Tommy “Tiny” Lister, the former pro-wrestler-turned-actor, best known for portraying the bike-stealing bully “Deebo” in Friday has died. Lester, 62, was reportedly found dead on Thursday (Dec. 10) at his home in Marina Del Rey, Calif.
TMZ was the first to report his passing. At press time, Lister’s cause of death and further details surrounding his passing were unknown.
The Compton native was a track and field star who attended Long Beach City College where he landed a scholarship to Cal State University Los Angeles for his impressive shot put throw. He was named NCAA Division II National Shot Put Champion in 1982.
After college, Lester competed in the Converse Track Club and tried out with the United States Football League’s New Orleans Breakers, but he was cut after just two exhibition games.
Lister decided to focus on his acting career landing his first credited role on the sitcom Webster in 1984. Additionally, Lister enjoyed two short stints in the WWF (now the WWE).
His film and T.V. credits include The 5th Element, Beverly Hills Cop II, Zootopia, Matlock, Jackie Brown, Walker Texas Ranger, and The Dark Knight.
Following the news of his death, Ice Cube tweeted out a dedication to his former Friday co-star and friend. “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 wrote in part. “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