It is with a heavy heart and the sadness of a Smart Mark to share with you the news of the passing of wrestling legend Hot Rod, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. According to Info Wars and Deadspin, the 61-year-old icon, born Roderick “Roddy” George Toombs, died in his sleep of cardiac arrest at his Hollywood home.
Piper is survived by his wife of 33 years, Kitty Toombs and their children Ariel Teal Toombs, Anastacia Shea Toombs, Falon Danika Toombs, and Colton Baird Toombs.
Hot Rod was the main protagonist to fellow WWE legend, Hulk Hogan, not only in the ring, but in the animated series Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, where he was voiced by Charles Adler and starred in many films, including the cult classic, They Live, delivering one of the most infamous and most quoted action lines ever:
In all honesty, I never got a chance to meet the “rowdy one.” The one chance I had, I was sick and couldn’t make the event, but Wrestlemania II where he had a boxing match with Mr. T, I could not wait to watch Piper on TV. Whether he was smashing coconuts on Superfly Jimmy Snuka’s head or drenching Morton Downey Jr. with a fire extinguisher at Wrestlemania V, or his Intercontinental Title match with Golddust, the former NWA United States Champion was always a thrill to watch. Not every legend needs a belt, all Piper needed was a microphone and there was nothing greater on television. Even past his prime in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Hot Rod made me tune in to every Monday Nitro. Hell, he even got me to watch an episode of the Highlander series when he guest starred.
I can only speak as a fan, but just the idea of Piper would make me smile and wish that younger talent were able to have a tenth of his mic skills to dazzle an audience. You will be missed and thank you for everything you’ve done for the business Mr. Toombs, because without you, my childhood would never have been as enjoyable.