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Wrestling legend 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper has died aged 61

“He was one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known.”

piper AP AP

THE WRESTLING LEGEND Rowdy Roddy Piper has died of natural causes at the age of 61, according to reports in the US media.

Born Roderick George Toombs, the Canadian joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the 1980s, and became a household name until his retirement in 2005.

His persona as a bagpipe-playing Glaswegian made him a crowd favourite.

Despite mostly playing the villain in wrestling matches, Piper was well-regarded by his peers, some of whom have been paying tribute tonight.

His death was announced by American website TMZ, which said he had died of a heart attack on Thursday at his home in Hollywood.

The news was confirmed by his agent Jay Schacter, who told Variety:

He was one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known.

Piper’s son Colt and daughter Falon also shared tributes to their father on Twitter tonight:

Piper took part in the first ever Wrestlemania, in 1985, where he wrestled against Mr T and Hulk Hogan.

piper85 AP AP

Alongside his career as one of the indisputable stars of professional wrestling, Piper was also a successful actor.

In 1988, he delivered one of the most quoted movie lines of the decade, in the cult film They Live:

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.

More recently, he had a popular cameo role in the US sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, in 2009.

Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and survived Hodgkins’ lymphoma in 2006.

Read: Former professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes dead at 69>

Read: How well do you remember your 90 wrestlers?>

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