Life and athletic careerPerry was born December 16, 1962 in Aiken, South Carolina. After a successful career at Aiken High School (South Carolina), Perry played college football at Clemson University. In 1985, he was selected in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Nicknamed "The Refrigerator" for his gargantuan, square-like frame, Perry was 6 ft 2 in and weighed 382 lb (173.3 kg) at his peak weight. He quickly became a favorite of the Chicago Bears fans.
defensive lineman. In addition, Perry was used as a fullback when his team was near the opponents' goal line or 4th and short situations, either as a ball carrier or a lead blocker for running back Walter Payton. During his rookie season, Perry rushed for 2 touchdowns and caught a pass for one. Perry was once used in a surprise play during a Pro Bowl game as an offensive lineman.
Perry even had the opportunity to run the ball during Super Bowl XX, as a nod to his popularity and contributions to the team's success. The first time he got the ball, he was tackled for a one-yard loss while attempting to throw his first NFL pass on a halfback option play. The second time he got the ball, he scored a touchdown.
Perry went on to play for ten years in the NFL. His Super Bowl ring size is the largest of any professional football player in the history of the event. His ring size is 25, while the ring size for the average adult male is between 10 and 12.
Perry retired after the 1994 season. In his 10 years as a pro, he played in 138 games, recording 29.5 sacks and 5 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 71 yards. In his offensive career he ran 5 yards for 2 Tds. Perry later attempted a comeback, playing the 1996 season with the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football (later NFL Europa).
- In 2006, he came out with a barbecue sauce.
- In 2006, he participated in the Lingerie Bowl as the super sub.
- Perry participated in a World Wrestling Federation battle royal at WrestleMania 2 in Rosemont, Illinois. In 2006, he returned to the Chicago area to be inducted into the "Celebrity Wing" of the WWE Hall of Fame by John Cena.
- In 2002 he lost in the third round to 7 ft 7 in (2.3 m) former NBA basketball player Manute Bol in a charity boxing match on the Fox Network's Celebrity Boxing program. Perry entered the match visibly above his NFL playing weight.
- The Fridge is one of several real people to be immortalized as a 3.75 inch (9.53 cm) G.I. Joe action figure. Like Sgt. Slaughter before him, Perry's figure was available through mail order. The figure was offered in 1986, the same year the Bears defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
- During his popular tenure with the Bears, Perry participated in the recording of two rap records, both in 1985, in addition to the team's very popular "Super Bowl Shuffle".
- Walter Payton and Perry recorded an anti-drug, pro-peace rap tune entitled "Together" which was written by four Evanston, Illinois teens. It was re-released in 1999 with part of the profits going to the Walter Payton Foundation.
- Popular rap trio The Fat Boys recorded a twelve-inch single titled "Chillin' with the Refrigerator" released on Sutra Records.
- A novelty hit, "Frig-O-Rator", was released in December 1985 on the Motown label by Roq-In' Zoo and featured sound bites of Bears game plays. The following year The Fridge was yet again remembered in a rap song, this time by the obscure Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Hard Machine who released the single "Refrigerator".
- In 2000, he was defeated by Bob Sapp in a toughman boxing competition on FX.
- In 2003, he appeared in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest as a "celebrity contestant". He stopped eating 5 minutes into the competition. This was parodied in an episode of TV Funhouse from the November 11, 2006 episode of Saturday Night Live in which Takeru Kobayashi plays a hot dog eating superhero. After Kobayashi saves the day by eating a lot of hot dogs, a cartoon William Perry makes an appearance saying "Damn!" in Japanese.
- In 2003, he appeared in a TV movie by Comedy Central called Windy City Heat, where a man named Perry Caravello was made to believe he was acting in a major motion picture.
- He starred in a commercial in the 1980s with Jim McMahon, fellow Chicago Bears teammate for Coke Classic and Coke.
- Appears on the Chef Tony infomercial endorsing My Rotisserie in a number of acted scenes where he plays poker with his friends, while singing the praises of the kitchen appliance.
- He made a guest appearance in the '80s TV show The A-Team. In the 21st episode of the 4th season ('The Trouble with Harry') "Fridge" signs in to the same hospital The A-Team is using to help their friend Harry recover. Throughout the episode, Perry only has a few lines (including the funny: "They'll never catch him," referring to his NFL playing days), but he gives out 'Bears' caps in the final scene. B. A. Baracus and Hulk Hogan (who guest starred in the episode as well) react angrily when they don't get a cap, but the large sized Perry is able to calm them down with his huge smile.
- He also made a short appearance in the opening of According to Jim (Season 8, Episode 15).
Recently, he was named Director of Football Operations for the Continental Indoor Football League's Chicago Slaughter.
In June 2008, he was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome, a chronic inflammation disorder of the peripheral nerves. On April 22, 2009, Perry was hospitalized in South Carolina in serious condition from his Guillain-Barré syndrome. Perry spent approximately a month in the hospital before being released. At one point his weight fell to 190 pounds, before going back up to 275 pounds.
|Super Bowl Shuffle|
In June 2010, it was reported that Perry now suffered from hearing loss, but also that he was improving after his diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome. He had lost more than one hundred pounds, but was, by this time, back up to 330 pounds.
In February 2011, ESPN ran a somber article about him, citing ongoing health and drinking problems, and a weight of 400 pounds.
In April 2011, Cliff Forrest, a 10 year-old child, accidentally bought a replica Perry Super Bowl ring for $8,500 thinking it was the actual, and gave the ring to Perry.