(VARIETY) — WWE star Dusty Rhodes, also known as "The American Dream," died on Thursday. He was 69.
WWE confirmed the news in a statement: ""WWE is deeply saddened that Virgil Runnels, aka "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes — WWE Hall of Famer, three-time NWA Champion and one of the most captivating and charismatic figures in sports entertainment history — passed away today."
Triple H broke the news on Twitter.
Rhodes, who rose to stardom in the 1980s and 1990s, was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.
"WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Runnels' family, friends and colleagues," the company said.
WWE Hall of Fame member Dusty Rhodes attends the 2011 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Philips Arena on April 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images)
MIAMI - JUNE 07: Dusty Rhodes, Sharlto Copley and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson attend WWE Monday Night Raw at American Airlines Arena on June 7, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - APRIL 04: The American Dream Dusty Rhodes attends the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania's WWE Hall of Fame>> at the Toyota Center on April 4, 2009 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/WireImage)
WWE is deeply saddened that Virgil Runnels, aka “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, passed away today at age 69. http://t.co/MDfxIAbxwN
Me and the ladies of @WWENXT http://t.co/L48LsGYgkj
Dusty was many things to many people. My favorite was his role as "Pops" in my daughter's life! Please pray for Dakota, Dust and the family!
My mentor @WWEDustyRhodes. Much love to your family and more respect than can ever be measured. Love you Dream. http://t.co/bXgqs3qqca
One of my all time heroes and one the all time greats has passed away. American Dream #DustyRhodes I will never forget you. #Legend
"Don't waste your time when the red light is on" "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story" good bye, Dream http://t.co/gXkAJIVQpV
Truly one of a kind. It is an honor to have known you. Thank you Dream.. For everything. You will be greatly missed #RIPDream
"I've wined and dined with kings and queens... And I've slept in alleys and ate pork and beans!" ❤️ http://t.co/VKnSXU2Qpl
So sorry to hear about the passing of Dusty Rhodes. One of the all time greats! The American Dream. http://t.co/bu1u0dzdJF
#RIPDustyRhodes We never got to shoot our angle together! Thank you for everything, I Love You. #HallofFamer #Legend http://t.co/rN2YeVNv5b
There are no words that can express the sadness in our hearts. RIP Dusty Rhodes…You will be missed, Dream…We love you http://t.co/45dPxrS3JB
I was ever so fortunate to be a friend to this man, to learn from him as a performer and as a human being. #RIPDusty http://t.co/GH0e1isGxw
I'm speechless. RIP to a mentor, legend, & hero. There will never be another like you. #AmericanDream #DustyRhodes http://t.co/H7DRgUPyUX
Saddened to hear the passing of Dusty Rhodes. Legend, teacher, mentor, friend...Love you Dream #BookinAintEasyKid http://t.co/ZxlGSgKB8J
Look back and remember the life and career of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes: http://t.co/AADaS7ogz8 #ThankYouDream http://t.co/Yh88g0ZqOA