Tiny Lister, who appeared inFridayAnd his manager, Cindy Cowan, confirmed that “The Fifth Element” was also a professional wrestler, and he died Thursday.
Cowan said he was found unresponsive in his apartment in Marina del Rey, California after showing symptoms of COVID-19 in recent days. Kwan said he was working on a movie and had to cancel filming after he got sick.
Read more from Variety: Dunes director Denis Villeneuve attacks HBO Max deal
She said, “He was a wonderful man with a heart of gold. Everyone loved him. A real gentle giant, we are all devastated.”
Leicester wrestled with Hulk Hogan in the WWF after appearing as Zeus in the 1989 movie “No Holds Barred”. He spent time at the World Championship Wrestling, where he was nicknamed Z-Gangsta.
The actor, who was blind in his right eye, played bully Depo in the neighborhood in 1995 “Friday” and appeared in the sequel “Next Friday”.
Read more from Variety: Game Prizes: Full list of winners
His other appearances include playing a prisoner in The Dark Knight, a bail agent in Jackie Brown, as well as roles in The Players Club, Ice Cube’s directorial debut and Mario Van Peeble’s Posse. He had a supporting role in “Zootopia” as the voice of the funk fox, in “Little Nicky” by Adam Sandler as brother of Nikki Cassius, and in “Austin Powers in Goldmember”. In “The Fifth Element,” he played the role of the head of the galaxy.
In the pilot of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” he played Klaang, the first Klingon to communicate with humans. He has also appeared on television as Mr. Matlock’s bodyguard in “Matlock” and in “In the Heat of the Night.”
Read more from Variety: Hayden Christensen will reprise Darth Vader for the Obi-One movie “Star Wars”
Lister has appeared in music videos for French Montana, 50 Cent, Sublime, Ice Cube, Chamillionaire, and Young Bleed.
The 6-foot-5-inch Leicester grew up in Compton, California and won the National Championship title in college, playing football for a while before deciding to become an actor.
He was spared by a daughter.
Dave McNary contributed to this report.