Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared a video today of an emotional eulogy he delivered for his late father Rocky “Soulman” Johnson.
The “Jumanji” actor, 47, posted the nearly 11-minute video clip to his 171 million Instagram and 57 million Facebook followers today.
Rocky Johnson, a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler, died of a heart attack at the age of 75 on Jan. 15.
Dwayne Johnson said he was on his way to work for the first day of a production shoot that he didn’t name. He got a call from his wife Lauren, who informed him about “something going on” with his dad. She urged him to call Cora, who broke the news to him.
Johnson was walking to the production set, where he said a crew of hundreds of men and women were milling around. He said it seemed like a big dream to discover the news that his father had died.
“No, it’s not a dream,” Johnson said. “My dad’s gone, and I heard a voice say, ‘Well, hey, the show must go on.’ And that was my dad, that was my old man who told me that.”
Johnson called his father a “trailblazer” for fighting for racial equality in wrestling and changing the audience’s behavior in the mid-1960s during a time of racial tension and divide.
“In the ’60s and the ’70s you have a black man coming in — it’s an all white audience,” Johnson said. “And all these small little towns that I would eventually go on to wrestle in. But at that time, he actually had changed the audience’s behavior and actually had them cheer for this black man.”
Rocky Johnson teamed up with Tony Atlas as Soul Patrol and became the first African American wrestler to claim the tag-team title at the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) in 1983.
Dwayne Johnson followed in the footsteps of his father as a WWF pro wrestler, then eventually embarked on a Hollywood career to become one of the highest-paid actors in the world today.
“I wish,” Johnson said to funeral attendees that included his former pro wrestling competitor Hulk Hogan. Johnson paused for several minutes to hold back tears at the podium. “… wish I had one more shot. Wish I had one more shot, you know, just to say ‘goodbye,’ say ‘I love you,’ say ‘thank you,’ say ‘I respect you.’ But I have a feeling he is watching. He is listening.”
In early January, NBC announced Johnson would revisit his small-kid time growing up everywhere from Hawaii to Tennessee to Connecticut in a new comedy series named after the retired pro wrestler’s nickname, “The Rock.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.