George ‘The Animal’ Steele, WWE Hall of Famer and ‘Ed Wood’ Star, Dies at 79

George “The Animal” Steele, a WWE Hall of Famer and star of movies like Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood,” died on Friday at age 79.

Hulk Hogan shared the news of Steele’s death on Twitter, writing, “George”the Animal”Steel,RIP my brother, only love, only grateful. HH.” In addition, a family friend posted a tribute to Steele on Facebook, saying his daughter Felicia had informed them her father had passed.

“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer William James Myers, known to fans as George ‘The Animal’ Steele has passed away at the age of 79,” the entertainment company said in a statement. “WWE extends its condolences to Steele’s family, friends and fans.”

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Steele was born William James Meyers in 1937. An athlete from a young age, he went on to play college football for Michigan State University. He would go on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State and eventually his master’s degree from Central Michigan University.

While working as a teacher and wrestling coach in Michigan, Steele decided to supplement his income by becoming involved in professional wrestling. He first competed in the WWE in 1967, squaring off against the promotion’s long-time champion, Bruno Sammartino.

Steele quickly established himself as one of the most vicious heels (bad guys) in wrestling. In the ring, he was known to claw and bite opponents in addition to many other illegal moves. He was also notorious for tearing apart turnbuckles with his teeth and sticking out his tongue — which he colored green — to intimidate opponents.

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Steele would remain with the WWE for another 20 years. He feuded with “Macho Man” Randy Savage in 1986 for the Intercontinental Championship. He made a final return to the WWE in the 1990’s as a part of the Oddities stable. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995.

Outside the ring, Steele also dabbled in acting. Most famously, he played fellow wrestler Tor Johnson in “Ed Wood” opposite Johnny Depp as the legendary schlock filmmaker.

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Oscars: Amy Adams, Dwayne Johnson Join New Crop of Presenters

Amy Adams, Dwayne Johnson and Emma Stone are among the latest crop of A-list presenters at this month’s Oscar telecast, producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced Thursday.

Other newly-named presenters include Riz Ahmed, Javier Bardem, John Cho, Felicity Jones, Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo and Charlize Theron.

“No matter who you are or where you live, movies bring us together,” De Luca and Todd said in a joint statement. “Through indelible, fearless performances these extraordinary actors help make it happen. We are thrilled to welcome them to the 89th Oscars stage.”

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ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel will emcee the ceremony, which airs at 7 p.m. ET on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Watch ‘Life, Animated’s’ Original Short, ‘Land of the Lost Sidekicks’ (Exclusive Video)

When director Roger Ross Williams set out to make a documentary about Owen Suskind, a young autistic man who learned to communicate from watching animated Disney movies, he knew animation would be essential to his film.

But Williams didn’t realize until later that his film, the Oscar-nominated “Life, Animated,” would include three different layers of animation, including Disney film clips that the studio granted him permission to use, and original animated sequences that illustrated scenes from the life of his subject.

And most importantly, his film also includes “The Land of the Lost Sidekicks,” a new six-minute animated short based on a story that Owen Suskind wrote about a land where the second bananas from Disney movies — Rafiki from “The Lion King,” Baloo from “The Jungle Book,” Iago from “Aladdin” and more — unite to fight off evil alongside Owen himself.

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The short, which is included in “Life, Animated” and is now being shown exclusively at TheWrap, is based on Suskind’s drawings, which have been interpreted by the French animation company Mac Guff with the permission of Disney. Suskind himself provides the narration.

“It’s a film within a film, and it gives the film so much more complexity, because there are so many layers of animation in this film,” said Williams, who won an Oscar for the short doc “Music by Prudence” in 2010 and now serves as a governor in the Academy’s Documentary Branch.

Seeing “The Land of the Lost Sidekicks” assembled by Mac Guff, he added, was a particular treat.

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“That was a magical part of the process, when it first came together,” he said. “I was in Paris with 15 young animators bringing Owen’s inner world to life. I looked out the window and there was the Eiffel Tower, and all these animators were lined up telling Owen’s story, with his face and his characters on their screens.

“I was in tears, and I thought, ‘When does this ever happen in documentaries?’”

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