Ivan Koloff, AKA ‘The Russian Bear’ has passed away just one day after the world lost fellow wrestling legend, George “The Animal” Steele. Koloff had been battling liver cancer and was in ‘urgent need of medical care’ at the time of his death. HollywoodLife.com has details on the super sad story.
The wrestling world is in mourning following the passing of yet another WWE legend. Ivan “The Russian Bear” Koloff died Feb. 18. following a battle with liver cancer. His passing follows hot on the heels of the sad news that George “The Animal” Steele had passed away, age 79, and the tragic death of former WWE legend, Nicole Bass, 52. Fans and wrestlers alike took to social media to remember the 74-year-old great, posting their condolences on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Hulk Hogan led the brigade, sharing that he would feel “hopeless” over the tragic loss, if it wasn’t for his faith.
RIP Ivan Koloff,it's been a tough week,Chavo,Nicole Bass,George Steel,Ivan and Marty Prince,I would feel helpless if not for my faith1loveHH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) February 18, 2017
Former wrestler-turned-manager, Ric Flair, along with fellow fighters Mike Barnett, Christopher Daniels, Brutus Beefcake, and Honky Tonk Man, were amongst others in the wrestling world who paid their respects to the fighting great. Christopher thanked Ivan for making him love wrestling, and Mike credited him with “paving the way” for his career.
— Miracle (@RealMikeBennett) February 18, 2017
Condolences go out to the Ivan Koloff family on Ivan's passing. Another fantastic guy and a real first class gentleman.
— Honky Tonk Man® (@OfficialHTM) February 18, 2017
Rest in Peace Ivan Koloff. Thank you for your part in making me love professional wrestling.
— Christopher Daniels (@facdaniels) February 18, 2017
Ivan Koloff, RIP Brother
— Brutus Beefcake (@brutusbeefcake_) February 18, 2017
I'm Sad To Wake Up And Hear of the passing of my very close friend the Russian Bear Ivan Koloff. You will be missed My Friend. Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/nziKZ2Zqy4
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) February 18, 2017
Adding yet further to the tragedy, it would appear Ivan had fallen on hard times since his retirement from the wrestling world. His daughter, Rachel Marley, had set up a Go Fund me page on Feb. 2, with the aim of raising money to pay for her ailing father’s treatment. At time of posting, the campaign had raised $4,800 of the required $30,000 goal. Rachel’s post on the crowd sourcing site reads:
Our family needs your support. We have just gotten news from his recent blood work that shows his liver numbers are at an extreme high, his liver function is failing fast and he is starting to have serious signs of liver failure. My dad was diagnosed with liver disease about 10 years ago and while he has been living with it, he chose not to make this announcement public to his fans and friends.
Instead, he wanted to follow doctors orders and keep on going out and spreading God’s Word. But doctors are now saying that his liver function is getting worse day by day and it will continue to. There are no other medical options available for my dad for a cure; but he will need to continue to go through tests and monitoring and will be taking medications. This has placed a tremendous burden on my parents both emotional and financial. In previous years, my dad has enjoyed staying busy trying to help as many people as he could, but the time has come now where he is no longer able to go out and make any more appearances.
He has enjoyed making wrestling appearances, helping with various fundraisers (such as signing autographs to support Children’s Miracle Network), among other appearances over the years since he retired from wrestling in 1989, earning extra money to offset his disability check. He has enjoyed meeting his fans and friends and having my mom, Renae, travel with him to help him. Our family appreciates ANY financial help that you feel that you are able to give, no matter how small, during this most difficult time of need.
100% of donations will be given to my dad towards his accumulating medical bills and living expenses.
If you are unable to donate, please keep my dad and our family in your prayers. Thank You so very much and May God Bless You!
HollywoodLifers, leave your messages of condolence in the comments below. RIP Ivan Koloff.