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The wrestler died from kidney failure at the age of 79 and was a fan favourite during the end of his time at WWF
WRESTLING legend George Steele has sadly passed away at the age of 79 due to kidney failure.
Nicknamed ‘The Animal’ he became a WWE Hall of Famer in 1995, before also embarking as an actor, author and school teacher.
George ‘The Animal’ Steele has sadly passed away after suffering from kidney failure: Here’s everything you need to know about the veteran wrestler…
Who was George “The Animal” Steele?
Steele, real name William James Myers was born in 1937 in Detroit, Michigan.
At high school he showed promise as a budding sports star, excelling in baseball, basketball, football and track running – a knee career ended hope of a football career after he enrolled as Michigan State University.
It was there he gained a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University, where he became a teacher, and a wrestling and football coach at Madison High School in Michigan.
Along with with being dyslexic, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1988 – he had three children with his wife Pat who he married in 1956.
What was George Steele best known for?
He was scouted by the World Wrestling Federation champion Bruno Sammartino after his strength shone when wrestling in Detroit.
Famed for his hairy torso and green tongue, he played the wildman character to perfection, regularly tearing up the turnbuckle’s with his teeth and using the stuffing as a weapon.
He was a villain for nearly 20 years and had a famous feud with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage after they both fought for the attention of ‘Miss Elizabeth.’
After retiring in 1988 due to Crohn’s disease, he made his acting debut as Tor Johnson in Ed Burton’s ‘Ed Wood.’
What awards/championships did Steele win during his career?
In 1995, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, a huge achievement given it was only established two years prior. Ten years later George “The Animal” Steele was honoured as a member of the professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
He never won the WWE title during his career despite coming close on occasions, but did win a Slammy award in 1987 for the ‘Best Performance by an Animal.’
Steele was a one-time NWF North American Heavyweight Champion with the National Wrestling Federation and a GWA Heavyweight Champion with the Grande Wrestling Alliance.