WWE Hall of Famer George "The Animal" Steele died at the age of 79.
Steele's death was confirmed on WWE.com. ESS Promotions agent Eric Simms sent out a tweet Thursday reporting Steele's wife said the former wrestling star was in hospice care. WWE also released a video honoring Steele on Saturday:
Let's celebrate the life of the late, great @WWE Hall of Famer George "The Animal" Steele... https://t.co/1oRRsMaUMb2/18/2017, 12:00:54 PM
The Animal left a long-lasting impression on the wrestling business, which led to many of his peers offering their condolences and memories on Twitter.
WWE legend Hulk Hogan was among them:
Hulk Hogan @HulkHogan
George"the Animal"Steel,RIP my brother,only love,only grateful. HH2/17/2017, 2:38:39 PM
Another WWE Hall of Famer and pop culture phenomenon, The Iron Sheik, chimed in as well:
The Iron Sheik @the_ironsheik
REST IN PEACE GEORGE THE ANIMAL STEELE. YOU WERE ALWAYS THE INTELLIGENT BROTHER I LOVE YOU https://t.co/4yQ1YyzyJ22/17/2017, 4:03:49 PM
Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross also tipped his cap to Steele with the following tweet:
Steele made his professional wrestling debut in 1967 and competed in the squared circle for more than two decades.
The Detroit native was known for several distinguishing characteristics, including a green tongue.
He also set himself apart from the rest with his signature act of tearing open the turnbuckle covers and eating the stuffing inside.
Although Steele was a villain for much of his career, he turned face in 1985 and went on to engage in a feud with Randy "Macho Man" Savage.
Steele lost an Intercontinental Championship match to Savage at WrestleMania 2 and was in Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat's corner when he beat Savage for the title at WrestleMania 3 in what is widely considered one of the greatest bouts in wrestling history.