Dusty Rhodes dead: WWE legend and Hall of Fame wrestler 'The American Dream' dies at 69

Rhodes, whose real name was Virgil Runnels, passed away on Thursday

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The Independent Online

WWE legend Dusty Rhodes has died at the age of 69, the wrestling company has confirmed.

In a statement released on WWE.com, they confirmed that the Hall of Fame Superstar, whose real name was Virgil Runnels, passed away on Thursday.

“WWE is deeply saddened that Virgil Runnels, aka “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes — WWE Hall of Famer, three-time NWA Champion and one of the most captivating and charismatic figures in sports entertainment history — passed away today at the age of 69,” the statement read.

“Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit. Moreover, Runnels was a dedicated father to WWE Superstars Goldust (Dustin Runnels) and Stardust (Cody Runnels), a caring husband and a creative visionary who helped shape the landscape of WWE long after his in-ring career had ended.

“WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Runnels’ family, friends and colleagues.”


Fellow wrestler Triple H (real name Paul Leveque) admitted he was “saddened” by the news of Rhodes’ death and called him a “legend” of the ring.

“Saddened to hear the passing of Dusty Rhodes. Legend, teacher, mentor, friend...Love you Dream #BookinAintEasyKid,” Triple H said.


Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel added that “there will never, ever be another one like The Dream”, in reference to Rhodes’ nickname The American Dream.

“Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Dusty Rhodes today,” Finkel posted on Twitter. “There will never,ever be another one like The Dream!! RIP...”


Rhodes' two sons, Dustin Patrick Runnels and Cody Garrett Runnels are currently active Superstars with the brand under the names Goldust and Stardust respectively.