Pro Wrestling Legend George “The Animal” Steele Has Died
The green tongue. Ripped open turnbuckle pads. The caveman-like chants of “Heyyyy” and “Youuuu!” George “The Animal” Steele was one of the most entertaining wrestlers of the WWF in the 80s. Very sad to pass along the news he has passed away at age 79.
I had the chance to announce for one of his shows in Boston about 20 years ago. I’ll never forget walking into the meeting room where the promoter was sitting with George going over the night’s card. Seeing George speak like a normal human being for the first time was jarring. After watching him so many times in character throughout my childhood, it was so odd to see him … normal. He was ironically a pretty serious, but nice guy. I tried not to stare as I saw him for the first time speak full complete sentences.
About a year ago, I got a chance to chat quickly with George. One of our QYK producers does a pro wrestling podcast and had George on as a guest. I stepped in for a few minutes to say hi. He talked for an hour about his days in the ring, sharing hilarious stories and how life had changed since wrestling. I was amazed by how sharp he was. His memory was incredible. Articulate, funny… I had no idea his health was in decline.
One of my favorite memories of George outside the ring was when he played a wrestler (big stretch huh?) in Johnny Depp’s movie “Ed Wood.”
Rest in peace Animal!