Ric Drasin dies at age 76

Ric “The Equalizer” Drasin, who had a successful career as a professional wrestler, wrestling promoter, bodybuilder, actor, stuntman, author, and teacher, died earlier today at 76 after being in the hospital with kidney issues for several weeks.

Richard Alan Drasin, who was born on July 12, 1944, got his start in wrestling when he joined Johnnie Mae Young’s wrestling school at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1965. After training at Young’s school for six months, Drasin made his in-ring debut later that year, facing Buddy “Killer” Austin.

After debuting, Drasin regularly worked in the California territory but also wrestled in places such as Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. In 1975, Drasin created West Coast Wrestling Promotions, which lead to opposition by the NWA and only lasted for a few shows.

In the 1980s, he wrestled several matches for the WWF when they ran in Los Angeles. In the 1990s, Drasin created his own wrestling school and started the American Wrestling Federation, which held shows in the Los Angeles and Bakersfield area from 1996 until 2001. Even after the promotion ceased, he continued to operate the school out of his house. Two of the notable students who trained there are AEW’s Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Drasin’s son Shane, a popular Southern California wrestler called Shane 54 was also trained by Drasin.

Drasin began working in film in 1972, playing a gym manager who was attacked by rats in the horror movie Ben. He also played the demi-Hulk in the TV series The Incredible Hulk. IMDB.com lists 29 acting credits for Drasin.

In the bodybuilding world, Drasin was also an important figure. He was the former training partner of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the artist that designed the famous Gold’s gym logo and World Gym Gorilla. In October 2012, Drasin was awarded the Joe Gold Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Gym convention in Las Vegas, NV. He is the only person to date to receive the award for their contributions to bodybuilding.

In 2004, Drasin co-wrote the book So, You Want to Be a Wrestling Promoter, with Bruce Dwight Collins, and published his own autobiography called The Time of My Life in 2016. He also wrote articles for various magazines and websites, including a regular column for SoCalUncensored.com in the early 2000s.

Drasin’s death was announced by his children on Facebook earlier today.

This is Sami, Adam, and Shane. It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we have to announce the passing of our father. He was everything to us. A father, role model, and friend. Not only was he an inspiration for countless people, but he truly cared for those around him. His life was steered by the desire to uplift and share his positivity. He always found a way to brighten the room with his humor. Ric’s immeasurable presence will be with us all forever.

About the Author

Steve Bryant
Fan of Godzilla.

5 Comments on "Ric Drasin dies at age 76"

  1. Thank you for the information. I was acquainted with him through an interview he granted me and through his answers to questions I asked him for years. He was always gracious and honest with me. I remember sending him a pic of myself in the gym, and I think he responded that if I cut down on the carbs, I might have something. I’m honored to have known him, if only tangentially.

  2. Robert Porter | 08/31/2020 at 12:23 AM | Reply

    My deepest condolences to Ric’s family for their loss. I’m only a fan and subscriber to Ric’s youtube channel. I thoroughly enjoyed Ric’s advice and stories of old school days, being only 51 years old. Ric always seemed to be a class act and a gentleman. After watching Jerry Brainum’s farewell video to Ric, I couldn’t help but feel the pain for the loss experienced by the friends and family. Jerry’s emotion and kind hearted words stirred my emotions. Ric and his youtube channel will be greatly missed. Godspeed in the next life Ric

  3. Richard Bolten | 08/31/2020 at 5:35 AM | Reply

    He will not be forgotten. He will be thought of often and fondly by those he knew him personally and by those who’s lives he touched with his knowledge and talent and charm .

  4. So saddened to hear this. I am a subscriber to his Youtube channel. Although he was a man of many talents I knew him best for his amazing ability to breath life in to a forgotten era. He made you wish you could go back in time and be there with him during such momentous moments. Generations to come will never have all the fantastic memories he carried but will be thankful forever for what he strived to share. You and Franco and many of the greats will have great conversations up there. RIP.

  5. Ronald Candelaria | 09/01/2020 at 5:16 PM | Reply

    I knew Ric from my World Gym days in Santa Monica. He was a handsome man with a very good physique. He had blonde hair and a mustache. Joe Gold, former owner of Gold’s Gym, opened up World Gym. Ric designed both the Gold’s Gym logo AND the World Gym logo. Had he patented those logos, he would have become wealthy. But back then, that was unheard of. He did it for the love of the sport. I remember the day he showed his World Gym concept. It was fantastic! Ric was very talented. He was more quiet back then – at least in the gym. No music was allowed. Very hard core training, with Joe Gold hand making much of the equipment. Unlike the “gyms” of today, which are not true gyms, but simply corporate fitness places. There would be Arnold, Ric, Frank Zane, Big Lou, Ken Waller, Tom Platz, Roger Callard, and many more stars. You could have a bodybuilding Legend working out right next to you! I had never seen so many big guys with muscles. Very inspiring to a young guy lie me. Ric always seemed younger than his age. I watched “Ric’s Corner” and he had some great guests. He will very much be missed. The true bodybuilding guys are slowly dying off. I am grateful to have been able to rub shoulders with these Legends.

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