There are still plenty more questions than answers concerning the untimely death of pro wrestling icon Matt Osborne, who was best known as his character Doink the Clown. Police say that Osborne, 55, was found in his Plano, TX, apartment on Friday by his girlfriend, who reported that he was unresponsive. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators said his death appears to be accidental.
Ex-WWE star Doink the Clown died today. http://t.co/XepxqIqsTy
— Rohan Joshi (@mojorojo) June 30, 2013
Osborne was the original Doink the Clown, who he played from 1992-96 — the first two years with the World Wrestling Federation. Osborne left the WWF in late 1993 following a “number of personal issues”, and continued portraying Doink on the independent circuit.
His biggest matches were against Crush in WrestleMania IX and Bret Hart in SummerSlam 1993. Doink was portrayed as an evil clown by Osborne, who played cruel jokes on fans and fellow wrestlers. The Doink character continued after Osborne had left the organization. Osborne continued wrestling as Doink and as “Matt Borne” in the ECW and on the independent circuit.
Osborne had recently left this message on his Facebook page:
“I HAVE SOO MUCH GOING ON THIS SUMMER dON’T KNOW IF i’M COMING OR GOING! bUT……THATS THE WAY HU HUH i LIKE IT HU HUH HU HUH! mISS MY BROTHERS!!!!”
The evil clown persona is by no means original — Todd MacFarlane pretty much defined it with his character Clown in the Spawn comic books and movie in the mid-1990s. But Osborne made it work in a pro wrestling context, which is no easy trick — and was a pretty good wrestler to boot.