How did 'Friday' star Tommy 'Tiny' Lister die? Fans say his 'incredible size was exceeded by his enormous kindness'

His manager Cindy Cowan said that Lister was 'a gentle giant' who had 'a smile as broad as you could imagine'

                            How did 'Friday' star Tommy 'Tiny' Lister die? Fans say his 'incredible size was exceeded by his enormous kindness'
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister (Getty Images)

Former wrestler and actor Tommy 'Tiny' Lister who played the fan-favorite character of "Deebo" in the film 'Friday' has died at the age of 62 on December 10. According to Lister’s manager, Cindy Cowan, the ‘The Fifth Element’ actor was found unconscious in his home in Marina Del Rey, California, on Thursday afternoon. Later, he was declared dead at the scene. The manager further stated that the actor was diagnosed with Covid-19 earlier but overcame that before falling sick again a week ago. Lister had also complained about having breathing problems. 

The official cause of death has not been released yet and reportedly, the coroner’s office is still investigating the case. Another report states that cops are of the opinion, the death occurred due to natural causes but an autopsy will be performed. According to the law enforcement sources, they received a call around 3 pm for an unconscious male. Later, he was not taken to the hospital as he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Cowan called Lister "a gentle giant" and said, “He had a smile as broad as you could imagine. He’s going to be missed by so many. We’re all devastated.” O'Shea Jackson, better known by his stage name Ice Cube took it to Twitter to mourn the demise of Lister. He posted, “RIP Tiny “Deebo” Lister. America’s favorite bully was a born entertainer who would pop into character at the drop of a hat terrifying people on and off-camera. Followed by a big smile and laugh. Thank you for being a good dude at heart. I miss you already.”


Social media is also mourning the demise of their favorite Deebo of ‘Friday’ and the 2000 sequel, ‘Next Friday’. A user said, “I was just watching “Friday” last night. RIP Deebo.” Another said, “OH NO!! RIP to Zeus, enjoyed his brief WWF run in 1989 while feuding with Hulk Hogan and (to use his words) Beefcake Barber” referring to the actor’s brief wrestling career. A user shared, "I will never forget the night I meet Tiny Lister at "The World" in Los Angeles (early 90's). He remains to this day THE BIGGEST dude I've ever seen. His incredible size was exceeded by his ENORMOUS kindness. RIP Mr. Lister.”




Lister’s big acting break came with the role of Deebo, the neighborhood bully and antagonist to Ice Cube's character, Craig Jones in ‘Friday’. He also played the role of President Lindberg in ‘The Fifth Element’. Lister acted in Cube's director debut ‘The Players Club’. He was also seen in the role of Obodo in Mario Van Peeble's ‘Posse’ (1993). He also appeared as a prisoner in ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember’ and in  ‘The Human Centipede 3’ (Final Sequence). Lister also acted in a Quentin Tarantino classic ‘Jackie Brown’ where he played the role of bail agent Winston, who "finds people who don't want to be found.” Lister also starred in ‘Busy Day’ (2015) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He voice-acted in the role of the diminutive fennec fox in Disney’s 2016 animated movie 'Zootopia'. 

Actor Tiny Lister, left, and Rhys Ifans act in a scene from New Line Cinema''s comedy, "Little Nicky."

Though more famous for acting, Lister also had a brief career in wrestling. He wrestled Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), after featuring in the role of  Zeus in the 1989 movie ‘No Holds Barred’. In the 1996’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW), he wrestled as Z-Gangsta. 

Lister is survived by his wife Felicia Forbes and their daughter Faith.

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