Bobby Heenan

American wrestling commentator and manager (1944–2017)

Raymond Louis "Ray" Heenan (November 1, 1943 – September 17, 2017) was an American retired manager, professional wrestler and color commentator. Heenan is best known for his time in American Wrestling Association (AWA), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He was known as Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Heenan was known for having great skill in drawing heat towards both himself and the wrestlers that he had managed. He was also known for his time as a color commentator along with his co-commentator Gorilla Monsoon.

Bobby Heenan
Born(1943-11-01)November 1, 1943
Chicago, Illinois
DiedSeptember 17, 2017(2017-09-17) (aged 73)
Largo, Florida
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Billed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Billed fromBeverly Hills, California
Trained bySelf-trained

Heenan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Blackjack Lanza in 2004. During his speech, he paid tribute to his close friend and broadcast partner Gorilla Monsoon. He tearfully said "I wish Monsoon were here."[1] Heenan also inducted "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff in 2005,[2] Nick Bockwinkel in 2007[3] and The Blackjacks (Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Lanza) in 2006.[4]

In January 2002, He announced that he was battling throat cancer. Since then, he has recovered largely but he lost a lot of weight going from 231 pounds (105 kg) to 190 pounds (86 kg) or even less. His voice also changed to a soft, high-pitched tone, different from his strong, rugged tone during his color commentator days. In December 2007, he had reconstructive surgery on his jaw, when the first surgery was not successful. He was placed in a medically induced coma and was slowly brought out.[5] In February 2009, he was released from the hospital and was relearning how to speak clearly.

In October 2013, Jim Ross said in an interview that Heenan is "hanging in there." but is still having trouble speaking as a result of tongue cancer treatments.[6]

Heenan died of complications from throat and tongue cancer on September 17, 2017 at his home in Largo, Florida at the age of 73.[7]




  1. 1.0 1.1 "Heenan's Hall Call". WWE. Archived from the original on 2015-04-03. Retrieved 2014-04-27. {{cite web}}: More than one of |archivedate= and |archive-date= specified (help); More than one of |archiveurl= and |archive-url= specified (help)
  2. "New Details On WWE Hall Of Fame Ceremony". 411mania. Retrieved 2014-04-27.[permanent dead link]
  3. "Nick Bockwinkel bio". WWE. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  4. "The Blackjacks the next inductees to 2006 WWE Hall of Fame on April 1". WrestleView. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  5. "WWE Hall of Famer Bobby Heenan Undergoing Jaw Reconstruction Sugery Today". PWInsider. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  6. "Jim Ross Q&A: Bobby Heenan Update, Taking Pay Cuts in WWE, Brawl For All". SEScoops. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  7. "WWE Hall of Famer Bobby "The Brain" Heenan passes away". WWE. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  8. "List of CAC Award Winners". Cauliflower Alley Club. Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2014-04-27. {{cite web}}: More than one of |archivedate= and |archive-date= specified (help); More than one of |archiveurl= and |archive-url= specified (help)
  9. "PWI Manager of the Year Award". accelerator3359. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  10. "Pro Wrestling Illustrated". PWI. 34 (3): 43–44. 2013.
  11. "Bobby "the Brain" Heenan". Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  12. "Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, 1996". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 2014-04-27.

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