Friday, July 31, 2015

Rowdy Roddy Piper 1954-2015

UPDATE: Notice in Rolling Stone.

This one's a real heartbreaker— Portland-based pro wrestling icon Rowdy Roddy Piper has passed away. Years ago he was a regular on Portland Wrestling, an iconic Oregon TV program in the 1970s, which came on after Creature Features on Saturday nights on KPTV— I watched a few seconds of it here and there when I was a kid. He was also one of the personalities in the first big wave of national attention pro wrestling got in the 80s.

But his biggest achievement was starring in John Carpenter's 1988 low-budget, blue collar, political, sci-fi action movie They Live. That movie featured perhaps the greatest extended— near interminable, actually— savage beating in film history, between Piper and Keith David, also one of my favorite actors. Put this on full screen:

That scene inspired the famous “Cripple Fight” episode from South Park:

He was 61.

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