After Ron Lester’s tragic death from kidney and liver failure at the age of 45 on Friday, the world mourned the actor best known as the overweight Billy Bob from Varsity Blues. Lester had suffered from organ issues for many months, first posting about being near death back in November. With the help of doctors and the support of his fiancé he pulled through and was able to recover through the winter before succumbing to his health issues this weekend. The actor lost more than 300 pounds after undergoing gastric bypass surgery over a decade ago, during which he nearly died on the table.
Sadly, Lester could not cheat death twice. His co-star in Varsity Blues James Van Der Beek shared some thoughts on Ron’s passing and his career. The Dawson’s Creek star noted Lester’s work ethic and “how committed [he] was on every take…even when the camera wasn’t on him.” As he mentions, that is a rare trait in Hollywood and notably for someone mainly known for supporting or sidekick roles.