Friday star Tommy 'Tiny' Lister dies aged 62 after 'experiencing Covid symptoms'
Friday and The Fifth Element star Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister has died aged 62.
The actor was found dead on Thursday by police who performed a welfare check at his apartment in Marina Del Rey, California, after friends became worried about him.
According to TMZ, friends and business associates of Lister had not heard from the star since Wednesday.
While his cause of death has yet to be determined, Lister’s manager Cindy Cowan said that he had been experiencing ‘Covid symptoms’ for a week.
Lister has been diagnosed with Covid-19 earlier in the year, and has recovered, but recently had trouble breathing.
Cowan said that Lister had been scheduled to work on a movie over the weekend, but had cancelled, and told People: ‘He was just really complaining, but he was too weak to go to the doctor.’
She added: ‘He was a gentle giant and one-of-a-kind. A man that’s like been a brother to me for 20 years.’
Lister’s Friday co-star Ice Cube was among the first to pay tribute, tweeting: ‘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.’
Lister – who was 6ft5 – started his career as a pro wrestler in 1989, starring as Zeus in the wrestling movie No Holds Barred.
The appearance led to Zeus being in a feud with Hulk Hogan, with the storyline running in the WWF for a year.
After a number of roles in films including Beverly Hills Cop II in the eighties and early nineties, Lister broke out with the role as neighbourhood bully Deebo in the classic comedy Friday in 1995, and went on to star in its sequel Next Friday in 2000.
The actor, who was born blind in his right eye, played the president in The Fifth Element and as Winston in Jackie Brown, while he starred as the Devil’s son Cassius in the Adam Sandler comedy Little Nicky.
Lister also had small roles in Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Dark Knight and The Human Centipede 3, and was the voice of Finnick in 2016’s Zootopia.
On TV, Listrer starred in many TV shows including The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, Matlock and Moesha, while he was a frequent star in music videos.
Tiny appeared in the videos for Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time, Ice Cube’s You Can Do Out and Chamillionaire’s Ridin’, as well as videos for 50 Cent, Timbaland, Iggy Azalea and Akon.
Lister’s final role came in 2017 in the movie American Justice.
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