George “the Animal” Steele, wrestling legend, is dead at 79

Wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Fame member George “the Animal” Steele has died, the WWE confirmed via Twitter. He was 79.

“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer George ‘the Animal’ Steele has passed away,” the organization tweeted, along with a photo of Steele in his wrestling prime.

Steele died while in hospice. While his cause of death was not reported, he retired from wrestling in 1988 because of his battle with Crohn’s disease. He also had his colon removed in 2002. 

He was born William James Myers in 1937 and started out as a professional football player. Outside of his colorful wrestling career, Steele was also known to movie buffs for Tim Burton’s 1994 film, “Ed Wood,” in which ,he appeared as wrestler Tor Johnson.