Tom Lister Jr.

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Tom Lister, Jr.
Tommy "Tiny" Lister.jpg
Tiny Lister, 2011
Born Thomas Lister, Jr.
(1958-06-24) June 24, 1958 (age 56)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Professional wrestler
Years active 1984–present (actor)
1989-1996 (wrestler)

Tommy "Tiny" Lister (born Thomas Lister, Jr. on June 24, 1958) is an American character actor and retired professional wrestler known for his role as the neighborhood bully Deebo in the Friday trilogy series of movies and his role as President Lindberg in The Fifth Element. He also had a short-lived professional wrestling career, wrestling Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) after appearing as Zeus in Hogan's movie No Holds Barred.[1] Lister is blind in his right eye.

Lister has had numerous guest appearances in TV series, including playing Klaang (the first Klingon ever to make contact with humans) in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. He also co-starred in a two-part episode of the courtroom series Matlock as Mr. Matlock's in-prison bodyguard.

Lister performed a cameo as a prisoner in The Dark Knight as well as Austin Powers in Goldmember in the "Hard Knock Life" spoof. He also appeared as Sancho in the music video for Sublime's song "Santeria".

Acting career[edit]

Lister is best known as Deebo from Friday. Deebo was the neighborhood bully and antagonist for Ice Cube's character, Craig Jones. He reprised the role in the film's sequel, Next Friday, but did not appear in the third film of the series, Friday After Next.

Lister was also featured in The Fifth Element as the cool-headed Galactic President, a departure from his usual thug characters. The Fifth Element also featured Lister's Friday co-star Chris Tucker, although their characters never interact in the film. He appeared in the Adam Sandler film Little Nicky as Nicky's older brother Cassius.

Lister was the main police officer in Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" video, and reprised his role as a police officer in Chamillionaire's 2012 single Show Love. He has also appeared in the Ice Cube videos for "Friday" (from the Friday soundtrack) and "You Can Do It" (from the Next Friday soundtrack). Lister appeared via both original footage and film clips from the movie. He was also in the videos for Young Bleed's "How You Do Dat"; French Montana's "I Told 'Em" and 50 Cent's "Many Men".

Lister also portrayed Sancho in the Sublime music video "Santeria". In the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, he played bail agent Winston, who "finds people who don't want to be found". He briefly appears in The Dark Knight as an honorable convict caught in one of the Joker's schemes.

Lister recently appeared in a Coors Light commercial with his Friday co-star Ice Cube, as part of Ice Cube's continued role of challenging a can or bottle of beer to be "colder" than him. The commercial saw Lister try to intimidate a bottle by cracking his knuckles at it while glaring menacingly, then get "snowed on" by an aluminum pint bottle after Ice Cube ducked out of the way.

More recently (2013), Lister can be seen in commercial for Texas attorney Brian Loncar as well as Louisville, Ky., attorney Daryl Issacs, playing the role of the owner of "Deebo Insurance" company. The commercial includes the attorneys saying "don't get Deebo'd by the other insurance company, call me...".

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Tom Lister.jpg
Born (1958-06-24) June 24, 1958 (age 56)[1]
Compton, California[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Zeus[1]
Ze Gangsta[1]
Billed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[2]
Billed weight 310 lb (140 kg)[1][2]
Billed from Parts Unknown[2]
Debut April 25, 1989[1]
Retired 1996

World Wrestling Federation (1989)[edit]

Lister appeared in the 1989 wrestling movie No Holds Barred, which was financed by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and starred Hulk Hogan. Lister's role was Zeus, a brutal monster heel.

No Holds Barred inspired a feud in the WWF ring during the latter half of 1989. Lister was billed as "Zeus: The Human Wrecking Machine",[2] and used the same "unfazable monster heel" gimmick in his matches – by no selling his opponent's more lethal moves. Zeus also had the notion to yell "Aw Aw" and pound on his chest several times during his interviews and in-ring action, and sometimes would mispronounce wrestler's names, like referring to Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake as "Beefcake Barber".

Eventually, Zeus demanded Hogan face him in the ring. Citing jealousy for being billed under Hogan and anger over losing to Hogan in the movie, Zeus now wanted to beat him in "real life". Zeus formed an alliance with fellow Hogan rival "Macho Man" Randy Savage to feud with Hogan and his friend, Brutus Beefcake. The two teams faced off at the 1989 SummerSlam event in a tag team match which saw Hogan and Beefcake prevail as the victors.

Following SummerSlam, Zeus formed an alliance with "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase leading into the Survivor Series. At the event, the team of The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and Demolition) faced The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, Zeus, and the Powers of Pain). Zeus was eliminated from the match via disqualification after refusing to break a chokehold on Hogan and shoving the referee away.[2] The Hulkamaniacs went on to win the match.

After the Survivor Series, the feud between Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake versus Randy Savage and Zeus ended with a steel cage match on December 27, 1989 at No Holds Barred pay-per-view event. Hogan and Beefcake were once again victorious in what would be Zeus's last match in the WWF, and shortly afterwards he made a brief promotional appearance prior to the Royal Rumble, his last appearance with the WWF.

World Championship Wrestling (1996)[edit]

Lister also spent a short time in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as "Ze Gangsta" (or Z-Gangsta) as part of The Alliance to End Hulkamania during 1996. Lister's WCW career was equally as short-lived as his WWF run.

Pro Wrestling Diary[edit]

In a 2009 shoot interview DVD released by Pro Wrestling Diary LLC, Lister discusses the character Zeus in great detail, including the "invincible" wrecking machine gimmick where he had to no-sell the offense moves of opponents in the ring.

Personal life[edit]

Tommy Lister was born on June 24, 1958, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. When he was young, his family left the segregated South and moved to Compton, California, seeking relief from the visible signs of the Jim Crow South. He also watched his favorite movie stars such as Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston, and Errol Flynn, deciding that he wanted to go into acting one day.[3]

Lister was born blind with a detached and deformed retina in his right eye[4] and grew up in Compton but avoided gang life by developing an interest in films and religion instead. Upon graduation, he attended Palomar Junior College before transferring to Long Beach City College for his sophomore year where he recorded a 52' shot put which helped to earn him a scholarship to Cal State LA. In his senior year, he won the National shotput title with a mark of over 61'8". After college, Lister competed for the Converse Track Club eventually raising his shotput mark to 64'3" before trying out with the New Orleans Breakers of the United States Football League. He was cut after 2 exhibition games and opted instead for acting.[5]

Lister is 6' 5" (196 cm) tall and weighs 300 lbs (136 kg). Lister has appeared on The Trinity Broadcasting Network. He is an evangelical born-again Christian. In 1999, he and Darryl Strawberry appeared on evangelist Benny Hinn's T.V. program giving their testimonies. Afterward, Hinn laid hands on Lister and prophesied over him. Hinn said, "God is calling you to reach out to young people and will bless your acting career to do it." Since then, he's made numerous appearances on faith-based networks and speaks to urban youth and at church functions across the country. Lister has recently become a member of the Christian church, The Light of the World.[6] Lister also attended California State University, Los Angeles where he was the 1982 NCAA Division II National Shot Put Champion, and currently the university athletic department sponsors an annual track meet in his name.

On August 31, 2012, Lister agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to commit mortgage fraud, in a scheme that led to $3.8 million in losses. He was charged with fraudulently buying homes in order to withdraw $1.1 million in home equity loans.[7]

In wrestling[edit]



External links[edit]