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Subject: ARCHIVE: June 17, 2016 ~Georgia-born actor RON LESTER, remembered for his 500lb-frame in roles in "Good Burgers" and notable 'Billy Bob' in 1999's "Varsity Blues", but it was his decision soon after to undergo gastric surgery, which was his downfall. Unable to cope with the 300lb+ loss, complications arose leading to his premature death at 45. ...

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Date Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 05:27:19am

Lester was best known for his roles in the films Varsity Blues,
Not Another Teen Movie, Good Burger, and the television series Popular. ...

Ron Lester
(August 4, 1970 June 17, 2016)

Early life ...

Ron Lester was obese since 5 years old, and by the time he was 30 years old, Ron weighed 508 pounds. Hollywood hired him as the lovable fat kid but his health was in serious danger. Ron Lester gained celebrity status at an early stage in his career, but his draw in Hollywood seemed to be based on one physical characteristic ...his weight.
Lester's first acting role came when he went to Atlanta, Georgia, to appear as an extra in a commercial, which turned into a feature part. He appeared in a music video
for the band Little Texas. Lester moved to Los Angeles and began doing stand-up comedy in comedy clubs. His first film role was in the movie Good Burger in 1997.

...In 1999 Lester played the role of Billy Bob in the feature film "Varsity Blues", which would become the role he is most known for. That year he also had recurring
roles on two TV drama comedies, Freaks and Geeks and Popular. He also appeared in Not Another Teen Movie, which parodied his role in Varsity Blues.

Health & Death ...
In 2000, Lester underwent a gastric bypass surgery procedure called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass with a duodenal switch, losing 310 pounds (140 kg). With the support of his friends, family, and co-workers, Ron decided to go through an experimental (at the time) type of gastric bypass surgery that almost took his life. Subsequently, in under 2 years, 348 pounds were lost. In the years that followed, by 2015 he underwent 17 major cosmetic surgeries to tighten and remove excess skin after the gastric operation. All Plastic Surgeries done by Dr. Keith Jeffords in Atlanta, Georgia. When he recovered from flat-lining on the operating table Ron began to lose the weight - and his celebrity identity.

Post surgery, psychologically Lester has a hard time getting the roles he once won. ...

...He admitted food was his 'drug of choice' to cover up pain from often being the new kid in school (he changed schools often due to discipline problems), and the death of 22 close friends and family members throughout his life. Years later, in November 2015, Lester was hospitalized due to issues with his liver and kidneys. In June 2016, he was reported to be in critical condition and in hospice care. At 9:00 PM on June 17, 2016, Lester died of liver and kidney failure shortly after his family requested that he be taken off life support. He was 45 years old, ...and selflessly donated his body to University of Dallas for medical science.

In life, Ron Lester was quoted, "Am I alive? Yes. Am I happy? No.
Did I throw away my career to be skinny? Yes.
I wouldn't do [the surgery] again. I would much rather
have died happy, rich, and kept my status and gone out on top."

--Ron Lester

Links ...

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