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Roderick George "Roddy" Toombs (April 17, 1954 – July 31, 2015), better known by his ring name "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, was a Canadian professional wrestler, film actor and podcast host. In professional wrestling, he was best known for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. Although he was Canadian, due to his Scottish heritage he was billed as coming from Glasgow and was known for his signature kilt and bagpipe entrance music. He earned the nickname "Rowdy" by displaying his trademark "Scottish" rage, spontaneity, and quick wit. Despite being a crowd favorite for his rock star-like persona, he often played a villain. Aside from his ring name, he was also known by the nickname "Hot Rod".

Piper headlined several major pay-per-view events; he participated in the main events of WWE WrestleMania 1 and WWE WrestleMania 10, as a special guest referee in the latter. He accumulated 34 championships in various promotions during his career. Piper's most notable rivals included Greg Valentine, Adrian Adonis, and Hulk Hogan, with the feud against Hogan also involving Captain Lou Albano and singer Cyndi Lauper, considered the beginning of Rock N' Wrestling. Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and named as the top villain in wrestling history by WWE. Piper acted in dozens of films and TV shows, including the lead role in 1988's They Live and a recurring role in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

On July 31, 2015, Piper died in his sleep after a heart attack, at the age of 61, in his home in Hollywood, California. Piper is survived by his wife, Kitty, their four children and four grandchildren. News of his death broke minutes before the Hall of Heroes dinner to cap off the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends FanFest in Charlotte, North Carolina, where about 600 current and former wrestling personalities and fans had gathered. He received a ten-bell salute after the planned salute to fellow former professional wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, who had died in June 2015.

Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE, also made a statement, commenting that: "Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family". Hollywood director John Carpenter also said: "Devastated to hear the news of my friend Roddy Piper’s passing today. He was a great wrestler, a masterful entertainer and a good friend."

In an HBO Real Sports interview conducted by Piper in 2003, he had predicted that he was "not going to make 65" due to his poor lifestyle, and that his 2003 return to WWE was because he could not access his pension fund until reaching the age of 65.

See Also

WWE Alumni, WCW Alumni, TNA Alumni