Tommy Lister Wiki, Biography
Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. was an American character actor and occasional professional wrestler known for his roles as the neighborhood bully Deebo in the 1995 film Friday and its 2000 sequel and as President Lindberg in The Fifth Element. He had two brief stints of professional wrestling, with Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) after appearing as Zeus in the 1989 film No Holds Barred and resuming the feud as Z-Gangsta in 1996 for World Championship Wrestling (WCW ). He was blind in his right eye.
Tommy Lister was born in Compton, California, on June 24, 1958, blind in his right eye due to a detached and deformed retina. He avoided the local gang life in Compton by developing an interest in movies and religion.
Lister attended Palomar Junior College before transferring to Long Beach City College for his sophomore year. While in Long Beach, he recorded a 52-foot (16 m) shot put, which helped him win a scholarship to California State University, Los Angeles. In his senior year, he won the national shot put title with a mark of over 61 ft 8 inches (18.8 m). Lister was the 1982 NCAA Division II National Shot Putting Champion.
After college, Lister competed for the Converse Track Club, eventually raising his shot put mark to 64 feet 3 inches (19.58 m), before trying out with the New Orleans Breakers of the United States Football League. He was cut after two exhibition games and chose to pursue acting.
Tommy Lister was 62 years old.
The dear actor is survived by his wifey, Felicia Forbes, whom he wedded in 2003, and their daughter. After his death, Friday’s co-star Ice Cube delivered a tribute to Lister on Twitter.
Cube wrote: “RIP Tiny‘ Deebo ’Lister. America’s favorite bully was a born artist who appeared in character in the blink of an eye, scaring people on and off-camera. Followed by a big smile and laugh. Thanks for being a good kind of heart. I miss you already.”
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
The famous muscular, broad-shouldered and bald actor booked his first film in 1985’s Runaway Train as a prison guard, and later enjoyed continued success in Hollywood with appearances in more than 80 films.
Lister acted alongside Adam Sandler in Little Nicky and appeared with Mike Myers in Austin Powers in Goldmember. He worked twice with director Quentin Tarantino on the films Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead and Jackie Brown.
Lister Briefly Wrestled for the WWF & WCW
With his enormous size and strength, Lister was the 1982 Division II Shot Putting Champion while attending Cal State University, and it wasn’t much of a surprise when he tried his luck in the ring. After starring alongside Hulk Hogan in the 1989 film No Holds Barred, they fought three times, according to Fightful.
In 1990, he faced Abdullah the Butcher in his first match outside of the World Wrestling Federation, but then quickly returned to acting, Fightful reported. In 1996, Lister briefly returned to fight underneath the name Z-Gangsta for a Doomsday Cage match against Hogan as part of The Alliance To End Hulkamania.
Lister did not love wrestling, but he loved the money he made from it. “Vince McMahon was a fantastic negotiator,” he revealed to Grantland. “He would already transfer the money to my account before starting [trading]. Who will say no? Is he going to withdraw $ 56,000 from his checking account? ”
While Lister made $ 56,000 for SummerSlam, he won $ 17.00 for Saturday Night’s Main Event, a $ 40,000 payday for No Holds Barred: The Match, and an additional $ 35,000 for appearing on Survivor Series, Grantland reported.
Health problems and death
Lister was diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020, but he overcame the disease. He became ill with COVID-19-like symptoms for the second time in early December, such as shortness of breath, forcing him to cancel filming a movie. Lister’s manager, Cindy McGowen, who stated that it was not natural for Lister to miss the footage, became concerned and sent her assistant to Lister’s house to give him vitamins and antibiotics. Concerned family members also called him on December 9. On December 10, police called to see how he was doing and later found him dead at his home in Marina Del Rey, California. The coroner’s office is investigating the cause of his death, which seemed natural.
Social Media Filled With Tributes Following Lister’s Sudden Death
We all knew Tiny Lister as Deebo, but he was one of the coolest dudes on the planet, always showed loved to everyone in LA. RIP Legend. pic.twitter.com/24MJCDjnxI
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) December 11, 2020
RIP DEBO 'Friday' Star Tommy 'Tiny' Lister Dead at 62 pic.twitter.com/Qzr2j1Zmzm
— Jordan Daley (@JDaIey) December 11, 2020
RIP Tiny Lister, aka Deebo, aka Zeus, aka President Lindberg, aka Winston the bail bondsman. One of the greatest movie villains of all time. Without saying a word, his scowl and sneer sent everyone into hiding. No one ever ever looked more terrifying in a Pendleton. What a legend pic.twitter.com/O9EbQHki5k
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) December 11, 2020