WWE.com is reporting that a wrestling legend has died. Paul Bearer passed away at the age of 58. The cause of death is currently unclear. Bearer, real name William Moody made his debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and managed in the WWE for nearly two decades.
Bearer was a memorable part of the WWE for over 20 years. Bearer portrayed a memorable character who would hold an urn, mischievously watching over it during The Undertaker's matches. He went on to manage both The Undertaker and Kane off and on for over two decades. Bearer will go down as one of the most memorable characters in WWE history.
Moody got started in the wrestling business in the late 70's under the name Percival "Percy" Pringle III. Moody joined the WWF (now WWE) in 1990. WWF owner Vince McMahon used Moody's real-life involvement in the funeral industry to create the Paul Bearer character.
Bearer would retire from his on-screen role in 2000, but served as a road agent, stage manager, and talent scout until 2002 when his contract with WWE ran out. Moody briefly worked with wrestling organization Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2002 for about a year.
Bearer would return to WWE in 2003 and work on and off until his last on-screen performance in April 2012. Bearer made an appearance as Vader's manager in October 2012 at a Pro Wrestling Syndicate event in New Jersey. Among the many wrestlers Bearer managed during his career were Kane, Undertaker, Koko B. Ware, Lex Luger, and Mankind.
The WWE released a statement saying, "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."
Bearer died at the age of 58. According to TMZ, Bearer struggled with numerous health issues over the past decade, including morbid obesity and gallbladder issues.
Thoughts go out to Moody's friends and family.