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Mr. Wrestling II passes away at 85 years old


Johnny Walker, better known as 70s and 80s star Mr. Wrestling II, has passed away at the age of 85.

Born John Francis Walker in Charleston, NC, he made his debut in 1955 and worked for nearly 10 years under his birth name before retiring. He returned a few years later under a mask as The Grappler before going back into semi-retirement in 1972.

However, it was his decade-plus run as Mr. Wrestling II that many fans are the most familiar with. Originally teaming with Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods), he worked in Florida and Georgia and held the Georgia heavyweight title ten times. He also worked in Mid-South Wrestling and was part of a memorable angle with a young Magnum T.A.

He retired in 1990 after working sparingly for WWF, Continental Championship Wrestling, and other groups.

He was also the favorite wrestler of past U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his mother and was even invited to Carter's inauguration. He had to decline due to insisting on wearing his mask which was an issue with the Secret Service.

Walker, who was living in Hawaii, leaves three sons behind. His wife Olivia, who designed robes for Ric Flair at one point, passed away in 2000.