WWE Hall of Famer George “The Animal” Steele has died, aged 79.
Steele, real name William James Myers, passed away due to kidney failure. He had been dealing with several medical issues in recent years, and had recently gone into hospice care.
Steele made his WWF debut in 1967 and spent the next 18 years as a heel character, facing the likes of Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund and Bruno Sammartino while under the management of some of the greatest managers in wrestling history, such as Mr Fuji and Captain Lou Albano. In 1985, Steele turned babyface, managed once again by Albano, and became one of the most popular superstars of the time.
His biggest feud was with Randy Savage, starting in 1986 and only scripted to last a couple of months. However, the rivalry between the ever-popular Steele and the Macho Man proved such a hit with fans that bosses extended the feud into 1987.
After retiring in 1998, Steele took an an office job with the company, up until his release two years later. After being rehired, he worked backstage until the late 90’s, during which time he also took an on-screen role as part of the Oddities stable.
Steele is survived by his wife Pat, and children Dennis, Randy and Felicia.