LOS ANGELES -- Tommy "Tiny" Lister, a former wrestler known for the character of Deebo in the "Friday" movies, has died. He was 62 years old.
Lister's manager, Cindy Cowan, said Lister was found unconscious in his home in Marina Del Rey, Calif. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The deputies responded to an unemployment call in the 4100 block of the Via Marina in Marina Del Rey, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Cowan said Lister was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year. She said the actor overcame the virus, but became ill a week ago and recently had difficulty breathing.
The cause of death has not been revealed and the coroner is investigating.
"He was a gentle giant," Cowan said. "He had as wide a smile as you can imagine. He will be missed by many. We are all devastated.
photo by vulture
Lister began his wrestling career standing six feet tall with broad shoulders and about 275 pounds. His early roles included the HBO soccer series "1st and 10th," along with appearances in "Beverly Hills Cop II," starring Eddie Murphy, and the 1989 film "No Hold Barred," where his character Zeus challenged Hulk Hogan in a wrestling match.
However, Lister's most notable role was in the movie Friday 1995 and its sequel five years later. He portrayed the role of Deebo, a criminal known as a neighborhood bully who terrorized the neighbors with intimidation and fear. His character was known for his infamous line, "Knock yourself out like your father used to.
Lister also appeared in "The Fifth Element," "The Dark Knight," and "Austin Powers at Goldmember.
"RIP Tiny 'Deebo' Lister," said Ice Cube Thursday night on Instagram. "America's favorite bully was a born artist who would appear in character in the blink of an eye, scaring people on and off camera. A big smile and a laugh followed. Thank you for being the good guy at heart. I miss you already.
RIP Tiny “Deebo” Lister. America’s favorite bully was a born entertainer who would pop into character at the drop of a hat terrifying people on and off camera. Followed by a big smile and laugh. Thank you for being a good dude at heart. I miss you already. pic.twitter.com/jIl8yEZU9c— Ice Cube (@icecube) December 11, 2020