Thomas Lister Jr., also known as “Tiny,” died after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. He was 62.
The actor and wrestler, best known for his role as Deebo in the Friday films, was found dead in his Marina Del Rey, Calif. home on Thursday. According to Lister’s manager Cindy Cowan, he started feeling sick about a week ago, but his symptoms “got really bad, really quick,” she told CNN.
“It literally went so fast,” Cowan shared, revealing Lister couldn’t breathe and felt very weak.
Lister was due on set for a new movie last weekend, but canceled because he was feeling too ill. “Tiny doesn’t miss movies; he took it very seriously,” Cowan said.
Cowan sent her assistant to Lister’s home on Wednesday to check-in after he canceled a scheduled Zoom appearance for a TV festival. Family members also tried to reach him on Wednesday night, but calls went unanswered. The actor was discovered the next day after a friend went to his place and called the police when nobody came to the door. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Mr. Lister’s death appears to be of natural causes but will ultimately be determined by the Office of Medical Examiner-Coroner,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told CNN in a statement, noting his death is still under investigation.
Ice Cube, who starred in the Friday franchise with Lister, is among the celebrities paying tribute to 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,” he tweeted. “Thank you for being a good dude 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
Lister also made a name for himself in the wrestling world after appearing as Zeus alongside Hulk Hogan in 1989’s No Holds Barred. He later spent time in World Championship Wrestling, where he was billed as Z-Gangsta.
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