Ron Lester, best known for playing Billy Bob in the 1999 James Van Der Beek-starring film Varsity Blues, died tonight in Dallas after battling liver and kidney ailments. He was 45.
“Tonight my friends we lost my good friend and actor Ron Lester – He passed at 8:57 pm Dallas TX Time. He was not in any pain and passed away peacefully,” said Lester’s manager, Dave Bradley in a message posted to Facebook.
The Georgia native broke into acting doing commercials in Atlanta, but soon moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film career and stand up comedy. He first came to prominence playing “Spatch” in the 1997 Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell comedy film Good Burger, and soon after was cast in the role for which he is best remembered, the overweight, powerful offensive guard of the West Canaan High School football team in Varsity Blues. He followed that up as a regular on Popular, a recurring role on Freaks and Geeks, and other TV roles, as well as appearances in the film Not Another Teen Movie and others.
Lester was hospitalized in November for his illness, and some reports held that he was taken to hospice care Friday night.