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The heartbreaking story of one of 1980’s biggest stars

The heartbreaking story of one of 1980's biggest stars

It’s straightforward to consider that each one Hollywood stars stay charmed lives. In lots of instances, you’ll discover that your favourite actors and actresses take pleasure in the identical degree of success of their private lives as they do on the large display. Most stars are often capable of deal with the trials and tribulations of fame, however there have been a lot of others who let all of it go to their head.

Take, as an example, John Matuszak, who was propelled to worldwide stardom within the mid-’80s after touchdown an iconic position in one of the biggest movies of the many years. Issues appeared nice on the floor for Matuszak, however few knew of the ghosts in his troubled previous…

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1950, John Matuszak wasn’t all the time the hulking bear of a person that he’s recognized for being at the moment. The truth is, Matsuzak was so skinny and scrawny throughout his youth that his classmates bullied him, referring to him as a “scrawny beanpole.”

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This ridicule motivated him to bulk up, and by the top of highschool, Matuszak was the biggest and strongest in his class. He’d even go on to win the Wisconsin Class A championship in shot put, an accomplishment that shortly received the eye of a quantity of school soccer recruiters.

Matuszak made the leap to school soccer, although his prowess was quickly overshadowed by a newfound love of medicine and alcohol. After dropping his scholarship, Matuszak transferred to the College of Tampa the place he turned the star of the varsity’s soccer workforce.

A extremely profitable collegiate profession coupled together with his 6’eight″, 280-pound body led Matuszak to be chosen first general by the Houston Oilers within the 1973 NFL draft. This might’ve been a dream come true for another child from Milwaukee, however John Matuszak wasn’t glad.

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Sad with the contract the Oilers had provided him, Matuszak signed to play with the Houston Texans. However the Oilers issued Matuszak a restraining order mid-game that barred him from enjoying and subsequently traded him to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.

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Matuszak’s love for partying and ladies earned him the nickname “Tooz,” which he’d carry with him for the rest of his profession. Chiefs executives have been capable of overlook Matuszak’s antics for a time, however when a group coach discovered him unconscious after a wild night time, it appeared the Tooz’s time in Missouri had come to an finish.

Matuszak was shipped to the Washington Redskins in ’76, however coach George Allen was so postpone by the Tooz’s conduct that the workforce reduce him within the preseason. In accordance with Allen, it was virtually as if Matuszak survived solely on a weight-reduction plan of “vodka and Valium.”

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It got here as a shock to many when Matuszak signed with the Oakland Raiders, although his love for debauchery solely continued to develop. The Tooz was as soon as reprimanded for making an attempt to sneak two ladies onto the workforce’s airplane, and as soon as, drunk and bare, he ran rampant by means of a Cleveland lodge.

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However whether or not consequently of burnout or on the behest of Corridor-of-Fame coach John Madden, the Tooz’s second season in Oakland noticed him curtail his celebration way of life to grow to be a core member of the Raiders’ formidable protection. 

After main the workforce to 2 Tremendous Bowls it was protected to say that Oakland’s gamble on the troubled younger Wisconsinite had paid off. It was additionally throughout this time that he gained a status for being one of the meanest gamers within the league, although this was solely one face that the Tooz was recognized to put on.

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Off the sector Matuszak was recognized for his softer aspect, dressing up as Santa on the vacations and even volunteering his time to teach youth soccer through the offseason. However even with issues shifting in the appropriate course for the Tooz, it was solely a matter of time earlier than his way of life caught up with him.

Following a collection of accidents and his placement on injured reserve for all the 1982 season, Matuszak determined to hold up his cleats for good. The Tooz’s soccer profession had come to an unlucky finish, however the former gridiron star discovered a brand new ardour that might come to outline his life and legacy.

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Together with his monumental measurement and colourful character, Matuszak appeared a pure match for the large display and shortly started touchdown movie and tv roles left and proper. By the top of 1985 – simply three years faraway from the NFL – he starred in almost a dozen roles, together with The Ice Pirates, M.A.S.H., and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Matuszak’s large success as an actor quickly caught the eye of director Richard Donner, who, together with screenwriter Steven Spielberg, was having hassle casting a task for a sure adventure-comedy movie he was engaged on. For Donner and Spielberg, the Tooz appeared the right match.

And so, Matuszak was forged as Sloth, the lovable, deformed captive who had a serious hand in making The Goonies the beloved cult basic it’s at the moment. However whereas the sight of an almost seven-foot retired soccer participant with a popularity for aggression would certainly be an intimidating one, the Tooz’s time spent on set was nothing such as you’d anticipate.

IMDb

In line with Donner, Matuszak and the kid actors would typically play sensible jokes on their fellow forged members, and regardless of how traumatic issues received on set, Donner all the time referred to the hulking actor as “a saint.” However there was one facet of his troubled previous that he merely couldn’t escape.

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Regardless of his success in Hollywood Matuszak’s demons nonetheless lingered, with medicine and alcohol persevering with to play a big position in his life. The struggles of his habit got here to a head in 1987, when, after getting right into a automotive accident, he mercilessly beat the opposite driver unconscious.

IMDb

Accidents sustained throughout his enjoying profession additionally took a toll on Matuszak, and his continued use of the painkiller Darvocet solely served to exacerbate his habit. Sadly, it was one that he’d by no means come to beat.

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On June 17, 1989, John Matuszak was discovered lifeless at his house in Los Angeles. His trigger of dying was dominated as acute propoxyphene intoxication, which was brought on by an unintentional overdose of Darvocet. He was simply 38 years previous.

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Mockingly, the coroner’s report additionally listed an enlarged coronary heart as a contributing issue to Matuszak’s demise. After a life seemingly outlined by all of the flawed that he did, it’s fittingly tragic that the mild big that was John Matuszak had a coronary heart that was simply too massive for his physique.

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