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Actor & Pro Wrestler Pepper Martin’s Cause of Death Clarified!

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Actor and pro-wrestler Howard “Pepper” Martin’s cause of death has been revealed after he passed away on March 18, 2022, at the age of 85 while being surrounded by family at the time of saying goodbye.

After some time with the Navy, which he entered by lying about his age when he was 16, Martin kicked off a career as a wrestler and went on to win a number of titles, starting with the Pacific Northwest heavyweight title, which he won five times between 1964 and 1966.

Not too long after, an injury caused him to set his sights elsewhere, and Howard began a film career with Angels From Hell, directed by Bruce Kessler, and went on to appear in major titles such as Superman II.

In the 1980 film, Martin played Rocky, a truck driver Clark Kent and Lois Lane encounter at a diner they stop at on the way back to Metropolis from the Fortress of Solitude. This came at a time when Superman had lost his powers.

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Howard shared a brief fight scene with actor Christopher Reeve. He defeats the depowered superhero and appears again later on after Clark regains his powers and evens the score. But Superman II was not the only comic book project Martin was involved in.

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The Whole Story of Pepper Martin’s Cause of Death

Pepper Martin’s cause of death was reported as his longtime disease; he was reportedly in hospice care after fighting lung cancer for years and at peace with his remaining time. 

His TV and film credits include role:

  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • Bonanza
  • Mission: Impossible
  • The 1973 film Walking Tall (a film about Sherriff Buford Pusser, which was remade in 2004 starring Dwayne Johnson)
  • The 1974 version of The Longest Yard (starring Burt Reynolds and was remade in 2005 with Steve Austin, Bill Goldberg, Kevin Nash, and Bob Sapp having roles)
  • Starsky and Hutch
  • The Rockford Files
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • and many others.

While wrestling for Don Owen in Oregon, he won the promotion’s Pacific Northwest heavyweight title five times between 1964 and 1966. He first won the title from Don Manoukian in September 1964 in Eugene and feuded with Pat Patterson, Stan Pulaski, and Mad Dog Vachon over the belt. He lost it for the final time to Tony Borne in September 1966.

During that run, he also held the Pacific Northwest tag titles on eight occasions with partners Billy White Wolf, Luther Lindsay, Shag Thomas, Rene Goulet, and Paul Jones.

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Beginning in 1968, Martin engaged in a second career in film appearing in a plethora of movies including the role of ‘Rocky’ in Superman II where he had a fight scene with Christopher Reeve.

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