Entertainment Icon Dead at 79

Entertainment Icon Dead at 79

(UnitedVoice.com) – Former wrestling legend Terry Funk has died aged 79. Throughout a career lasting over half a century, Funk entertained generations of fans and continued wrestling into his 70s. He also expanded into acting, appearing alongside major Hollywood stars.

Terence Funk was born in Hammond, Indiana, on June 30, 1944; he was the younger son of professional wrestler Dorrance “Dory” Funk. When he was still a toddler, his family moved to Amarillo, Texas, where he grew up immersed in and surrounded by the pro wrestling scene. As a student at West Texas State University, he was an amateur wrestler as well as a football player.

Funk, following on from his brother Dory Jr., began his own pro wrestling career in Western State Sports, which was managed by his father. His debut match was on December 9, 1965. He quickly became one of the promotion’s stars, and in 1975, he rose even higher when he defeated Jack Brisco to take the NWA world heavyweight championship. From 1972 on, he and his brother also had success in Japan.

Terry moved to the WWF in 1985 and fought a string of title matches. In 1989, he switched to World Championship Wrestling, where he ran — and lost — a feud with Ric Flair. He then returned to the Japanese scene in 1994. Funk carried on wrestling until 2017, regularly moving between promotions, appearing in his last fight at the age of 73.

Funk also became a star of the screen as well as the ring. He appeared as a bouncer in the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie “Road House” and went on to take roles in several other movies. Notably, he choreographed the climactic street fight in “Rocky V.”

Terry Funk married once, to Vicky Ann in 1965. They had two daughters and remained together until her death in 2019. Funk had been suffering from dementia since 2021. He died on August 23.

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