The pro wrestling world is in mourning today after the loss of one of sports entertainment's most colorful and iconic managers and entertainers. Bobby Heenan, a.k.a. "The Brain," passed away at age 73. While no cause of death was announced, the famous loudmouth manager had been in poor health for years, after he was diagnosed with throat cancer back in 2002. He died at his home in Largo, Florida. Here's part of the WWE's statement on Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
"WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Bobby Heenan, regarded by many as the greatest manager in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 73. With a career spanning more than four decades, Heenan was the "The Brain" behind some of the most prolific Superstars in sports-entertainment history. Heenan plied his trade as their mischievous manager by running his mouth on their behalf with a sarcastic wit considered among the best in the business. Heenan named competitors under his guidance as the Heenan Family, a moniker meant to show the strength of their alliance over any opposition. Members of the Heenan Family in the AWA and WWE read like the who's who of sports-entertainment, including Legends and WWE Hall of Famers such as Nick Bockwinkel, the Blackjacks, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), Harley Race, and of course, the first WWE Hall of Famer, Andre the Giant, whom Heenan led to the ring at WrestleMania III before 93,173 fans."
The report from WWE.com is also accompanied by a brief video, which you can see below, that includes some highlights from the late WWE legend and his remarkable career. Robert Heenan was born November 1, 1944 in Chicago, and grew up as a huge wrestling fan, even working various wrestling events as a young child, carrying the bags and jackets for wrestlers and selling concessions. He dropped out of school in the eighth grade to support his mother and grandmother, and his first big break in wrestling came in 1965, when he was known as "Pretty Boy" Bobby Heenan. Even in those early days, his gimmick as a fast-talking loudmouth would stay with him for his entire career. After a stint in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the World Wrestling Association, he moved to the American Wrestling Association, where he became known as Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Here's the remainder of the WWE's statement about the passing of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
"As impossible as it may seem, Heenan's overwhelming success as a manager was matched by that of his announcing career. Heenan's constant verbal jousts with fellow WWE Hall of Famers Gorilla Monsoon and "Mean" Gene Okerlund on USA Network remain among the most memorable moments in sports-entertainment history. In fact, "The Brain" was so entertaining that The Bobby Heenan Show had a brief run on USA Network as well. In addition, "The Brain" was part of the original broadcast team for Monday Night Raw in 1993, and also sat at the announce table for both Raw and WCW Monday Nitro. WWE extends its condolences to Heenan's family, friends and fans."
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was a fixture of the WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, when he decided to leave the company at the end of 1993, since he was still in pain from the broken neck he suffered a decade earlier. While he had reportedly originally planned to retire from wrestling altogether, he joined the rival World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1994, until he was released by the company in 2000. He also wrote two books, 2002's Bobby The Brain: Wrestling's Bad Boy Tells All, and 2004's Chair Shots and Other Obstacles: Winning Life's Wrestling Matches, which were both co-written by Steve Anderson. Take a look at the video below featuring some of the most memorable moments from the late WWE legend, along with several tweets from pro wrestling luminaries, paying their respects to "The Brain."
One of the greatest managers and announcers in WWE history. Our thoughts are with the Heenan family. pic.twitter.com/r9A3IJlSoP— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) September 18, 2017
...one of a kind. pic.twitter.com/2uM1qpWHaF— Triple H (@TripleH) September 17, 2017
Blessed for The Brain to drop his wisdom that has stuck with me forever. RIP Bobby Heenan pic.twitter.com/KZHzTg1E2z— Virgil (@TheRealVirgil) September 18, 2017
Bobby Heenan died today and it has left me very sad. He was the best of the best in the biz and a friend. RIP Bobby. Praying for you Cindy pic.twitter.com/T8wuFAYuST— Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) September 17, 2017
Today we lost one of our legends.— Bubba Ray Dudley (@bullyray5150) September 17, 2017
Im just happy the last words I said to him were, "I love you Bobby."
RIP Bobby Heenan pic.twitter.com/ofqi6IJguD
Goodbye to another friend. Bobby Heenan has been my hero these past few https://t.co/loEkpSYnF8 he battled cancer with such defiance and— Bret Hart (@BretHart) September 18, 2017
So stunned about Bobby Heenan--he formed in my mind as a fan AND performer what I thought a manager should be. Best ever. #LoveYouBobbyRIP— Jim Cornette (@TheJimCornette) September 18, 2017
Bobby Heenan was pure magic. Out of all his talents, his ability to make anyone laugh will live on forever. RIP. pic.twitter.com/4N7eFz50qI— Mustafa Ali (@MustafaAliWWE) September 17, 2017
Rest In Peace to the amazing, Bobby Heenan. You will be missed but remembered forever.— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) September 18, 2017
The news of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan's passing today gutted me.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) September 17, 2017
I loved our time together.
No one ever did it better than the Wease.