WWE wrestling legend 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies of cardiac arrest at age 61

WWE Hall of Fame Wrestler Rowdy 'Roddy' Piper speaks during a press conference for the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania in New York on March 31, 2009.
WWE Hall of Fame Wrestler Rowdy 'Roddy' Piper speaks during a press conference for the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania in New York on March 31, 2009.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Wrestling hall of famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper has died at the age of 61, entertainment website TMZ reported on Saturday.

Piper , born Roderick George Toombs , died from cardiac arrest in his sleep at his home in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, on Thursday night (US time). He was discovered the next day.

Piper was a wrestling icon and one of the biggest stars in the World Wrestling Entertainment(WWE) circuit in the 1980s, and participated in the 1985 premiere of Wrestlemania with other WWE favourites like Hulk Hogan and Mr T.

According to the WWE website, his career highlights include  the titles of Intercontinental Champion, World Tag Team Champion,  WCW United States Champion and 2005 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee.

Piper's representative told TMZ: "I am devastated at this news. Rod was a good friend as well as a client and one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss to us all."

Piper was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2006, but in November 2014, he said he was cancer-free. A family source said he was "cancer-free" at the time of his death.

Roddy is survived by his wife Kitty and his three daughters and son Colton who is also pursuing a career in professional wrestling.

VIDEO: YOUTUBE/WWE