Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr., known for playing Deebo in the 1995 stoner comedy film Friday, passed away on Thursday at the age of 62.
Law enforcement officials who went to perform a welfare check on Lister at his apartment in Marina Del Rey, California yesterday afternoon found him unresponsive.
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said in a release that deputies went to his apartment after friends and associates became concerned that they had not heard from him since Wednesday night, TMZ reported.
The deputies found Lister unresponsive and he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Lister’s manager Cindy Cowan also confirmed his death, according to Variety.
Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister’s cause of death
The cause of death was not immediately known. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of Lister’s death.
Tributes pour in on Twitter
Fans and colleagues have been paying tribute on social media since news of Lister’s death broke last night.
Among stars who paid tribute was 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 terrifying people on and off camera,” Ice Cube Tweeted.
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. pic.twitter.com/jIl8yEZU9c
— Ice Cube (@icecube) December 11, 2020
News of Lister’s death comes after Monsters and Critics reported in November that Big Sam, the man who inspired Lister’s character Deebo, died in Los Angeles.
At the time, Big Sam’s death sparked rumors that Lister had died.
Monsters and Critics also reported earlier in the month that David Prowse, the actor who played the iconic villain Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, died from complications due to COVID-19.
Who was Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister?
Tommy “Tiny” Lister was born in June 1958 in Compton, California. He was born blind in the right eye as a result of a detached retina.
He attended Palomar Junior College, Long Beach City College, and later California State University at Los Angeles.
He participated in sports in college and won the 1982 NCAA Division II National Shot Put Championship.
Lister, who was 6 feet 5 inches tall, was best known for playing bullies and tough guys in films.
He started his career as an actor in the mid-1980s, appearing in movies such as Runaway Train (1985) and 8 Million Ways to Die (1986).
He is probably best known for playing the bully Deebo in Friday, starring alongside Ice Cube (Craig), Chris Tucker (Smokey), and Nia Long (Debbie).
He also played Winston in the 1997 movie Jackie Brown and the heel wrestler Zeus in the 1989 film No Holds Barred alongside Hulk Hogan as Rip Thomas.
He also appeared in the sci-fi movie The Fifth Element as President Lindberg. He played the role of a tough tattooed prisoner in The Dark Knight and voiced Finnick in the animated film Zootopia.
He also appeared in several TV series, voicing Filbert Slowlove (2014) in The Boondocks. He played King Cain in On The Court and Lieutenant Marshall in Mann and Wife.
Lister also had a career as a professional wrestler before he became an actor. After his role as Zeus in No Holds barred, he appeared in the WWF ring, wrestling superstars such as Hulk Hogan.