Wrestling champion was also known for his gift of gab
DUSTY RHODES, 69
Virgil Runnels, a former professional wrestler known to fans as Dusty Rhodes, died June 11. He was 69.
The World Wrestling Entertainment organization announced the death but did not say where or how he died, citing the family’s omission of details.
Mr. Runnels, who also went by the nickname “The American Dream,” was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and held the National Wrestling Alliance championship three times.
He became well known during the height of professional wrestling’s popularity in the 1970s and ’80s, appearing in signature yellow polka-dot tights with his sidekick “valet,” Sapphire.
Mr. Runnels remained a fixture with WWE after retiring from the ring and was working at its Performance Center in Orlando.
Virgil Riley Runnels Jr. was born in Austin on Oct. 12, 1945. Throughout his several decades in the ring, he endeared himself to fans as an everyman with a less- than-stellar physique but a gregarious gift of gab behind a microphone.
Mr. Runnels was also the father of two WWE wrestlers: Dustin Runnels, better known as Goldust, and Cody Runnels, who wrestles under the name Stardust. A complete list of survivors could not immediately be confirmed.
Fans embraced Dusty Rhodes and his everyman demeanor.