Tommy Tiny Lister, the American character actor from comedy themed movies, died April 28th 2021, and from a heart attack that appeared to be “jump started” by COVID-19. What’s so hard is I don’t associate “Tiny” with death at all, but with life.
On screen, he was larger than life. That’s the only way I ever saw him because I had not met him in person. Always bald, Tiny Lister played roles where he didn’t say much, but had a way of using his eyes to be close together while looking at you. It’s hard to explain, but you know it when you see it. That was his trademark look.
This video has his final words spoken:
According to TMZ, this is what happened to the Hollywood Star:
April 28th 8:21 AM PT — 12/11 — Lister had been experiencing COVID symptoms in the days leading up to his death … according to his manager, Cindy Cowan.
Cowan tells CNN that Tiny began feeling sick a week ago, but he got worse quickly — couldn’t breathe and felt very weak.
She says he was supposed to work on a movie set last weekend but had to cancel due to his breathing difficulties, and he also canceled a Zoom appearance for a TV festival Wednesday. That night is when Cowan says friends and family tried to call and check on him, but their calls went on answered.
7:08 PM PT — A release from The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says friends and business associates of Lister became worried Thursday when they hadn’t heard from him since Wednesday night. Deputies performed a welfare check where they made their way into his apartment and found him dead.
At this point, cops say it’s believed that Lister died of natural causes … but an autopsy will be performed to determine an official cause of death.
Ice Cube, who starred in “Friday” posted a tribute, saying, “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.”
Black Men Must Fight COVID And Change Our Diets In Our 50s And 60s
I read that Mr. Lister has “breathing difficulties”. During the advent of COVID-19, I started a habit of making sure we had a large supply of Halls Menthol Cough Drops. The reason is I found early on that the Halls Menthol Cough Drops really helped enhance breathing. They really worked well with my 86-year-old Mom (who I am keeping company), too.
Now that we’re both vaxxed, it’s less of an issue, but still a focus. We also have made eating healthy a hobby, and avoid wine and sprits not as a moral issue, but we just don’t have the taste for them. We also wore and wear our masks. I am pretty sure Tiny used one too from the photos, but the cloth version I saw is not the best one.
In closing, I will vlog about Tommy Tiny “Deebo” Lister more. Mainly because his passing just hits me in the gut. RIP Tiny “Deebo” Lister.
Tommy Tiny “Deebo” Lister Movies
One thing we have to get out of the way: Tommy Tiny “Deebo” Lister has 219 acting credits, 5 as a producer, 2 “thanks”, and 5 just playing himself. He was in everything from The Dark Knight to Matlock, and The CBS Summer Playhouse. As IMDB put it, and I posted it, in full:
If you ever wanted a 6′ 5″, musclebound, broad-shouldered, shaved-head actor to play a terrifying bodyguard, a soldier of fortune or a fearsome gangster, then Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. was your man. The basketball player turned actor, who notched up appearances in roughly 132 films, first popped up in roles such as a prison guard in Runaway Train (1985), Andy Garcia’s bodyguard in 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) and Powers Boothe’s bodyguard in Extreme Prejudice (1987). Hardly diminutive, 6′ 5″ Lister was not just a recognizable figure on screen, but also a highly accomplished actor. Originally a professional wrestler known by the names “Zeus” and “ZGangsta” for the WWE (Formerly WWF), Tiny left wrestling in the mid 1980s to pursue an acting career. He worked with some of the best actors and directors, in a wide net of genres – from thriller to science fiction and drama to comedy.
Tommy “Tiny” Lister grew up in Compton, California, but chose to break the curses of his generation at an early age. He stayed away from gang life, choosing instead to stay at home and watch westerns. He chose religion over wrongdoing, and developed an interest in films and television early. Growing up watching Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston and Errol Flynn allowed Tiny a chance to dream, and he envisioned his own life on film and television, creating characters on celluloid that transcended gender and color. With his will set in stone, Tiny went out to make it possible. Tiny made his feature film debut in Runaway Train (1985) with Jon Voight, and spent the next few years learning the craft and appearing in films heavy in action and in talent: 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) with Andy Garcia, Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) with Eddie Murphy, and No Holds Barred (1989) with fellow WWE (WWF at the time) wrestler Hulk Hogan.
In the 1990s, Tiny expanded his resume, continuing to make his mark in films with the best in the business. He joined Johnny Depp and the legendary Marlon Brando in the quirky Don Juan DeMarco (1994) and worked with director Quentin Tarantino and actor Andy Garcia in Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995). He would later work again with Tarantino in Jackie Brown (1997). Lister’s 1990s career benefited from the decade’s surge in African-American filmmaking, beginning with his starring role in Mario Van Peebles’s western Posse (1993), in which he was thrilled to star with his childhood idol Woody Strode. In a move that was sure to cement his popularity with young audiences across the country, Tiny went on to star as neighborhood bully “Deebo” opposite Ice Cube in the cult comedy Friday (1995), reprising the role for the successful sequel Next Friday (2000). After appearing in comedian Martin Lawrence’s A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996), Lister played a supporting role in Ice Cube’s directorial debut The Players Club (1998) and appeared in Master P’s I Got the Hook Up (1998). He also starred in a slew of B-horror films including Soulkeeper (2001), Hellborn (2003) and Dracula 3000 (2004).
Tiny continued with his wide, often eclectic range of roles, and expanded on his original “fierce bodyguard” roles to include comedic and rather quirky performances. He played the President in director Luc Besson’s science fiction epic The Fifth Element (1997) opposite Bruce Willis and worked with Adam Sandler in Little Nicky (2000), as well as Mike Meyers and Mike Myers in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). He joined Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and Rachel Weisz in the crime thriller Confidence (2003). Tiny worked with some of the greatest directors (Quentin Tarantino, Luc Besson, John Frankenheimer), many of our most noted actors (Marlon Brando, Samuel L. Jackson, Johnny Depp, Peter O’Toole) and a good share of the top talent in wrestling and rap (Hulk Hogan, 50 Cent and Tupac Shakur, respectively). His wrestling exploits can be seen on Summerslam (1989), Survivor Series (1989) and WWF Superstars (1986).
However, it was Tiny’s devotion to ministry and public speaking that made the biggest impression. Along with his wife Felicia, Tiny ministered across the country, reaching out to troubled youth, and sharing his powerful testimony and inspiration in churches and schools.
Tommy “Tiny” Lister may not have been an A list star, but he was certainly one of Hollywood’s most instantly recognizable and busiest character actors, until his death on December 10, 2020, in Marina del Rey, California. He was 62.
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