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'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Wrestler 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper has passed away at the age of 61.

The wrestling icon - who was a huge WWE star in the 80s - died from a cardiac arrest at his home in Hollywood on Thursday (30.07.15), TMZ reports.

Roddy - born Roderick George Toombs - is believed to have died in his sleep.

His representative told the website: "I am devastated at this news. Rod was a good friend as well as a client and one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss to us all."

And a family member added: "Our family is saddened by the sudden passing of our father and beloved husband, Roderick Toombs aka Rowdy Roddy Piper."

He is survived by his wife Kitty and their four children.

Roddy had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2006 but was cancer-free at the time of his death.

The wrestler had been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and starred in a number of cult films including 'Hell Comes To Frog Town'.

Hulk Hogan led the tributes from fellow wrestlers, telling TMZ: "I will forever miss him. He was my best friend. He is a legend.

"God's gain is our loss. May his family in this time of need, find peace. Much love forever."

The pair faced off against each other at Wrestlemania I in 1985 and numerous times throughout their careers but remained friends outside the ring.

Reacting to the news, John Cena said: "One of the true greats of all time. My heart goes out to his family and the fans he entertained over the years. RIP Rowdy."

And Kevin Nash added: "RIP to Roddy Piper. Prayers to his family and loved ones."

Chris Jericho shared a picture of them together on Instagram and wrote: "Sorry to hear of the passing of my friend and Wrestlemania rival #RoddyPiper. One of the greatest who ever lived, but more importantly a legit sweet family man with a good heart. God bless you Rod....See you on the other side. #RIPHotRod."

Vince McMahon, Chairman & CEO of WWE, Inc, wrote on Twitter: "Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE... beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family."