Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s father, Canadian professional wrestler Rocky Johnson died in January at age 75.
World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed the news on its website on Jan. 15, writing, “WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has passed away at age 75.”
Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Rocky began wrestling when he was 16 years old. He started his career in 1964 and went on to join the WWE in 1983 when he began wrestling with Tony Atlas. The duo became a part of the first African-American tag team — known as The Soul Patrol — to win the World Tag Team Championship in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
After retiring in 1991, Rocky continued to train his son, actor Dwayne, to follow in his footsteps as a wrestler.
“Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side,” Dwayne, 47, said in an emotional tribute on Instagram after his father’s passing. “But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we know it’s just pain and it’ll pass.”