The wrestling world is mourning the loss of George “The Animal” Steele, who has died at the age of 79.
TMZ spoke with Steele’s wife Patricia, who says he died last night in Florida due to kidney failure. He had been in and out of hospice care since April.
WWE released this statement on Friday saying their were saddened by his death.
Steele’s green tongue, hairy chest, hunger for turnbuckles and stuff animal named Mine made him an icon in WWE. He wrestled legends like Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage throughout his career and came back during the Attitude Era to work with The Oddities.
Steele also played a pivotal role in Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat’s memorable victory over “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania III. Steele shoved Savage off the ropes, preventing him from hitting Steamboat with the ring bell. Steamboat pinned Savage moments later, claiming the Intercontinental Championship.
In 1995, Steele was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Doink the Clown.