Tags: big van vader | dies | wwe | wrestler

Big Van Vader Dies: Former WWE Star Was 63

Big Van Vader Dies: Former WWE Star Was 63
Vader, a former WWE pro wrestling star, died Monday at age 63. (Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 June 2018 03:58 PM

Big Van Vader, a former WWE pro wrestling star who also appeared in film and TV shows, died Monday at age 63, according to an announcement made by his son on social media.

"Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time," Vader's son, wrestler Jesse Wright tweeted Wednesday morning.

Vader, whose real name was Leon White, had a career spanning almost four decades, beginning in Japan where he wrestled for the New Japan Pro-Wrestling, according to Sporting News. While there he became the first non-Japanese wrestler to be named IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

When he returned to the United States in the 1990s, he performed and won titles in the WCW and the WWF — the forerunner to the WWE.

TMZ reported two months ago that Vader was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2016, when physicians gave him two years to live. TMZ reported that the wrestler underwent open heart surgery.

After surgery, Vader posted that everything went well, and included a photo of his scar.

Vader made numerous appearances playing himself on the ABC series, “Boy Meets World.” He also played himself on “Baywatch” and the motion picture, "Fist of the North Star."

Condolences poured in following news of Vader’s death.

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Former WWE pro wrestling star Leon White, best known as Big Van Vader, who also appeared in film and TV shows, died Monday at the age of 63.
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2018-58-20
Wednesday, 20 June 2018 03:58 PM
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