Adrian Street, a wrestler famous for his villainous performances during the 70s and 80s, died on July 24 at Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran, Wales, his family and WWE confirmed.
WWE is saddened to learn that Adrian Street has passed away.
— WWE (@WWE) July 31, 2023
Street was known as “the sadist in sequins” and “the man fans love to hate" because of the persona he adopted, complete with dayglo face paint, peroxide pigtails and a feather boa.
He would often give exaggerated lipstick kisses to his opponents' foreheads before he slammed them onto the mat.
Street grew up in Wales, where his father worked in the mines, but he did not want that kind of life for himself.
“Too dark down there, I was born for the spotlight,” Street said in one interview.
He went to London in his mid-teens and signed with a wrestling promoter, using the name Kid Tarzan Jonathan at first.
As his popularity grew, he reverted to his own name and moved to Canada, then the United States where wrestling had the biggest following. He was a fixture in the 70s and 80s wrestling circuit, known as "The Exotic One" for his flamboyant, androgynous persona.
He met his wife and manager Linda in 1969, and after she wrestled solo during the 70s, the two teamed up in the 80s with her as his accomplice in the ring. Both of them were "heels," which in the wrestling world meant villains.
Street battled cancer successfully in 2001, Linda said. The two did not marry until 2005 despite their long partnership.
His last wrestling match was in 2014, and he estimated that he wrestled between 12,000 and 15,000 matches during his career.
Linda said that he also had a heart problem that was resolved, but then had a stroke a few weeks ago. While recovering from the stroke, he developed colitis and it turned into sepsis, which killed him.
"It all came about so quick. I’ve still not come to terms with it yet,” she said.
She said he would be cremated and his ashes spread on the mountains near their home back in Wales where the two had returned after retirement and after Hurricane Ivan destroyed a wrestling school the two had been running. They also had a website where they sold memorabilia.