Dwayne Johnson honors late dad's 'trailblazing' life

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Dwayne Johnson is honoring his late dad, Rocky Johnson.

The 47-year-old actor and retired wrestler paid tribute to his father in an Instagram post Friday after Rocky Johnson, also a former wrestling star, died at age 75.


Johnson shared a throwback video of one of Rocky Johnson's wrestling matches. A young Johnson is shown watching his dad from the audience.

"I love you," Johnson captioned the post. "You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am."

Johnson recalled how his "adoration" for Rocky Johnson "turned to respect" as an adult after discovering his dad's "deep complex sides."


"That's when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life's invaluable lessons," he said.

Johnson said his pain over Rocky Johnson's death will pass with time. He vowed to keep his dad's lessons with him in his own life.

"Now I'll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it's time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish," Johnson said.

"Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease," he added. "You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I'll always be your proud and grateful son."

The WWE confirmed Rocky Johnson's death Wednesday. Rocky Johnson was a WWE Hall of Fame Wrestler who, with Tony Atlas, became the first African American World Tag Team Champions in 1983.

Johnson himself wrestled for the WWE from 1996 to 2004. As an actor, he will next star in the movie Jungle Cruise, which opens in theaters in July.

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