The Rock posted a statement to Instagram in which he described the elder Johnson as someone who “broke color barriers” and “became a ring legend.” The actor also explained that he transformed as a young boy who adored his father to someone who respected him. He thanked Johnson, who was known as “Soul Man,” for teaching him the value of hard work and other “invaluable life lessons.”
“You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring,” the Fast and Furious franchise star wrote in part. “I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high.”
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart, who starred alongside the Rock in the Jumanji films, had a sweet reaction to his friend’s message: “Love you bro.”
Actor D.L. Hughley said it was a “beautiful sentiment.” He added, “My sincerest condolences brother.”
Rush Hour star Chris Tucker sent his sympathies as well: “Praying for you and your family.”
Given Rocky Johnson’s immense importance to the wrestling world, many people from that community shared kind words, too, upon the news of his death.
I'm Saddened To Hear About The Passing Of The GREAT ROCKY JOHNSON! I Wrestled Him Many Times Throughout His Illustrious Career. His Physique And Conditioning Were Unparalleled! He Was So Proud Of His Son Dwayne! He Raised Him To Be The Rock!! RIP Rocky Johnson! pic.twitter.com/GiXXFQhGlE— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) January 16, 2020
So sorry for the loss of Rocky Johnson. A great man, a great friend and I will always remember he was one of only a few that was kind and helpful when I first broke in. RIP Rocky. I love you my brother HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 16, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson. Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.#RIPRockyJohnson pic.twitter.com/4agKbOzAry— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) January 15, 2020
Among other accomplishments, the late Johnson was one half of the first African-American duo to win WWE’s World Tag Team Championship. He also, of course, trained his now famous son for the ring and beyond.
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