It saddens us to hear the news that George “The Animal” Steele passed away today at age 79 due to turnbuckle poisoning. While William James Myers is best known in the picture business for his role as Tor Johnson in the excellent Ed Wood, he continually put on an amazing acting performance most of his adult life as the wrasslin’ character George “The Animal” Steel. There were few characters like him, and he pulled off his gimmick of lovable oaf with a brain the size and color of a pea to perfection. Although he had few major victories under his belt, he was so adorable and fluffy (due to his back hair) that he was perpetually over with the crowd no matter if he won or lost. And his dull star never shone so brightly as when he feuded with “Macho Man” Randy Savage (R.I.P.) for the affections of Miss Elizabeth (R.I.P.):
What I remember most about him when I was a kid were his hysterical vignettes, which explored the stunningly shallow depths of his intelligence and his knee-slapping interactions with doing everyday things such as going to the zoo:
But the absolute greatest wrestling sketch of all time was when Captain Lou Albano (R.I.P…. jesus, they’re all dead) took George to get shock treatment in order to make him more intelligent. It’s simply everything that made wrestling both fantastic and awful at the same time. Goodbye, Mr. The Animal.