickr)
(RNN) - Professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper has died at the age of 61.
His agent Jay Schacter confirmed the news to Variety.
“Rod passed peacefully in his sleep last night,” Schacter said in an email. “I am shocked and beyond devastated.”
The Canadian, born Roderick George Toombs, was a star for the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE) in the 1970s and 1980s, and was known for wearing a kilt and entering the ring to bagpipe music, a tribute to his Scottish heritage.
"Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world," WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said in a statement. "I extend my deepest condolences to his family."
Piper had a quick wit and charm, though he was famous for being a bad guy in the wrestling world. He appeared in a number of movies, memorably in the science fiction satire They Live, in which his character discovered the world was run by cleverly disguised aliens who kept humans under control by beaming signals commanding them to obey government, consume and stay asleep.
He died of cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in Hollywood, CA, according to TMZ. He was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006, but said he was cancer-free last year.
He and his wife, Kitty, had four children.
His son, Colt, tweeted "My father @R_Roddy_Piper was a great man and my best friend I will miss him forever and will alway try to be the man he raised me to be."
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