Cops Find Actor Dead During Wellness Check

Manager says Tommy 'Tiny' Lister had 'COVID symptoms'
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2020 9:36 AM CST
'Gentle Giant' Friday Actor Dead at 62
In this file photo, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister attends the Mike Tyson Standing United and the Tyson Ranch Celebrity Golf Tournament in Dana Point, Calif.   ((Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File))

Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, who audiences loved as the neighborhood bad guy in 1995's Friday, has died at 62. Per People, the actor's manager, Cindy Cowan, said Lister showed "COVID symptoms" for a week prior to his death. In a statement from the LA County Sheriff's Department obtained by TMZ, officials said friends became worried Thursday after not hearing from Lister since Wednesday. He was found unresponsive Thursday afternoon when police performed a wellness check at his Marina Del Ray home. Cowan told the AP Lister was diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year but overcame the virus before reporting trouble breathing starting a week ago. “He was a gentle giant,” Cowan said of her 6-foot-5 client. "He’s going to be missed by so many."

Among those who've paid tribute to Lister is his Friday co-star Ice Cube. "RIP Tiny 'Deebo' Lister. America’s favorite bully was a born entertainer who would pop into character at the drop of a hat," he tweeted. "Thank you for being a good dude at heart. I miss you already." In addition to that most notable role, Lister also appeared in films including The Fifth Element, The Dark Knight, and Austin Powers in Goldmember and was a pro-wrestler who once faced off with Hulk Hogan. Though his wrestling days were far behind him, the WWE also paid tribute to Lister in a tweet: "WWE is saddened to learn that Tom “Tiny” Lister, known as Zeus to the WWE Universe, passed away today." Officials have not released the cause of death pending an autopsy. (More obituary stories.)

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