Winnipeg-born actor and rockabilly singer Gene Pyrz, 56, died Tuesday morning after a battle with cancer.
The actor, who grew up in Elmwood, is known for film roles in Cinderella Man (2005), The Plague (2006), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001).
Pyrz, who also enjoyed a successful theatre career, appeared in Manitoba Theatre Centre productions A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Crucible, A Streetcar Named Desire and Hamlet.
As a rockabilly singer, he was the lead singer in the band Combo Combo and was known locally for his performance of "I'll Apologize" with The Rowdymen.
Local legend has it that when punk rocker Iggy Pop opened for The Pretenders at Winnipeg Arena in the 1980s, Iggy Pop's guitarist and drummer went to the Albert later that night and saw Combo Combo with Pyrz playing bass. Pop's bassist was leaving the tour at the time and the pair asked Pyrz on the spot if he wanted to join Iggy Pop's band. Pyrz declined.