WWE wrestling icon Terry Funk has died at age 79, his manager Timothy Beal confirmed to CBS News Wednesday. His cause of death was not immediately released, but Beal said that Funk "was in bad health for some time" and was "in a nursing home."
Funk's death was also confirmed in a statement by the WWE.
For Funk, wrestling was a family affair. Growing up in in Amarillo, Texas, his father, Dory Funk, Sr., was a professional wrestler, and he started out as a tag-team wrestler with his brother Dory Funk, Jr., according to his WWE biography.
Funk broke out as a wrestling star in the 1980s when he appeared in a tag team with his brother at WrestleMania 2. He then competed singularly throughout the U.S. and in Japan over the course of his 50-year career, the WWE said.
On Wednesday friends and fans from the wrestling community commented on his passing.
"He was the greatest wrestler I ever saw," retired WWE Mick Foley wrote on social media.
Known as a brawler, CBS Sports reported that Funk's career got a second chance when he joined Eastern Championship Wrestling, later Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Professional wrestler Ric Flair said on social media that Funk was "a great wrestler, entertainer, unbelievably fearless, and a great friend."
Funk was also known for his breakout roles in Hollywood films. He appeared in "Roadhouse" with Patrick Swayze, "Paradise Alley" and "Over the Top."
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