In very sad news, former WWE superstar Kamala (James Harris) passed away on Sunday at the age of 70.
The news was broken by the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Twitter account.
The CAC family wishes to extend our sincerest condolences to the family friends and fans the world over upon the news that the legendary James "Kamala" Harris has passed away at the age of 70. Rest in Peace James. pic.twitter.com/7p0LUkkU4P— CauliflowerAlleyClub (@CACReunion) August 9, 2020
According to The Bleacher Report’s Jason King, Harris’ death was via heart attack they could have been brought on by COVID-19 which his wife says he tested positive for this past Wednesday.
Spoke w/ Kamala’s wife. He tested positive Wednesday for COVID which he likely contracted from one of his numerous weekly visits to the dialysis center. Was hospitalized Wednesday night & seemed fine & in good spirits this morning. Went into cardiac arrest & passed this afternoon— Jason King (@JasonKingBR) August 10, 2020
Harris has been out of the public eye in recent years, suffering significant ill health. In 2011 and 2012, Harris had his left and right legs respectively amputated due to complications with high blood pressure and diabetes.
Harris debuted under the name ‘Sugar Bear’ Harris in 1978 and wrestled across the southern United States for several years as well as completing a successful stint in Europe where he had prominent roles in both Germany and the United Kingdom.
In 1982, Harris was signed by the Continental Wrestling Association, based in Memphis. and the Kamala gimmick was born. Managed by JJ Dillon he was brought in as a heel monster for territory booker and babyface megastar, Jerry Lawler to conquer.
In 1984 he began his first stint in the WWF where similar to his Memphis run, he was brought in to be slayed by the territory’s lead babyface, Hulk Hogan on this occasion. He also had a prominent series of house show matches with Andre The Giant.
He left WWE that same year before retuning for a second, more successful stint in 1986-87 where he again feuded with Hogan as well as Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts.
A third and final stint in WWE was the pinnacle of his career in terms of prominence. He rejoined the company in 1992 where he primarily feuded with The Undertaker. The highlight of the feud was a match at SummerSlam 1992 in front of over 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London. Kamala lost by count out.
Upon leaving WWE, Harris entered semi-retirement. A short stint in WCW in 1995 saw him join the Dungeon Of Doom and again feud with, and lose to, Hogan.
Over the next few years he wrestled sporadically on the independent scene as well as making several cameo appearances for WWE in a mainly comedic role. His most famous appearance during this time was as an entrant in the ‘Gimmick Battle Royal’ at WrestleMania X-7.
His final WWE match came in 2006 with a loss to then-newcomer, the late Umaga.
His last match came in 2010.
Several superstars and personalities have made public their condolences for this beloved member of the wrestling fraternity.
I’m heartbroken to hear of the passing away of Big Jim Harris, aka Kamala. I met Jim in 1981 in Croydon, close to London England where he was breaking in as The Mississippi Mauler working with Big Daddy Crabtree. I… https://t.co/MhOpY4aJsR— Bret Hart (@BretHart) August 10, 2020
WWE is saddened to learn that James Harris, known to WWE fans as Kamala, has passed away at age 70.https://t.co/d0kGY4GcTO— WWE (@WWE) August 10, 2020
The Ugandan Warrior Kamala was an amazing performer— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) August 9, 2020
I enjoyed all of his stuff
A character like that can never exist in todays world
Sad to hear his passing pic.twitter.com/HbkJJYozAU
Saddened to hear the news of the passing of the great #Kamala……. first wrestler I had the pleasure of seeing live. I was a believer. 👊🙏— Bill Goldberg (@Goldberg) August 10, 2020