WWE sadly announced today via Twitter that long time pro-wrestling star George “The Animal” Steele passed away yesterday at 79 years of age.
— WWE (@WWE) February 17, 2017
Steele (whose real name was Jim Myers) was a major star in the 1970’s and 80’s, primarily as a villainous heel before a famous angle in 1986 that saw “the beast fall for the beauty” in the form of Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s valet Mrs. Elizabeth. The feud would eventually bleed into the semi-main event of Wrestlemania Three when Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat defeated Savage for the Intercontinental Title (with a little help from Steele) in what many fans still consider one of the greatest professional wrestling matches of all time.
Steele retired from the ring shortly after that memorable match, but horror fans will also remember Steele for his role in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, where he portrayed fellow wrestler Tor Johnson.
Steele’s turnbuckle eating antics and his affable personality outside of the ring will be missed by fans and fellow wrestlers alike.