John Daniel Matuszak
Ex-football player turned actor.
Autobiography: "Cruisin' With The Tooz." - Amazon sells this from time to time.
Former defensive end for the Oakland Raiders
Competed in the 1978 World's Strongest Man Competition weighing 308 lbs.
Hard-driving athlete who lived life in the fast lane.
Attended the University of Tampa.
He died of heart failure allegedly due to his long term use of steroid drugs. He was buried in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
As Sloth in _Goonies, The (1985) , his make-up took five hours to complete. One of the eyes (which was out of place on the face) was mechanically operated off-screen by remote control. He had to time his blinking to match the blinks of the robotic eye. A crew-member would countdown from three, two, one and tell him to blink. The cast was told not to get him wet in scenes outside of the pirate ship, but the kids inadvertently did so, holding up filming for an entire day. In the scene where Chunk and Sloth head down through the grate to follow the gang and the Fratelli's, you can see that Sloth is wearing an Oakland Raiders T-Shirt. Matuszak
Was originally drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1973
The man they called "Tooz'' was the No. 1 pick in 1973, going to the Houston Oilers out of the University of Tampa. But that's not what the 6-foot-8, 282-pound defensive end is remembered for. His legacy was that of a brawling, incorrigible miscreant who occasionally played hard but always partied harder. It was inevitable that Matuszak ended up with the Raiders, where he spent the final six years of his career (1976-81), because Oakland by then had become a halfway house for the NFL's unrepentant, rowdier crowd.
Matuszak was born in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 1950 and was always big for his age, which became an advantage as a defensive lineman in football. When he eventually turned pro, he stood 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters) and weighed over 280 pounds (127 kilograms). He attended the University of Tampa where he was the star of their football team. (Incidentally, the football program at the University of Tampa ended after the 1974 season.)
Matuszak, drafted by the Houston Oilers of the NFL, was the first draft pick of 1973. In addition to his contract with the Oilers, he joined the Houston Texans of the World Football League, but never played because of a restraining order that barred him from playing for two teams at the same time. The Oilers, displeased that he tried joining the WFL, traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs where he played until 1975. Then he found himself with the Raiders in 1976. He helped the Raiders win two Super Bowls (XI and XV) before retiring after the 1981 season. He played a total of 123 games in nine seasons of professional football.
His football career was often overshadowed by his even more famous (or infamous) partying and seemingly endless use of drugs. In his autobiography, he stated that he took many painkillers as well as other narcotics while playing professional football. Because of this, an article written for Sports Illustrated's website in January 2005 named him one of the top five all-time "bad boys" of the NFL.
During his playing career, Matuszak is said to have enjoyed what he considered the "breakfast of champions,'' a vodka and valium combination that can not be found on any Wheaties box. Before the Raiders played the Eagles in Super Bowl XV, Matuszak was quoted saying he was going to see to it that none of his teammates strayed too far from the team hotel, thereby risking a curfew violation.
"I'm going to see that there's no funny business,'' he said. "I've had enough parties for 20 people's lifetimes. I've grown up. I'll keep our young fellows out of trouble. If any players want to stray, they gotta go through Ol' Tooz.''
The only problem? The next night Matuszak was caught partying until at least 3 a.m. and was slapped with a $1,000 fine for his indiscretion.
After his playing days ended in 1981, Matuszak went on to a fairly successful career in movies, generally playing a version of himself.
Matuszak became a fairly successful actor in the 1980s, making appearances in movies and on television, often portraying football players and gentle giants. His first major role was in the 1979 movie North Dallas Forty as a football player. He appeared in the movies Caveman (1981) and The Ice Pirates (1984), but is frequently remembered as Sloth in The Goonies (1985). He had numerous guest appearances in popular TV shows such as M*A*S*H, The Dukes of Hazzard, Hunter, The A-Team, and Miami Vice.
His autobiography, Cruisin' with the Tooz, written with Steve Delsohn was published in 1987. John Matuszak died of heart failure in Hollywood, California at age 38. His early death has been blamed on his extreme lifestyle, including the possible use of anabolic steroids.
He died in 1989, of heart failure, at age 38.
Here's another photo of him from the movie, "Caveman" - he played Tondo. A bit of a cheesy movie, but it's cute and corny and Shelly Long is sweet in it! Ringo Starr is also in the movie.