The athlete, born William James Myers, made his ring debut in the late 1960s and rose to World Wrestling Entertainment fame as a villain, known for his green tongue and his hairy chest.

He later transformed into a good guy and became a WWE hero in the mid-1980s, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995.

In addition to his wrestling appearances, Steele also had a number of film acting credits to his name, including a role in Tim Burton's 1994 movie Ed Wood, in which he appeared alongside Johnny Depp.

Paying tribute to Steele on Twitter, Hulk Hogan writes, "George 'the Animal' Steel, RIP my brother, only love, only grateful."