Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is mourning the loss of his father, wrestling star Rocky Johnson, 75. The former pro wrestler passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 15, according to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) officials.
Born Wayde Douglas Bowles, Rocky made his ring debut in his native Canada in 1964, and soon competed at the top level in America's National Wrestling Alliance in the 1970s, according to WENN.com.
He then entered the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), now known as the WWE, where he partnered with Tony Atlas to form The Soul Patrol and made history as the first black pair to win the Tag Team Championship in 1983.
He retired from wrestling in 1991, but went on to help train his son Dwayne to chase his dreams as pro wrestler The Rock.
His father helped Dwayne deal with depression when at age 23, he was passed over by the NFL.
Rocky, who had been living in Florida, was married twice - first to Una Johnson, the mother of his kids Curtis and Wanda, for six years until 1968, and then to Ata Maivia, Dwayne's mom, in 1970. They divorced in 2003. Dwayne is pictured with Ata in Miami in 2017.
In early 2019, Dwayne bought his father a house - after giving his mother any house she wanted for Christmas (2018).
Dwayne said he called his dad and told him to start looking for a house in North Florida.
He shared his father's response on Instagram: "No one ever called me to tell me there're going to buy me a house before, and the fact it's you, it's my son... I'm proud of you, and I love you so much."
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Great chat with my old man. Felt good to my cold ? to hear him express his love. He’s a weathered soul and like all weathered souls, there’s often a harsh storied path that got them there. Well for my pops that path started at 13yrs old when his mom kicked him out of his house on Christmas day and forced him to live on the streets (very true and fucked up story) so his reality of compassion and love was forged thru pain and toughness. He raised me with that tough physical love and used to beat my ass in the gyms and on wrestling mats. I hated it then as a little boy, but grateful for it today as a man. It’s shaped my DNA and helped inform how I raise my own babies (minus the ass kickings;) but always instilling the value of hard work and discipline. For that I’m grateful and this one felt good. Crazy how full circle life can come. Enjoy your new house pop - what a storied path and thanks for the ass kickings ???? #weathered