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.