Remembering Ron Lester: More than Varsity
"I give it a.. uh... A TEN! A TEN!" Some may remember him more for the "Puke and rally!" line after not doing so well at a party. Either way, Ron Lester created a very memorable character in the cult classic Varsity Blues. Billy Bob, a massive offensive lineman playing for the fictional West Canaan football team symbolized life as an athlete: lots of partying but dealing with plenty of issues underneath the surface, including re-occurring concussion issues that have emerged in real life football. Lester was able to provide a lot of fun to the Billy Bob character but also tugged at some heartstrings, most notably the scene sitting on the bed of a truck and blowing up his trophies. Lester would later go on to parody himself in Not Another Teen Movie. The young actor decided that he needed to take action on his massive frame and underwent gastric bypass surgery, shedding 348 pounds and also went under the knife multiple times afterwards to remove excess skin. Lester later went on to say: ""Am I alive? Yes. Am I happy? No. Did I throw away my career to be skinny? Yes. I wouldn't do [the surgery] again. I would much rather have died happy, rich, and kept my status and gone out on top."" (IMDB) Sadly in 2015, Lester began having some serious complications with his liver and his kidneys. This year, his condition worsened and Lester was placed in hospice care. At 9 PM on June 17th, Lester passed on. Even though Lester's star burned out much too quickly, I'll never forget the awesome job he did with Billy Bob. His performance in my eyes... I give it a ten! A ten! Thank you to IMDB and Wikipedia for the information on Lester's career and quotation.