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Though Tommy “Tiny” Lister hopped on the scene as Hulk Hogan’s archnemesis, Zeus, in the wrestling film bomb known as No Holds Barred back in the 80’s, the bodybuilding actor won the affection of fans as the neighborhood bully Deebo in Ice Cube’s cult classic comedy Friday in the 90’s.
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Unfortunately, Lister was one of the many beloved celebs we lost in 2020 but before he passed away TMZ is reporting that the big man with a bigger heart had actually legally changed his name to that of the fan favorite Friday character, Deebo. Having obtained a copy of his death certificate, TMZ still weren’t able to get any information about Lister’s cause of death (many suspect it was COVID-related because 2020), but did come across an interesting tidbit that many of us were unaware of.
His full name reads Tommy Debo Lister, very different from his reported birth name … Thomas Duane Lister Jr.It’s interesting for a number of reasons. Obviously, Tommy is most famous for portraying Deebo in the “Friday” franchise — and, no, we didn’t spell that wrong … but it appears Tommy did. In any case, it’s quite clear he loved the character — so much so, he actually made it part of his real-life identity … opting for that instead of “Tiny,” his longtime public nickname.His manager, Cindy Cowan, tells TMZ he made the change in an L.A. court about 6 months ago — because he felt his fans and the public at large simply knew him from “Friday.”Well, us older heads knew him as Deebo AND Zeus (No Holds Barred), but yeah, he was in fact Deebo as far as we were concerned.We’re not sure if this makes us feel better or sadder, but regardless of how we feel it’s nice to know that the man knew how beloved he was by the culture based off a single role that he knocked the f*ck out the park.Rest In Power, Debo.