TMZ reported Thursday that Tommy “Tiny” Lister, aka Zeus in WWF, was found dead in his Marina del Rey, CA, apartment at just 62 years old.
While the details are still sketchy as of this writing, friends of Lister asked the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to do a wellness check as they hadn’t heard from him since Wednesday night. They reported the police believe it was due to natural causes, but won’t know until an autopsy is done.
In a quote to Variety, Lister’s manager said he had been displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in recent days and had to cancel shooting on a film after getting sick.
Lister appeared with Hulk Hogan in the 1989 film No Holds Barred as Zeus, a monster heel that Hogan (Rip Thomas) eventually beat. That was parlayed into an angle on WWF TV that resulted in Zeus teaming with Randy Savage against Hogan and Brutus Beefcake at the 1989 SummerSlam pay-per-view.
The Hogan/Zeus rivalry continued through Survivor Series where he was part of The Million Dollar Team and finally in a tag team steel cage match at a one-off December pay-per-view that included the movie and the match.
He left wrestling until he was booked for a 1990 event against Abdullah The Butcher in Puerto Rico. He then returned In 1996 for WCW as Z-Gangsta, wrestling just once in a “Doomsday Cage” match at Uncensored as part of The Alliance To End Hulkamania.
Lister, blind in one eye, was best known for his role in the movie Friday with appearances in The Dark Knight, Next Friday, The Fifth Element, Jackie Brown, Austin Powers: Goldmember, and more on his resume. He stayed busy with small roles and has parts in 11 projects that are in various stages of production.