TMZ has discovered that, prior to his death, Tommy Lister apparently paid homage to his character in the 1995 cult classic Friday by legally changing his middle name to "Debo."
Born Thomas Duane Lister Jr., the former actor and wrestler appears in his death certificate as Tommy Debo Lister. Despite being known as "Tiny" throughout his career, his legal middle name is a reference to Deebo, the character he's best known for playing in the Friday franchise. While the spelling may be different, it doesn't diminish what that role seems to have meant to him.
Lister died in December. Although an official cause of death has not been revealed, he is thought to died due to complications consistent with COVID-19. He was 62. His manager Cindy Cowan said, per CNN, Lister started feeling ill a week before his death before his symptoms "got really bad, really quick," adding, "He couldn't breathe and felt very weak. It literally went so fast."
Cowen revealed Lister had recovered from COVID-19 months before his passing. When he started feeling sick, Lister suspected that he had contracted the virus again. "He thought maybe his diabetes was starting to kick up because he just wasn’t feeling right," Cowan recalls. "He said, 'I feel like I’m getting COVID again.'"
Lister is survived by a daughter.