Ron Lester, Star of ‘Varsity Blues,’ Dies at 45

The actor died of kidney and liver failure on Friday

Last Updated: June 17, 2016 @ 10:40 PM

Ron Lester, an actor best known for playing Billy Bob in the 1999 high school football movie “Varsity Blues,” died Friday of heart and liver failure. He was 45.

He had been moved from a Dallas hospital to hospice care earlier on Friday, and his agent Dave Bradley confirmed the news of his passing on his Facebook page.

The actor had long struggled with obesity and had been hospitalized for issues related to his kidney and liver for several months.

The son of a truck driver and an artist who grew up in Georgia, Lester got his first break in Hollywood with the 1997 Nickelodeon movie “Good Burger” starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell.

He followed that with the role opposite James Van Der Beek and Paul Walker in “Varsity Blues,” playing a plus-size lineman who scores the winning touchdown in the big game.

He starred for two seasons on the WB high school drama “Popular” and had a recurring role on the cult hit “Freaks & Geeks.”