Edit
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (11)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 24 June 1958Compton, California, USA
Birth NameTommy Duane Lister
Nicknames Zeus
The Human Wrecking Machine
Tiny
Height 6' 5" (1.96 m)

Mini Bio (2)

If you ever want a 6' 5", musclebound, broad-shouldered, shaved-head actor to play a terrifying bodyguard, a soldier of fortune or a fearsome gangster, then Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr. is the man you want. This African-American basketball player turned actor first popped up in minor roles such as a prison guard in Runaway Train (1985), as Andy Garcia's bodyguard in 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) and Powers Boothe's bodyguard in Extreme Prejudice (1987). "Tiny" Lister also had a stint in both the WWE (Formerly WWF) & WCW professional wrestling circuits in the late 1980s appearing under the name "Zeus" and "ZGangsta". His wrestling exploits can be seen on Summerslam (1989), Survivor Series (1989) and WWF Superstars (1986).

However, unlike many musclebound athletic types, "Tiny" Lister is a reasonable actor, and he has managed to notch up appearances in over 80 movies, expanding upon his original "fierce bodyguard" roles to now include comedic and rather quirky performances in films such as Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), the African-American western Posse (1993), as the Federated Territories President in the science fiction epic The Fifth Element (1997), the cult comedy Friday (1995) and its sequel, Next Friday (2000).

Lister has also recently appeared on screen with Adam Sandler in Little Nicky (2000), and with Mike Myers in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), plus he's been seen in a slew of B-horror films including Soulkeeper (2001), Hellborn (2003) and Dracula 3000 (2004). Tommy "Tiny" Lister may not be an A list star, but he is certainly one of Hollywood's most instantly recognizable and busiest character actors.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44@hotmail.com

Hardly diminutive, 6' 5" Tommy "Tiny" Lister is not just a highly recognizable figure on screen, but also a highly accomplished actor. Originally a professional wrestler known by the names "Zeus" and "ZGangsta" for the WWE (Formerly WWF), Tiny left the world of wrestling in the mid 1980s to pursue an acting career and he has not stopped since. Since his debut as an actor, Tiny has made an impression in over 80 films in a 25-year span, and continues his reputation of working with some of the best actors and directors from a wide net of genres - from thriller to science fiction and drama to comedy.

Tommy "Tiny" Lister grew up in Compton, California, but chose to break the curses of his generation at an early age. He stayed away from gang life, choosing instead to stay at home and watch westerns. He chose religion over wrongdoing, and developed an interest in films and television early. Growing up watching Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston and Errol Flynn allowed Tiny a chance to dream, and he envisioned his own life on film and television, creating characters on celluloid that transcended gender and color. With his will set in stone, Tiny went out to make it possible.

Tiny made his feature film debut in Runaway Train (1985) with Jon Voight, and spent the next few years learning the craft and appearing in films heavy in action and in talent: 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) with Andy Garcia, Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) with Eddie Murphy, and No Holds Barred (1989) with fellow WWE (WWF at the time) wrestler Hulk Hogan. In the 1990s, Tiny expanded his resume, continuing to make his mark in films with the best in the business. He joined Johnny Depp and the legendary Marlon Brando in the quirky Don Juan DeMarco (1994) and worked with director Quentin Tarantino and actor Andy Garcia in Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995). He would later work again with Tarantino in Jackie Brown (1997).

Lister's 1990s career benefited from the decade's surge in African-American filmmaking, beginning with his starring role in Mario Van Peebles's western Posse (1993), in which he was thrilled to star with his childhood idol Woody Strode. In a move that was sure to cement his popularity with young audiences across the country, Tiny went on to star as neighborhood bully "Deebo" opposite Ice Cube in the hit comedy Friday (1995), reprising the role for the successful sequel Next Friday (2000). After appearing in comedian Martin Lawrence's A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996), Lister played a supporting role in Ice Cube's directorial debut The Players Club (1998) and appeared in Master P's I Got the Hook Up (1998).

Tiny has continued with his wide, often eclectic range of roles. He played the President in director Luc Besson's science fiction epic The Fifth Element (1997) opposite Bruce Willis and worked with Adam Sandler in Little Nicky (2000), as well as Mike Meyers in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). He joined Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and Rachel Weisz in the crime thriller Confidence (2003).

Tiny Lister has worked with some of the greatest directors (Quentin Tarantino, Luc Besson, John Frankenheimer), many of our most noted actors (Marlon Brando, Samuel L. Jackson, Johnny Depp, Peter O'Toole) and a good share of the top talent in wrestling and rap (Hulk Hogan, 50 Cent and Tupac Shakur, respectively) - but it is Tiny's devotion to ministry and public speaking that makes the biggest impression. Along with his wife Felicia, Tiny now ministers across the country, reaching out to troubled youth, and sharing his powerful testimony and inspiration in churches and schools.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Shearer Public Relations

Spouse (1)

Felicia Forbes (26 January 2003 - present) (1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Due to his imposing stature, he often plays thugs or brutes of a violent nature
Deep resonant voice
Shaved head

Trivia (11)

Career got started by actor/ director Jimmy Bridges (older brother of actor Todd Bridges) when Jimmy introduced Tiny to his father, Jim Bridges, who was a talent agent in Hollywood after which Tiny worked in 3 movies his first year in the business.
He also had a brief stint in WCW World Championship Wrestling. He was known as Z-Gangsta.
Weighed 300 lbs at the time of Universal Soldier (1992).
During his brief stint in the World Wrestling Federation in 1989, Lister was promoted as frustrated with being billed below Hulk Hogan in that year's No Holds Barred (1989), and thus wanting to get his revenge in a real-life wrestling confrontation (in the movie, Hogan's character defeats Zeus at the end). The "feud" parlayed into a series of tag-team matches, pitting Lister -- who wrestled as his movie character Zeus -- and his partners (usually Randy Savage [aka "Macho Man"] and Ted DiBiase [aka "Million Dollar Man"]) vs. Hogan and Ed Leslie (aka "Brutus Beefcake"); when not wrestling, he sometimes came down as a menacing second for either DiBiase or Savage in their matches against Hogan or Beefcake, interfering at every opportunity. During his WWF matches, Zeus "no sold" his opponents' wrestling moves (that is, pretended like an opponent's moves didn't hurt the wrestler in the least) to generate fan heat and create the impression Zeus was invincible. His in-ring finisher was the neck-wrencher, which he ostensibly used to "break" opponents' necks and set them up for an easy pin fall loss. Lister's wrestling career only lasted for about six months.
Played Klaang in the first episode of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001). Klang was the first Klingon (even though it was in a prequel) that Starfleet ever encountered.
Is blind in his right eye.
He has commonly been listed as 6' 7", especially back in his wrestling days, but is actually about 6' 5".
Was the 1982 Division II Shot Put Champion while attending Cal State University Los Angeles.
A movie buff, he enjoys the films of Frank Capra and Burt Lancaster, and has even been a guest host on TCM's "The Essentials".
Listed #500 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 wrestlers in the world in 1991.
Currently working as a youth fitness instructor.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page