Troma fans are in mourning today, as word has come out that Joe Fleishaker, one of the company's most popular stars, has passed away at the age of 62.
Fleishaker's first Troma appearance was in 1988's TROMA'S WAR, where he started out as an extra before Troma co-founder Lloyd Kaufman decided to give him a bigger role as a "Specially Trained Terrorist". Over the next twenty-eight years, Fleishaker made appearances in a dozen more movies and was a frequent presence in Troma shorts and behind-the-scenes videos. Among the films he was in are the TOXIC AVENGER sequels, SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D., TROMEO AND JULIET, TERROR FIRMER, and POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD.
One thing that made Fleishaker a unique screen presence was his weight, which tended to be in the range of 450 to 525 pounds. In recent years, the weight issues became a medical issue, as Fleishaker lost the ability to walk and suffered from congestive heart failure. He passed away on Monday at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and it is believed that the cause of death was a heart attack.
Fleishaker is survived by two brothers. He brought a lot of entertainment to Troma viewers over the last few decades, it was always great to see him turn up in a new movie, and he will be deeply missed by fans around the world.
Kaufman paid tribute to Fleishaker on his Facebook page:
The Troma Team and I are truly heartbroken by the news that Joe Fleishaker has passed away. He was a great actor and a great friend. Toxie weeps. RIP Joe, Troma will never be the same without you.