Rocky Johnson, Canadian Wrestler and Father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Dies at 75
In addition to his own prowess as a professional wrestler, Johnson was also well known as the father of wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Johnson was born Wayde Douglas Bowles in Amherst, NS, in 1944. He moved to Toronto at the age of 16, where he began his wrestling career, eventually legally changing his name to Rocky Johnson in 1964.
He went on to become a star for World Wrestling Entertainment in the 1980s, winning the Tag Team Championship title with Tony Atlas as "The Soul Patrol" in 1983. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
Johnson retired from wrestling in 1991 and went on to train his son. He would make ring-side appearances and even jumped into the ring in some of his son's early matches as Rocky Maivia. The younger Johnson would go on to find fame as a new character, The Rock.
The Rock even portrayed his father on a 1999 episode of That '70s Show.
The younger Johnson has yet to publicly comment on his father's death, but a number of other celebrities from the wrestling world and beyond have shared tributes. See some of those below.
I'm Saddened To Hear About The Passing Of The GREAT ROCKY JOHNSON! I Wrestled Him Many Times Throughout His Illustrious Career. His Physique And Conditioning Were Unparalleled! He Was So Proud Of His Son Dwayne! He Raised Him To Be The Rock!! RIP Rocky Johnson! pic.twitter.com/GiXXFQhGlE— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) January 16, 2020
A young Rocky Johnson and Austin Idol. Miss you brother. pic.twitter.com/43xEN227JF— AUSTIN IDOL (@AUSTINIDOLLIVE) January 16, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.#RIPRockyJohnson pic.twitter.com/4agKbOzAry— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) January 15, 2020