Saturday, February 18, 2017

RIP George "the Animal" Steele

So farewell then, Jim Myers, aka George "the Animal" Steele, who died in Florida this week at the age of 79.

Mr Steele will not likely arise from the grave, as it would appear in this photo, which is actually a still from one of Walt's all-time favourite movies, Ed Wood, in which he starred (as Tor Johnson, "the Swedish Angel") alongside Johnny Depp and Bill Murrray. He played Tor "the Swedish Angel" Johnson, a scary-looking wrestler who was discovered by B-movie director Ed Wood, and featured in Plan Nine from Outer Space. Wrestler turned movie actor. It made sense for Mr Johnson, and even more sense for Mr Steele.

As a WWE wrestler, George "the Animal" Steele sported a bald head, hairy back and green tongue. He was famous for his signature move of sinking his teeth into the turnbuckle pads around the ring. At a Boston Red Sox game in 2012, he pretended to take a bite from the baseball before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

Prior to throwing his hat and massive bulk into the ring, Mr Steele (as Jim Myers) earned a master's degree from Central Michigan University, and was a Detroit-area high school teacher and coach. In his last years, he suffered from Crohn's disease and often tweeted about his struggle with the malady, in an effort to raise funds for further research into its cause and treatment. RIP.

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