Sometimes an actor becomes a cultural icon for a single role (and a single incredibly famous line). Roddy Piper and his ass-kicking performance as Nada in John Carpenter's They Live is the quintessential example.
Piper's stoic, working class everyman turned revolutionary hero became a popular symbol for many of my generation, the disgruntled teens of the Reagan/Thatcher era. For those of us who weren't happy about the rise of mega-consumerism, media-saturation and corporate dominance, it was a kind of watershed moment when Nada put on those sunglasses. The perfect visual representation of what we were all thinking.
Roddy Piper was a survivor of exactly the same disease that I'm currently in remission from, Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Where I had four years of chemo and radiation, Piper beat his in only a year, an indication that he really was every bit as tough as he looked. It was his heart that got him in the end.
His swansong may be a good one. Filming finished a while ago on Vivieno Caldinelli's Piper vs Cthulhu short film, Portal to Hell!!!. With Twitch's Todd Brown (ABCs of Death, The Raid) as producer and Astron-6's Steven Kostanski providing makeup and fx, this little short will hopefully provide a fitting send-off for the big guy.
Chew some bubblegum. Kick some ass. Watch They Live.