Tommy Lister's Cause Of Death Revealed

WWE star and actor Tommy "Tiny" Lister was one of the many celebs who sadly passed away in 2020. As AP reported on December 10, 2020, the 62-year-old was found unconscious inside his Marina Del Rey home in California by his manager, Cindy Cowan. Lister, who's best known for playing lovable bully Deebo in the "Friday" movie franchise, had battled and overcome COVID-19 earlier that year, but fell ill again shortly before his tragic death

As we previously reported, a week before his untimely passing, Lister was interviewed by Brandon Jay on December 5 and struggled with breathing and speaking. Then, on December 7, he took part in a livestream with fans, which left them worried about his health. Not only did Lister exhibit unusually low energy, but he once again appeared to have a tough time breathing and speaking.

That revelation left many wondering if the "gentle giant," as Cowan called him, had perhaps died due to the virus. As she told People on December 12, Lister tested positive for COVID-19 four months earlier, but started "to feel not well again" and show "COVID symptoms" a week before his death. "He thought maybe his diabetes was starting to kick up because he just wasn't feeling right," she shared. "He said, 'I feel like I'm getting COVID again.'" 

Despite many believing the virus likely played a role in Lister's death, the actual cause was not made known — until now.

Did Tommy Lister really die from COVID-19?

When Cindy Cowan spoke with People following Tommy "Tiny" Lister's death, she revealed that she had pushed her client to get a test done, but noted, "I actually think he was really afraid to get tested again." So she vowed to take him for one, but he died before she was able to do just that. The actor was pronounced dead at his home and as she confessed, "All of us are kicking ourselves that we didn't force him [to get tested] earlier." 

It sure seemed like COVID-19 was to blame for the pro wrestler's passing, but in April 2021, four months after his death, Lister's autopsy revealed the actual cause of death: heart disease. TMZ obtained a copy of the autopsy report, which showed that Lister died from hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. However, COVID-19 couldn't be written off completely. That's because the autopsy revealed that a nasal swab was taken and came back positive for the virus. However, the autopsy also revealed that "The Fifth Element" actor was battling a slew of other health issues, including fluid in his chest, an enlarged heart, high blood pressure, poor circulation in his legs, and coronary artery disease.

After his tragic death, Cowan still remembers Lister as "an amazing man."