An autopsy performed on Tommy “Tiny” Lister found that the actor best known for his role as Deebo in the Friday franchise died of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, TMZ reports. The L.A. County Medical Examiner said Lister also tested positive for COVID-19, but concluded that heart disease was the cause of death.
Lister’s manager Cindy Cowan said in December that he tested positive four months prior to his death. Cowan recalls him struggling to breathe and feeling lethargic. Despite going through many of the common symptoms, Lister was never hospitalized, and opted to stay home and quarantine. A week before his sudden passing, Cowan said he was expected to come by her home, but decided to stay away because he was fearful that he contracted the virus again.
Those close to Lister grew concerned about his health when they hadn’t heard from him days prior to his death. Lister’s declining health led to him canceling his first day of filming a new movie starring Sam Worthington, as well as a Zoom appearance for a panel at a TV festival. A wellness check was performed, and Lister was found unconscious in his L.A. apartment in December. He was declared dead at the scene.
The autopsy revealed he had an enlarged heart with high blood pressure, poor circulation in his legs, and coronary artery disease. Cowan said Lister was excited about the possibility of getting the vaccine, and returning to some semblance of normalcy, which included spending time with his daughter Faith.
“RIP Tiny “Deebo” Lister,” Ice Cube, who was Lister’s co-star in Friday, wrote after news of the actor’s death was announced. “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. Followed by a big smile and laugh. Thank you for being a good dude at heart. I miss you already.”