(Updated) DETROIT, MI — Known for his green tongue, hairy chest 
and unpredictable on-mat antics, professional wrestler George 
“The Animal” Steele has died. World Wrestling Entertainment
 announced the Detroit native’s death on Twitter Friday. He was 79.
WWE said Steele, whose real name is Jim Myers, was “one of the 
wildest and most unpredictable superstars in sports-entertainment
 history.” He burst on the WWE scene in 1985, but before that, he
 played football for Michigan State University before a knee injury
 ended his career. He coached football, wrestling and track in
 Madison Heights, where he grew up.
In 1996, years after he left high school coaching to pursue his 
WWE career, he was inducted into the Michigan High School
 Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
His first WWE match was in 1967 in a heated match with WWE
 champion Bruno Sammartino, but the professional sport is a
 distant cousin of high school wrestling. The professional wrestling
 Hall of Famer was a reviled villain who energized fans with 
what WWE called an an “insatiable appetite for turnbuckle pads” —
 which he tore up with his teeth.
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Myers, who retired from professional wrestling in 1988 when he
 was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, was inducted in the WWE
 Hall of fame in 1995.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Pat, and three children.
Photo by swiftwj via Wikimedia Commons