Iconic wrestling announcer 'Mean' Gene Okerlund has died, aged 76
Quite literally the voice of a generation.
WWE Hall of Famer 'Mean' Gene Okerlund has passed away at the age of 76.
WWE confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon, extending their condolences to Okerlund's family, friends and fans.
A key fixture of the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling, Okerlund boasted a commanding voice and admirably kept pace with the larger-than-life superstars he was tasked with interviewing backstage.
He got his start in the American Wrestling Association in 1970 before moving to the WWF in 1984. WCW was next in late 1993 before a return to the WWF at WrestleMania X-Seven in 2001.
A hugely popular figure, Okerlund was often just as charismatic a performer as those who towered over him and was always game to wind up in increasingly over-the-top situations, even taking to the ring itself a couple of times.
His last WWE appearance came in January of 2018 when he interviewed AJ Styles on the 25th anniversary episode of Monday Night Raw.
For many a wrestling fan growing up, Okerlund truly was the voice of a generation.
Tributes were quick to pour in from his peers on social media:
A voice and sound track to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of @WWE’s most memorable segments. “Mean Gene” was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. https://t.co/9ddj6372eE
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 2, 2019
Mean Gene was the voice of millions of childhoods. Mine certainly. An honor to meet him. Condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/krsMtbeNIl
— Ettore “Big E” Ewen (@WWEBigE) January 2, 2019
RIP “Mean” Gene. Thanks for the memories and being a Gentleman.
God Bless. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/AJn3HsY7Am
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) January 2, 2019
So sad to hear of the passing of one of the greatest voices in wrestling. Mean Gene you will be missed and we will continue to love you. What a true class act. I am very fortunate to work with you.
— Charles Robinson (@WWERobinson) January 2, 2019
Enjoy the man in action doing his best to keep up with an especially lively and spirited Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania IV:
Clip via WWE