Sad news to report today, especially for fans of sports movies and teen comedies. One 1990s luminary is no longer with us. Best known for playing Billy Bob in the football dramedy Varsity Blues, actor Ron Lester has passed away at the young age of 45. He succumbed to a long battle with liver and kidney ailments. Lester's manager had this to say on Facebook about the actor's untimely death.
"Tonight my friends we lost my good friend and actor Ron Lester - He passed at 8:57 pm Dallas TX Time. He was not in any pain and passed away peacefully. For the Media - I will release a press statement as soon as I have a chance to mourn my friend. Please keep his Fiancee Jennifer Worland in your prayers as she was with him. His friends and family was around him during this difficult time."
It was widely reported just yesterday that Ron Lester had been moved to hospice care. The actor was listed as being in critical condition at a Dallas area hospital. Lester earlier suffered complete liver and kidney failure. He was moved to the ICU and had his breathing tubes removed. He had been in the hospital for the past four months. Ron was quite open about his issues on Twitter. And had this to say back in November, thanking his fiancé Jennifer Worland for her support.
"Liver & kidneys are starting to heal, Came close to dying! With out my fiancé Jennifer Worland, I wouldn't be alive!"
Ron Lester is a Georgia native. He started his career in acting doing commercials in Atlanta. Before long, he found himself hurrying to Hollywood, where he would pursue movie work. He also put himself on stage as a stand-up comic. His first big break came in the 1997 cult comedy Good Burger, playing the beloved character Splatch opposite the two leads, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell of Nickelodeon fame.
It wasn't long after that he found himself starring opposite James Van Der Beek, Paul Walker and Jon Voight in the iconic 1990s movie Varsity Blues. With his big stature, he turned in a memorable performance as Billy Bob, a powerful offensive guard of the West Canaan High School football team. The movie follows a back-up quarterback chosen to lead a Texas football team to victory after the star quarterback is injured.
Lester then went onto play the memorable character Seidleman in a number of Freaks and Geeks episodes. He also playing the recurring character Michael 'Sugar Daddy' Bernardino on the series Popular. As the teen movie resurgence started to wind down, he got to poke fun at his own Varsity Blues character in the spoof comedy Not Another Teen Movie, starring alongside Captain America's own Chris Evans. Over the next few years, he would appear in a handful of TV movies.
In April of last year, Lester appeared in the drama Racing Legacy, about a 15 year old boy who fulfills his fathers dream of becoming a Nascar driver. He is also listed as one of the lead actors in Bomb City, which is currently shooting. It isn't known if Lester finished his portion of the movie before being moved to the hospital last year, or where that film is in production. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. And we will be sure to update you should any further information come forth.