Actor Ron Lester, best known for his role as Billy Bob in 1999’s “Varsity Blues,” has died, his agent confirmed Friday. He was 45 years old.
“He was not in pain and passed away peacefully,” with his fiancee by his side, Lester’s agent, Dave Bradley, said in a Facebook post. He passed away just before 9 p.m. CDT in Dallas of liver and kidney failure.
He had been hospitalized in Dallas for about four months before his death, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Lester battled obesity throughout his lifetime and at one point weighed 508 pounds.
He lost nearly 350 pounds after undergoing gastric-bypass surgery in December 2000. It was in the early days of similar operations, however, and he suffered ongoing health issues due to the surgery. He briefly flat-lined during the operation and later battled liver and kidney problems.
He was moved Friday to hospice care. A few hours before Lester’s death, Bradley said the actor had been taken off a ventilator and was breathing on his own.
Lester posted on Twitter that he nearly died due to liver and kidney problems in November, although he said they had started to heal.
Lester was born in Kennesaw, Georgia, and rose to fame in his role as Spatch in 1997’s “Good Burger,” starring Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson and Abe Vigoda. He also appeared in 2001’s “Not Another Teen Movie” as Reggie Ray, a parody of his character Billy Bob in “Varsity Blues.”