This Day in Horror: Rowdy Roddy Piper Was Born in 1954

On this day in horror history, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on April 17, 1954. Born Roderick George “Roddy” Toombs, Piper was a professional wrestler and actor best known for his role in writer-director John Carpenter’s killer cult classic They Live.

In professional wrestling, Piper accumulated 34 championships and hosted the popular WWF/E interview segment “Piper’s Pit” and in 2005, Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Ric Flair, who dubbed him “the most gifted entertainer in the history of professional wrestling”.

He also had a hilarious recurring role as a deranged wrestler called Da’ Maniac on the FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton.

Mini Bio via IMDb:

Roddy Piper was born Roderick George Toombs on April 17, 1954 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a pro wrestler from 1973-1987 in the NWA, Pacific Northwest, California. He was a longtime mainstay in the WWF, and was one of the biggest “bad guys” in the WWF during the early ’80s, before becoming a fan favorite in the late ’80s. He became infamous for his mouth as much as his skills in the ring. He hosted Pipers Pit, which saluted the bad guys of professional wrestling, the most famous of which involved him smashing Jimmy Superfly Snuka over the head with a coconut. He was wrestling’s most popular villain because of his feud with Hulk Hogan that culminated at Wrestlemania I. He went into semi-retirement after Wrestlemania III, when he beat and shaved the late Adrian Adonis.

He continued to wrestle into the ’90s, but spent much of his time doing color commentary for WWF TV. In January 1992, he won the WWF Intercontinental Title from “The Mountie”, the only title he would ever hold in his storied WWF career. After losing the title three months later, he left the WWF, and only made the occasional appearance in the ring over the next few years. In 1995, he had a stint as the WWF’s interim president. He later resurfaced in WCW during the late ’90s to continue his feud with “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, until the company’s demise in 2001.

Roddy Piper died of a heart attack on July 31, 2015, in Hollywood, California.

Roddy Piper starred in They Live as Nada who discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, Nada notices that both the media and the government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued, and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination. With this shocking discovery, Nada fights to free humanity from the mind-controlling aliens.

It sports an 86% rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: A politically subversive blend of horror and sci fi, They Live is an underrated genre film from John Carpenter.




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