On their site, the WWE released the following statement:
WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer. Moody made his WWE debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and went on to become a memorable part of WWE over the course of the next 20 years.
Our deepest condolences go out to Moody’s family, friends and fans.
Born William Alvin Moody, he made his debut in the wrestling world in 1979 as Percy Pringle, in several independent organizations in the South. He took time off after his first son was born, but returned to the sport in 1984.
He made his debut in the WWE in 1991 as Paul Bearer, the mortician-themed manager for The Undertaker. Brother Love, who first introduced Undertaker to the world, gave him the manager position.
Throughout the next 20 years, he would make appearances off and on with the WWE. In recent months, he had made appearances with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
His death truly marks the end of an era in the WWE. He was from a time when wrestlers actually used managers and managers had a real effect on the success of a wrestler. Sometimes simply associating a wrestler with a particular manager could ignite or save a floundering career.
He was a true over-the-top character who somehow managed to keep it working. Had he debuted in 2013, he would have most likely been laughed off the stage. But instead, his presence helped create the myth that is Undertaker.
His wife Diana died from complications from breast cancer and chemotherapy in 2009. He is survived by his two sons, David and Michael.
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