Among the overwhelming list of actors that have passed away over the past few years, Roderick George Toombs is one name that will most assuredly slip through the cracks of fame. Best known for his oft-kilter, villainous alter-ego in the ring — Rowdy Roddy Piper — Toombs may not even end up mentioned in the same breath as a few of his more likable peers, like Hulk Hogan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The actor, who passed away last Friday at the age of 61, was better than the both of them combined.
“Better than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson?!,” you may be screaming at whatever screen you currently obey. “How is that even possible?”
The answer is simple: “They Live.”
Whatever Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posseses in charm, Roddy Piper surpasses three times in grit. While The Rock would deliver the line “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubble gum,” with a wink and a grin, Rowdy Piper delivers it with a shotgun and a sneer that would scare the skin off even the hardest of alien humanoids.
John Carpenter had an uncompromising vision for this one, and at the anchor was a brilliant piece of casting. Kicked out of school at the age of 15 for pulling a knife on his vice principal, Roddy spent the majority of his teenage years on the run. He famously admitted to never having read a single book cover to cover (including any script) and never reached higher than an eighth grade education. If he had stayed the course over the next 20 years, working odd jobs instead of making a name for himself in the World Wrestling Federation, it’s easy to imagine him ending up exactly like his role George Nada, a homeless worker drifting alone through LA.
One things for sure, if the world was ever actually overrun by aliens, there’s no one I’d rather have out there kickin’ ass than Rowdy Roddy Piper. Rest in peace to a true champion of the human ideological spirit.