I would have liked to have begun on a slightly happier note, but this came out of the blue.
I was taken aback and sad to hear of the death today of the wrestling legend and actor “Rowdy” Roddy Piper at the age of just sixty-one. Though his career spanned many decades, many accolades, and was illustrious enough before the meteoric rise of professional wrestling, he will surely be best known for being at the forefront of exactly that, becoming a household name and headlining the very first WWF WrestleMania pay-per-view in 1985, tangling with Mr. T and Hulk Hogan, to whom he would remain a thorn in the side for some time. Even to non-fans, his incredible psychology and razor-sharp charisma on the microphone ensured that he was a performer not easily forgotten, and indeed, it got to the point where he could no longer be painted as villainous, because the crowds adored him. He retained that affection for the rest of his career and life, enjoying a reputation as one of the most universally appreciated wrestlers I know of. I’m sure he will be remembered just as fondly.
I was compelled to make a simple portrait of the man, in tribute.
1954 – 2015