Lanny Poffo, a former wrestling star also known as the brother of legend “Macho Man” Randy Savage, died this week at the age of 68, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Duggan announced Thursday. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
Poffo, who gained notoriety in then-WWF in the late 1980s as Mr. Perfect’s manager “The Genius,” is the younger brother of Savage, whose real name was Randall Poffo. Savage died in 2011 at the age of 58.
“With a very, very heavy heart, I’ve been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius,” Duggan wrote on Twitter.
A member of the famous Poffo wrestling family, Lanny made his debut in 1974 in the All-South Wrestling Alliance territory in Georgia working alongside his father Angelo Poffo. The pair won NWA Tag Team championships that same year before Lanny eventually transitioned to teaming with Randy and a solo career spanning across several independent promotions.
In 1985, the Poffo brothers joined Vince McMahon’s WWF and embarked on different paths, with Lanny taking up the moniker of “Leaping Lanny Poffo,” a high-flying babyface who would read poems written on a frisbee before tossing it to the crowd. After gaining notoriety in the role, Poffo turned heel in ’89 and became known as “The Genius,” an arrogant, know-it-all heel who wore an academic cap and gown to the ring.
As “The Genius,” Poffo competed in the biggest match of his career in Nov. ’89 when he wrestled and lost to WWF champion Hulk Hogan on Saturday Night’s Main Event XXIV. Poffo would form an alliance with Mr. Perfect that same night, and go on to manage the two-time Intercontinential champion for the next three years.
Poffo made his final WWF appearance at Survivor Series 1992, where he managed a tag team of Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect who lost by disqualification to Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Poffo moved on to other endeavors around the wrestling world from ’94 until 2023, and made his only return to WWE in ’15 to induct Randy Savage into the Hall of Fame.