Tommy “Zeus” Lister Passes Away – Actor and former WWE star Tommy Lister, known to WWE fans as Zeus, has reportedly passed away at age 62, according to TMZ.
According to TMZ, Lister was found unconscious Thursday in his Los Angeles area apartment. He was declared dead at the scene, and officials have yet to determine a cause of death. Lister’s manager, Cindy Cowan, told Variety that he had been displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in recent days and had to cancel working on a movie after falling ill.
“He was a wonderful guy with a heart of gold. Everyone loved him. A real gentle giant,” Cowan told Variety. “We’re all devastated.”
Lister starred with Hulk Hogan in the first-ever WWE film, “No Holds Barred.” To promote the film, Lister joined WWE as his “No Holds Barred” character, Zeus. At SummerSlam in 1989, he teamed with Randy Savage against Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. The event was a big success, garnering 625,000 buys on pay-per-view. SummerSlam would not hit that number of buys again until nine years later in 1998, when Steve Austin defended the WWF Championship against The Undertaker.
Later that year, Lister was a part of The Million Dollar Team at Survivor Series. He wrestled his final match for WWE at a No Holds Barred: The Match, The Movie pay-per-view event on December 27, 1989, where he once again teamed with Savage against Hogan and Beefcake in a steel cage. Hogan and Beefcake were victorious after Hogan pinned Zeus.
After his stint with WWE, Tommy Lister had a short stint in WCW as Z-Gangsta in 1996.
Lister is also best known for his role as Deebo in the “Friday” films.
WWE has issued a statement of their own on Lister’s passing, remembering his rivalry with Hulk Hogan and his film career. You can see their full statement below.
WWE is saddened to learn that Tom “Tiny” Lister, known as Zeus to the WWE Universe, passed away today at age 62.
Zeus first entered the squared circle opposite Hulk Hogan in the 1989 film “No Holds Barred.” The rivalry extended beyond the big screen, as The Human Wrecking Machine quickly formed a common bond with “Macho Man” Randy Savage in their shared quest to take down The Immortal One. Zeus & Savage battled Hogan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake in the main event of SummerSlam 1989. One of Zeus’ most memorable moments came at Survivor Series 1989 as part of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team, when The Human Wrecking Machine got the better of The Hulkster in an impressive display of strength.
Lister famously portrayed the daunting Deebo in the classic “Friday” and “Next Friday” movies, as well as roles in “The Fifth Element,” “The Dark Knight,” and “Zootopia.”
WWE extends its condolences to Lister’s family, friends and fans.