Former Professional Wrestler Dusty Rhodes Dead at 69 - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Former Professional Wrestler Dusty Rhodes Dead at 69

Image Courtesy: WWE.com Image Courtesy: WWE.com

Staff Report
Associated Press

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - WWE says Virgil Runnels, a former professional wrestler known by his fans as Dusty Rhodes, has died. He was 69.

The company says Runnels died Thursday, but a spokesman declined to say where or how he passed away, saying the family had not authorized the release of that information.

Runnels, who also went by the nickname "The American Dream," was a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, and held the NWA championship three times. He became famous during the height of wrestling's popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, appearing in signature yellow polka dot tights with his sidekick "valet" Sapphire.

He also was the father of two other famous WWE wrestlers: Dustin Runnels, better known as Goldust, and Cody Runnels who wrestles under the name Stardust.

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