Roderick George Toombs was born on April 17, 1954 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. At the age of 13, he ran away from home and earned money playing the bagpipes while living in hostels or on the street. Two years later he won an amateur wrestling championship and shortly thereafter became a pro wrestler.
The National Wrestling Alliance:
Piper gained national attention while wrestling for the NWA. His feud with Greg Valentine over the U.S. title was settled with a dog collar match at the first Starrcade in 1983. After being late for a match, he was fired from the Charlotte territory and was blackballed from the industry. He wrestled outside the U.S. for a short time before going to the WWE.
Piper joined the WWE at the beginning of Vince McMahon's expansion in 1984. He started off as a manger for the new wrestlers that entered the WWE and got his own talk show segment on WWE programming called Piper's Pit. In this segment, he would antagonize the faces of the WWE. In the most famous segment, he smashed a coconut over the head of Jimmy Snuka.
Piper quickly became the number one bad guy in the WWE. After he beat up Cyndi Lauper, Hulk Hogan wanted revenge. In a match shown live on MTV, he lost to Hogan by DQ and also beat up Mr. T. This incident led to the main event of WrestleMania which featured Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff take on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. At WrestleMania 2, he competed in a boxing match against Mr. T.
The Actor Turns Into a Good Guy:
Piper left wrestling for a short time in 1986 to film some bad B-rated movies. When he came back, his talk show was taken over by Adrian Adonis and was renamed The Flower Shop. The fans hated Adonis and cheered for Piper in this feud. Their feud culminated at WrestleMania 3 in a hair vs hair match that was billed as Piper's retirement match.
They Live and he Returns:
Piper left so he could film They Live. Unlike his previous movies, this was a good film and was directed by John Carpenter. He would also film a pilot for a TV show called Tag Team that co-starred Jesse Ventura. He returned to the WWE a few years later as an announcer and won his first WWE title in 1992 when he beat the Mountie for the Intercontinental Championship.
Piper returned to the ring in 1996 to renew his feud with Hogan. The difference this time was that Hollywood Hogan was a bad guy. During his WCW tenure, he was also commissioner.
Return to the WWE:
Piper shocked the world by interfering in the Hulk Hogan vs Vince McMahon match at WrestleMania 19. He feuded with Hogan again (at this point Hogan was in a mask and known as Mr. America). He appeared on an episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumble about the death rate of pro wrestlers. He was fired the day after the segment was broadcast.
Hall of Fame:
In 2005, Piper was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame. He still makes occasional appearances in the ring and hosting his talk show Piper's Pit.