After being buried alive a multitude of times throughout his career in the industry, famed wrestling manager “Paul Bearer” – born William Moody of Mobile, Alabama – passed away late Tuesday night due to health complications involving his respiratory system. He was 58 years old.
As much a legend in “sports entertainment” as the wrestlers themselves, Paul Bearer remains one of the most easily recognizable figures in wrestling history – a portly, pale-faced man with a creepy whining voice, who wore a black suit with a bright red pocket square and always carried a golden urn around with him (like a “pallbearer,” hence the name). Initially introduced as then-emerging wrestling heel The Undertaker’s manager in 1990, Paul Bearer would manage many other acts in wrestling, like “Ravishing” Rick Rude and before-he-was-Stone-Cold “Stunning” Steve Austin (under the manager name of “Percival Pringle III”), Mankind, Kane, and Vader, but he would be best associated with ‘Taker and his many reincarnations over the last two decades. Paul Bearer was also at the center of many of World Wrestling Entertainment’s most bizarre and memorable storylines, both televised and in many of the WWE/WWF video games, such as the SmackDown vs. RAW series and WWF WarZone.
Though a spooky figure in the industry, William Moody was described as the exact opposite by friends, coworkers, fans, and family members – a gentle man who was kind, generous, and extremely humble, with a genuine love for the industry. Moody leaves behind two sons.