WWE Star 'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes Dies at 69

Wrestler Dusty Rhodes in an undated photo.
Wrestler Dusty Rhodes in an undated photo.MediaPunch/REX via AP

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By Reuters

Wrestling star "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes — whose real name is Virgil Runnels — died Thursday, Variety.com reported. He was 69.

The WWE said in a statement that it is "deeply saddened" by Runnels' death, and as a WWE Hall of Famer and three-time NWA Champion he was "one of the most captivating and charismatic figures in sports entertainment history."

Wrestler Dusty Rhodes in an undated photo.MediaPunch/REX via AP

The cause of Rhodes' death was not released.

WWE Star Triple H first announced the news on Twitter:

Rhodes, who rose to stardom in the 1980s and 1990s, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.

"WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Runnels' family, friends and colleagues," the wrestling company said.

Other professional wrestling stars shared their memories Thursday of the Austin, Texas-born Runnels on social media:

WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, aka "The American Dream", has passed away at the age of 69.Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images
Erik Ortiz contributed.