Memorial service set for Kennesaw native and actor Ron Lester August 4

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Kennesaw native and "Varsity Blues" actor Ron Lester, who died earlier this month in Dallas, will have a memorial service locally.

It will be held Thursday, August 4 at 7 p.m. at Connection Church in Jonesboro.

Lester, who still has family locally and graduated North Cobb High School, suffered from liver and kidney failure. He was 45.

His best-known role was Billy Bob in 1999's James Van der Beek film "Varsity Blues." He followed that up with a regular spot on the WB network "Popular" from 1999 to 2001 and spoof film "Not Another Teen Movie."

Lester, who weighed as much as 508 pounds at his peak, had  gastric bypass surgery in 2001 and shed as much as 350 pounds. His career lost its momentum, he said, after he couldn't play the "funny, fat guy," he told

The actor was friends with the Regular Guys (then on 96rock) in the early 2000s. Current Rock 100.5 morning host "Southside" Steve Rickman convinced Lester to take part in a horror film "The Greenskeeper" in 2002 starring John Rocker, as well as members of the Regular Guys.

"He was so happy to be alive and losing the weight but sad that losing the pounds killed his acting career," Rickman wrote in a text this morning. "He liked being the center of attention but would share the spotlight with you when being in a public place joking around. He loved to laugh and hug it out! Loved answering to someone and looking out for them too."

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho