Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images
  /  04.29.2021

Tommy “Tiny” Lister, the actor best known for his role as Deebo in Friday, died from heart disease, according to the results of a recently released autopsy.

Lister passed away on Dec. 10 in a sudden death that shocked his fans and peers in Hollywood. At the time, the actor — who was found unconscious in his Marina Del Rey apartment — was said to have experienced COVID-19 symptoms prior to his death. According to an autopsy conducted by the L.A. County Medical Examiner, he did test positive for the virus. His cause of death, however, was actually heart disease.

The results of the post-mortem examination showed that Lister had an enlarged heart when he died. He was also found to have fluid in his chest as well as high blood pressure, poor circulation in his legs and coronary artery disease.

When Tiny passed away, his manager Cindy Cowan revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 four months before he died. She said that he exhibited many symptoms of the virus like shortness of breath and lethargy, but he chose not to go to the hospital, opting instead to stay home and quarantine while he recovered. She added that the actor feared he’d contracted the virus again a week before his sudden death and cancelled plans to stop by her home to ensure he didn’t expose her it.

Lister also stayed away from many who were close to him in the days before he passed. His absence, especially from a scheduled Zoom appearance and the set of what was supposed to be a new film with Sam Worthington, caused concern, resulting in the completion of a wellness check, which ended with the discovery of his unconscious body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The news of Tiny’s death was met with heartfelt tributes from his loved ones, including Magic Johnson, Ice-T and Ice Cube, who casted him for the role of Deebo. “America’s favorite bully was a born entertainer who would pop into character at the drop of a hat terrifying people on and off camera,” wrote Cube. “Followed by a big smile and laugh. Thank you for being a good dude at heart. I miss you already.”


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