He was the villain we all loved to LOVE, a well-established actor-turned-icon after playing “Deebo” in Ice Cube’s “Friday” series, Tommy “Tiny” Lister has died. TMZ broke news of the actor’s death.
According to the website, friends and colleagues grew worried after not hearing from Lister and sent authorities to his Marina Del Rey home for a welfare check.
Authorities entered the home Thursday afternoon to find Lister dead. No foul play appears to be involved and it is believed Lister died due to natural causes. He was 62 years old.
Ice Cube posted a tribute, saying, “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.”
Standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall, Lister’s “tough guy” appearance brought him commercial success.
The Compton, California native was born blind in his right eye due to a detached and deformed retina. His looks could have lead him to be a typical street gang member, but he went a completely different route and developed an interest in films and religion.
Lister attended Palomar Junior College before transferring to Long Beach City College for his sophomore year. While at Long Beach, he recorded a 52 ft (16 m) shot put throw, which helped to earn him a scholarship to California State University at Los Angeles. In his senior year, he won the national shot put title with a mark of over 61 ft 8 in (18.8 m). Lister was the 1982 NCAA Division II National Shot Put Champion.
After college, Lister competed for the Converse Track Club, eventually raising his shot put mark to 64 ft 3 in (19.58 m), before trying out with the New Orleans Breakers of the United States Football League.He was cut after two exhibition games, and opted to pursue acting instead.
That turned out to be a great decicision, especially for his flock of loyal fans.
Lister had an impressive career, with a more than 100 roles in movies, television shows and videos. He was the classic character everyone loved to book.
Lister was best known as Deebo from “Friday,” as the neighborhood bully and antagonist to Ice Cube’s character, Craig Jones. He also appeared in “The Players Club,” Mario Van Peebles’ “Posse,” “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and legendary TV series “Matlock” and “In the Heat of the Night.”
Lister’s other film credits included “The Dark Knight,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “The Fifth Element,” and Adam Sandler’s film “Little Nicky.”
Lister also had a stint in wrestling, appearing in the 1989 World Wrestling Federation (WWF) movie “No Holds Barred,” starring Hulk Hogan. Lister was billed as “Zeus: The Human Wrecking Machine.” Zeus would shout “aw aw” and pound on his chest during interviews and matches.
In real life, Lister was a born-again Christian known as a caring, gentle giant. RIP to a class act and a true legend.