Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan dies at 73

Heenan celebrated for legendary WWE career

Bobby Heenan escorts Andre the Giant to the ring in the late 1980s.
Bobby Heenan escorts Andre the Giant to the ring in the late 1980s. (By John McKeon [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Legendary pro wrestling manager and announcer Bobby "The Brain" Heenan died at age 73 on Sunday, according to World Wrestling Entertainment.

While a cause of death has not been announced, the WWE Hall of Famer had battled throat and lung cancer since 2002.

Over a career that spanned more than four decades, he managed such stars as Andre the Giant, Ric Flair, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy and "Ravishing" Rick Rude.

He was also known for his pairing as an announcer with Gorilla Monsoon and "Mean" Gene Okerlund.

"As impossible as it may seem, Heenan’s overwhelming success as a manager was matched by that of his announcing career," WWE wrote in its statement on Heenan's death.

Heenan got his start in the World Wrestling Association (WWA) and the American Wrestling Association (AWA) before being signed by the WWE in 1984.

Heenan also had a brief run with his own show, "The Bobby Heenan Show," on the USA Network.

Wrestling luminaries took to Twitter to memorialize Heenan, including Flair, who tweeted: "Bobby Heenan... The Greatest Manager, One Of The Greatest Announcers, And One Of The Best In-Ring Performers In The History Of The Business."

Triple H posted a photo of Heenan with the caption: "... one of a kind."