Actor Ron Lester passed away peacefully with his fiancee by his side on Friday. The 45 year old had been moved to hospice care after suffering kidney and liver failure.
Ron was best known for his 1999 portrayal of fun loving lineman Billy Bob in Varsity Blues. He later went on to play a parody of that role for Not Another Teen Movie.
After years of battling with his weight, Ron decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery in 2000. At his heaviest weight, he tipped the scales at 500 pounds.
Ron lost over 300 pounds and transformed his life. The actor says it was a bittersweet victory as it led to the loss of his identity also. Ron had said he was once something of a “walking billboard” who fans could recognize instantly, but the weight loss took away some of his fame and some of his acting appeal.
“The difference is that I am no longer the ‘funny fat guy,’” Ron said. “I sold my ‘niche’ for my chance to live. … I would never trade the life I have now with… the endless opportunities I have in store for me, with my old life.”
The actor’s death was confirmed by his agent on Friday who said Ron died with his fiancee Jennifer Worland by his side. He was not in any pain “as he was medicated enough to be able to go peacefully.”
Photos courtesy of google images.