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Former WWE pro wrestling manager Paul Bearer, 58, dies

Pro wrestling manager Paul Bearer (R) with wrestler the Undertaker (L).
Pro wrestling manager Paul Bearer (R) with wrestler the Undertaker (L).

Pro wrestling manager William Moody, better known as his character “Paul Bearer,” passed away Tuesday evening, according to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) . Bearer debuted in 1991 managing the Undertaker, one of the most famed pro wrestlers of all time. Bearer was 58 years old.

He provided a voice for the Undertaker, who didn’t talk for large portions of his career, enabling the Undertaker to become a main event-level entertainer. Bearer’s grating high-pitched voice made fans around the country want to see him get beaten up, and the storylines eventually delivered those fans’ hearts’ desires.

Bearer made his debut early in Undertaker’s career, in Feb. 1991, taking over as ’Taker’s manager months after he first debuted in the then-WWF. In real life, he was a funeral director, so WWE took the opportunity to build a character around that piece of reality. Bearer appeared as both friend and foe of the Undertaker for the next decade.

He left an active role after Wrestlemania 2000 in Anaheim, with sporadic appearances after that. His most recent WWE appearance was just last April. He'd recently appeared as another of his characters, Percy Pringle III, for "Championship Wrestling from Hollywood" in Glendale.

"WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer," the company said in a statement. "Our deepest condolences go out to Moody’s family, friends and fans."

Watch Bearer’s WWF debut:

Many of Bearer's colleagues shared their condolences.

A fan compilation of memorable Paul Bearer appearances: