This is sad sad news. Tiny Lister is known to most of us for his amazing work in “Friday” and “The Fifth Element”. His face and unique eye condition made him instantly recognizable. Now he’s passed at 62.
His manager Cindy Cowan confirmed that he was found unresponsive in his apartment in Marina del Rey, Calif. after displaying symptoms of COVID-19 in recent days. He had been working on a film and had to cancel filming after falling ill.
The 6’5? Lister was born blind with a detached and deformed retina in his right eye, which became something of a trademark for him; he was frequently cast as a villain, like in “Friday” and opposite Hulk Hogan in 1989’s “No Holds Barred.” (Hogan accidentally broke Lister’s nose in one of their scenes.)
“He has such a good, positive spirit,” “48 Hours” and “Warriors” director Walter Hill, who gave Lister his big break in 1986’s “Blue City,” told Grantland in 2014. “This discovery that this big, strong fella is actually sweet and friendly just makes you like him and brings about a very positive feeling.”
Compton native Lister ducked gang and drug activity growing up, preferring track and field, where he eventually parlayed his affinity for the shot-put into becoming the 1982 Division II national champion in the event while at Cal State-Los Angeles.