George “The Animal” Steele passes away at age 79


Jim Myers, better known to fans as George “The Animal” Steele, passed away at age 79. He died while in hospice care after kidney failure.

Yesterday on his Facebook, Bob Backlund wrote that he called Steele and his wife answered the phone and told him that he may not come home again. “As tears slowly came to my eyes, I told her that everyone loved George The Animal Steele,” Backlund wrote.

Steele made his debut in 1967 and feuded with Bruno Sammartino, spending nearly two decades as a heel. Perhaps his most famous feud was with the late, great Macho Man Randy Savage in the mid 80s when Steele had a crush on Miss Elizabeth. He retired in 1988 after he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease – a type of inflammatory bowel disease.

After his ring career was over, he transitioned to backstage and started working as a road agent however his stint only lasted a couple of years and he was let go from his contract.

In 1995, Steele was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Doink The Clown, and the induction video featured a cameo appearance by actor Bill Murray, with whom Steele appeared in the 1994 film Ed Wood.

Since then he made sporadic appearances in WWE television and even appeared on WCW and TNA. He last appeared on WWE TV in November 2010 on Monday Night Raw.