WWE has lost a legend. James Harris, popularly known as Kamala, has passed away at the age of 70. He wrestled some of the best wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, and Andre the Giant in the early 1980s. The cause of his death is not confirmed yet. In 2017, Harris underwent emergency surgery and was put on life support due to complications.
A statement released by WWE read:
“WWE is saddened to learn that James Harris, known to WWE fans as Kamala, has passed away at age 70.
Under the frightening face paint of Kamala, the 6-foot-7, 380-pound Harris battled the greatest Superstars in sports-entertainment history, including Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker and Andre the Giant.
He terrorized opponents and thrilled audiences in Mid-South, World Class Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE until 2006.
WWE extends its condolences to Harris' family, friends and fans.”
Wrestlers and fans took to social media Sunday to remember Harris.
Bret Hart wrote, “I’m heartbroken to hear of the passing away of Big Jim Harris, aka Kamala. I met Jim in 1981 in Croydon, close to London England where he was breaking in as The Mississippi Mauler working with Big Daddy Crabtree. I caught up with him 3 years later as Kamala in WWE when he was a terrifying monster heel working on top with Hulk Hogan. Unlike his heel character, he was one of the friendliest, nicest, happy-go-lucky guys I ever knew in pro wrestling. I had the pleasure of working with him in 1992 when I was WWE champion. He was great to work with and I smile at the memories of him laughing so hard at my infamous blackboard drawings. He had a great sense of humour and, like Andre, he’d race into the dressing room to see what my latest cartoon was about. He always had a big smile despite all his challenges, including the loss of both legs. Always a kind and happy gentle soul. I’ll miss him for always being so good to me. R.I.P. Big Jim Harris.”
"Another legend who deserved to be in @WWE Hall of Fame and ALIVE when that time came," said former wrestler Elijah Burke, aka Da Pope. "An all around great talent and good guy that got over and stood out wherever he went. RIP to the great 'Ugandan Giant' Kamala. His memory will live on forever."
In November 1992, Kamala lost to The Undertaker at Survivor Series in the first-ever televised casket match. Post-retirement, Harris continued to make sporadic appearances in WWE. In 2011, Harris had his left leg amputated below the knee due to complications of high blood pressure and diabetes and launched a campaign seeking donations to cover his medical needs.
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