Hollywood is in mourning this week after it was revealed that actor Ron Lester, best known for his role in the iconic film Varsity Blues, passed away on Friday. He was 45 years-old.
According to The New York Times, Lester had been hospitalized in Dallas for four months prior to his death battling liver and kidney problems. He had struggled for obesity for most of his life, at one point weighing 508 pounds. He almost died after having gastric bypass surgery, but he recovered and lost over 300 pounds.
Though the surgery was a positive for him, it also ended his career in Hollywood, where he became known for playing “the fat guy.”
“Surgery saved his life,” a 2014 profile on the website Grantland said. “It also ended his career.”
Lester was best known for playing the oversize lineman Billy Bob in the 1999 hit Varsity Blues, which also starred James Van Der Beek and Paul Walker. Lester also appeared in the films Not Another Teen Movie and Good Burger.
Born on Aug. 4, 1970, in Kennesaw, Georgia, Lester moved to Hollywood to become a standup comedian before getting his big break. He is survived by his fiancée, Jennifer Worland.