Rowdy Roddy Piper, the longtime wrestler who shot to fame in the 1980s as a kilt-wearing, bagpipe-playing villain, has died at the age of 61.
TMZ is reporting that Rowdy Roddy Piper – real name Roderick George Toombs – passed away from natural causes at his home today in Hollywood, California. TMZ says that Piper was diagnosed in 2006 with Hodgkins Lymphoma, but was “cancer free” in November 2014.
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Roderick “Roddy” George 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). Although he was Canadian, due to his Scottish heritage he was billed as coming from Glasgow in Scotland 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 rockstar-like persona, he often played the villain. He was also nicknamed “Hot Rod”.
Piper headlined several major pay-per-view events; he participated in the main events of WrestleMania I and WrestleMania X – as a special guest referee in the latter. Never a world champion, he nevertheless accumulated 34 championships in various promotions during his career. Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and named No. 1 of the Top 50 villains in wrestling history by the WWE