Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with pro wrestling is likely familiar with the iconic and legendary Hart Family. Stu and Helen Hart had 12 children, and every one of their eight sons was a wrestler at one point. The oldest son of Stu and Helen passed away on Sunday, as Smith Hart succumbed to a battle with prostate cancer at the age of 68. The news was first announced on Smith’s Facebook page.
Hart had been diagnosed with prostate and bone cancers in 2016, and his prostate cancer later spread to his hip. He had been moved into hospice care in early June.
Smith may be most well-known to WWE fans as one of the Hart brothers who tried to climb the steel cage and get involved in the Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart match at SummerSlam 1994, or as one of the Hart Family members who was fully involved in the Bret vs. Vince McMahon match at WrestleMania XXVI.
Smith’s wrestling career began in 1973 and he was an integral part of Stu’s Stampede Wrestling in Calgary. He wrestled all over the world for nearly 20 years and was heavily involved behind the scenes at Stampede, including spearheading the relaunch of the company in 2011.
WWE released an official statement on Smith’s passing:
WWE is saddened to learn that Smith Hart, member of the storied Hart wrestling family and uncle of WWE Superstar Natalya, has passed away at age 68.
The oldest of the 12 Hart family children, Smith made a notable name for himself in the sports-entertainment industry around the globe. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s Smith competed across Japan, the National Wrestling Alliance and his father’s homegrown Canadian promotion, Stampede Wrestling.
Smith also made several memorable WWE appearances throughout his career, most notably at WrestleMania XXVI when he assisted his brother, WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hit Man” Hart, in Bret’s No Holds Barred Match against Mr. McMahon.
WWE extends its condolences to Smith’s family, friends and fans.
If, like most wrestling fans, you’ve never seen any matches of Smith in his prime, please enjoy this bout from Britain’s World of Sport.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Smith Hart and the rest of the Hart Family.