Tony Lister (Thomas Duane Lister Jr)

Tony Lister

Tony Lister

Hardly diminutive, Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. has made his imposing presence felt in a multitude of films since the mid-’80s. Originally a professional wrestler nicknamed Zeus and Z-Gangsta, the 6′ 5″ 275 lb. Lister retired in 1985 to pursue an acting career. After making his movie debut in director Hal Ashby’s final film 8 Million Ways to Die (1985), Lister spent the rest of the 1980s working primarily in A and B movies heavy on action, including Runaway Train (1985), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), and Walter Hill’s Extreme Prejudice (1987). Lister earned his first starring role playing his wrestling alter ego Zeus in the Hulk Hogan vehicle No Holds Barred (1989). Lister continued his run of B films in the early ’90s, as well as appearing in Walter Hill’s higher profile actioner Trespass (1992) with future co-star Ice Cube, and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Universal Soldier (1992). As the 1990s went on, Lister played roles in a more varied assortment of films, including the quirky Johnny Depp/Marlon Brando/Faye Dunaway romantic fantasy Don Juan DeMarco (1995) and the Quentin Tarantino-wannabe noir Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995). Lister got to act for Tarantino himself in Jackie Brown, as well as play the President in Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. Lister’s 1990s career also benefited from the decade’s surge in African-American filmmaking, beginning with his starring role in Mario Van Peebles’ Western Posse (1993). Lister subsequently starred as neighborhood bully Deebo opposite Ice Cube in the sleeper hit comedy Friday (1995). After appearing in comedian Martin Lawrence’s A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996), Lister played a supporting role in Ice Cube’s directorial debut The Players Club (1998), and starred as a hood in Master P’s I Got the Hook-Up (1998). Adding to his eclectic credits in 2000, Lister notched another hit reprising his role as Deebo in the sequel Next Friday (2000), and co-starred as one of Satan’s sons in the Adam Sandler comedy Little Nicky (2000).


  • June, 24, 1958
  • Compton, California


  • December, 10, 2020
  • Marina del Rey, California

Cause of Death

  • hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease



    • Burial unknown

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