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Former WWE star Jim 'the Anvil' Neidhart dies at 63


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Former WWE star Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart, 63, best known as half of the Hart Foundation tag team with Bret Hart, passed away Monday, WWE has announced. No cause of death has been released.

Neidhart is the father of current WWE star Natalya.

Neidhart played in pre-season games with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys in the mid-1970s before turning to professional wrestling. He wrestled around the country and in Canada before being signed by the then-WWF in 1985. He was soon paired with Hart and, as a member of the Hart Foundation, Neidhart twice won the WWE tag team championship.

The Hart Foundation split up in 1991, and Neidhart wrestled either as a singles wrestler or as a team with Owen Hart, called the New Foundation. Neidhart wrestled off and on in WWE for several years after that, and had substance abuse issues, with several stints in rehab clinics. In recent years, he was a frequent guest on “Total Divas,” appearing with Natalya.

Neidhart is survived by his wife, Ellie, and three daughters, Natalie (whose professional name is Natalya), Jennifer and Kristen.



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RIP Anvil.

I wish I could have seen Hart Foundation vs. Midnight Express. I will Sim this match when Fire Pro Wrestling World drops in a couple of weeks.


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Hart married Julie Smadu (born March 25, 1960) on July 8, 1982. They have four children:[246] Jade Michelle Hart (born March 31, 1983); Dallas Jeffery Hart (born August 11, 1984); Alexandra Sabina Hart (born May 17, 1988), nicknamed "Beans"; and Blade Colton Hart (born June 5, 1990).[247][247] The four hearts located on the right thigh of his tights symbolize his children, as do the four dots following his signature.[248] Julie's sister Michelle was married to Tom Billington from 1982 to 1991.[249][250] Bret and Julie separated in May 1998,[251] and after several brief reunions over the next 4 years,[252] eventually divorced on June 24, 2002, just hours before Hart suffered his stroke.[253] Hart married an Italian woman named Cinzia Rota on September 15, 2004, but they divorced in 2007 after failing to agree on where they should live.[254] He married Stephanie Washington on July 24, 2010.[citation needed] Through his daughters Jade and Alexandra, Hart has a granddaughter, Kyra Beans (born June 2010) and a grandson, Grayson Knight Cassidy (born June 20, 2015).[255]

His seven brothers were either wrestlers or involved backstage with the wrestling business; his four sisters all married professional wrestlers. Two of his brothers-in-law, Davey Boy Smith, and Jim Neidhart had successful careers in the business. His youngest brother Owen Hart had become a decorated wrestler in his own right before his death in 1999, caused in an accident at the WWF pay-per-view Over the Edge. Hart's niece Natalya is a professional wrestler.

Fellow pro wrestler Roddy Piper claimed in his autobiography to be a cousin of Hart.[256] Hart has also stated that Piper was the only wrestler to visit him in the hospital after his stroke.[257]


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Personal life

Neidhart and wife Ellie have three daughters – Jennifer, a gourmet chef and caterer, Natalie, and Kristen ("Muffy"), who was married in early June 2007.[9] Natalie is also a professional wrestler under the ring name "Natalya" and is currently signed to WWE.[9]

Neidhart was arrested on September 6, 2010 and charged with two counts of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, two counts of trafficking illegal drugs, one count of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, and one count of third degree grand theft for property stolen between $300 and $5,000. He was arrested after becoming aggressive with police after ingesting multiple pills outside a gas station.[24] In March 2012, he was sentenced to five months and 29 days in jail. During his sentencing, he was arrested and held in contempt of court.[25] Neidhart completed two stints in rehabilitation paid for by WWE.[24]


On August 13, 2018, Neidhart died at the age of 63.[26] According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, he fell at home and hit his head.[27]
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