Deebo heartbroken by death of actor, namesake Tommy Lister

Tommy "Tiny" Lister
Getty Images

Tommy "Tiny" Lister, an actor and the namesake for 49ers star Deebo Samuel, died Thursday. He was 62 years old.

The Associated Press reported Thursday, citing Lister's manager, that the actor was found unconscious at his home in Marina Del Rey, Calif. and pronounced dead at the scene.

Lister, who played "Deebo" in the "Friday" films, got to know Samuel over the last few years and became his biggest fan. The two even met earlier this year as part of an interview with ESPN.

So when the news of Lister's death became public, Samuel was devastated, first posting three broken heart emojis and then saying it was a "blessing" to have met and gotten to know Lister.

The 49ers also sent their condolences to the Lister family.

Samuel's parents explained how their son, Tyshun, became known as "Deebo."

"I wouldn't say that he did stuff all the time, but you know, he was mischievous at times," Precious Martin, Deebo's stepmom, told ESPN. "He did little stuff."

"Wherever I took Deebo, I don't care who was around, anybody's kids, whatever they got, he's going to take it," Galen Samuel, Deebo's father, told ESPN. "He going to take it, play with it and do what he want to do with it."

Samuel said the "Deebo" nickname stuck during little league football.

The grieving process for Samuel is especially difficult right now, as the 49ers are in Arizona due to Santa Clara County's ban on all contact sports. That means Samuel and his teammates are separated from their families.


The 49ers take on Washington on Sunday, and you can expect Samuel to have a big game in honor of his friend.