Roderick George Toombs, aka Rowdy Roddy Piper has died from cardiac arrest age 61. TMZ.com reported that the wrestler, actor, husband and father of four passed on in his Hollywood home while sleeping. Piper’s representative confirmed the news of Rowdy’s death and told TMZ that he was devastated.
Piper had a long career in the WWE, he was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2005, and he was one of 50 “villains” to be included in that hallowed hall of distinction. He also worked as an actor and has 123 credits under his name on IMDb, appearing in such cult hits as Hell Comes to Frogtown and the iconic They Live. Both films were released in 1988 and it is the latter film that immediately comes to mind when thinking of the pro wrestler.
The bank scene in They Live, “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick a** and I’m all out of bubblegum” is considered iconic. The line, spoken by his character Nada in the John Carpenter film is said before he begins shooting down aliens in the crowded bank, was easily the best thing Piper ever said either in or out of the ring. Piper specialized in being brash as part of his act and he was bigger than life.
While he was well known for the WWE, Piper will also be remembered for the two 1988 films, especially his Sam Hell from Hell Comes to Frogtown although it is a toss up between his other role the same year as to which one is a fan favorite. Rowdy Roddy Piper is survived by his wife Kitty and his four children. In 2006, Piper had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but family members have told the press that Roddy was free of the disease at his death.
RIP to Rowdy Roddy Piper, WWE legend and that guy in the bank. As a sign of respect and remembrance here is the clip from the bubblegum scene in They Live.