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Pro Wrestler Buddy “Nature Boy” Landel Dies at 53

Pro Wrestler "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel
Pro wrestler Buddy "Nature Boy" Landel has died at age 53.

Former pro wrestler Buddy Landel, best known to fans of the NWA as Nature Boy, has died. Knoxville, Tenn., news station WATE reported that Landel died in his sleep on Monday, June 22, at his home in Chilhowie, Va., one day after he was involved in a car crash. He was 53.

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Taking to the ring with his trademark glittery robes and long blonde hair, the wrestler signed with the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) in 1985. World Wrestling Entertainment issued a statement about their star's death late Monday. "WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Ansor, aka "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel," their statement read in part. "WWE extends its condolences to Landel's family, friends and fans."

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"He had 'It,' something you can't teach," former WWE head trainer Dr. Tom Prichard told of his friend, who famously feuded with fellow wrestler Ric Flair, who also went by the name "Nature Boy" in the ring. "When he walked into a room, he was loud and funny, and you knew he was there. He was extremely talented and did a good job of being the 'Nature Boy,'in and out of the ring."

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Landel is survived by his wife, Donna, and their two daughters.

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