The world is a little less rowdy today. Roderick George Toombs, better known to and beloved by the world as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, a crowd favorite and glowing star of WWF’s ‘80s heyday, has passed away at 61.
Piper had battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in recent years, but was cancer-free at the time of his peaceful late-Thursday passing, believed to be due to cardiac arrest.
The man was Canadian, but his legacy was chaos. He was excitable, he could hang with any great, and he came out to bagpipes in a trademark kilt (because he had a “rowdy” Scottish spirit). He was just a straight up blast, even when he was a “villain” in the ring. Piper wrestled as recently as 2008.
Piper also starred in They Live, one of the most celebrated cult classics. A sci-fi flick from John Carpenter about a drifter who comes upon special sunglasses that reveal aliens disguised as humans (because, duh), you may remember it for Piper’s infamous line, “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubble gum.” The film has influenced everyone from Shepard Fairey to Darren Aronofsky.
Younger audiences may remember him as the mentally unstable wrestler “Da’ Maniac” on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Piper is survived by his wife Kitty and their four children. The good man will be missed.