Otis Perkins was a powerlifter known as the “Black Tom Cruise” who has died at age 39 after injuries suffered in a car accident.
Larry “Wheels” Williams, who was his training partner, confirmed the news in an Instagram post. Williams wrote on July 24, 2021, “R.I.P @black_tom_cruise. The man brought laughs everywhere he went. Funniest man I ever met. He possessed all the traits of a GREAT friend.I love him and hold him closer to almost anyone I know. It hurts to accept he’s gone. No matter what life threw at him he kept a smile and his head held high. Otis Perkins you will be missed.”
Perkins died on the morning of July 24, 2021. His cause of death stemmed from the car accident he was in the week before. A GoFundMe page for Perkins raised more than $38,000. It described the circumstances of his death:
Friends, at 7:37 am this morning Otis Perkins aka BTC passed away and went home to be with the Lord. He had sustained major injuries due to a car accident on 7/11 but due to a high fever and lung complications from pneumonia he couldn’t get enough oxygen to his lungs and his heart gave out. I’m here at the hospital making preparations and will update on services shortly.
At this time, the family request that you respect their privacy as they prepare for his home going service to celebrate his life and legacy. I will provide an update on his memorial as soon as possible and I will include information if you wish to send condolences. I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support during this trying time. Our collective hearts are broken.
Here’s what you need to know:
Perkins Was in a Car Accident in a Convertible
According to BarBend.com, Perkins was in a car accident on Sunday, July 11, 2021, “that resulted in his car being flipped while he was inside.”
He was in a convertible with the top down so he suffered eye and back injuries, the site reported. It was believed he would survive the accident. His official cause of death has not been released, but BarBend.com reported that he is believed to have died from injuries suffered in that crash.
The GoFundMe page said, “Hi, As some of you may or may not know BTC (Black Tom Cruise aka Otis Perkins) was in a major car accident on Sunday, July 11. He has had surgery on his back and right eye and is recovering. The recovery process will be a lengthy one and we need your help. Please contribute to his Go-Fund-Me account to show your support and please send prayers and positive vibes his way for a speedy recovery.”
On July 22, there seemed to be progress: “I promised to share updates on BTC (Otis) as much as possible. BTC had a fever that was consistent for 4 days but I’m happy to report that as of this morning, his fever has broken and is at a normal temperature. He still has difficulty breathing due to the pneumonia. He’s stable and his doctors are doing everything possible to ensure he’s receiving the best of care. Thank you all for the prayers. Please keep it up as it’s working. BTC has the POWAA to make it through!”
On his website, Perkins gave his biography, writing,
Growing up in Flatbush Brooklyn, NY Black Tom Cruise learned to believe in the ‘POWAA’ of transformation. His personal journey is a testament to positive affirmation and believing in yourself. Born Otis Dean Perkins, the first born of Willie and Marie Perkins, Otis aka Black Tom Cruise (BTC), wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth by any means. He lived with his parents and younger sister in a two-bed room apartment over a hardware store in a tenement building. ‘To say my parents hustled is an understatement.’ Otis’s mother worked two jobs, as domestic help and for a disability facility while his father worked in a hardware store as a delivery driver. ‘My parents worked all the time so my sister and I were on our own. As a young kid I kept to myself. As long as I had my video games and food I was cool.’
Of powerlifting, he wrote, “I would say I was working out for about four years before I really started getting serious about Powerlifting. Training with those guys helped me a lot. Larry and I would meeting up every other day to workout. We tried to inspire each other to reach our goals. That’s where the POWAA began…He signed up for his very first Power lifting meeting on March 22, 2015 and did 690 lbs on the deadlift, 405 lbs on bench press and 530 lbs squat for a total PR of 1,625 lbs (737 kg). Not too bad for a beginner and he was hooked.”
Perkins Posted Recently About Powerlifting
Perkins’ last Instagram post came on July 8, 2021. “26 lbs.(329.3 kg) deadlift. Big climb up hittin it in KG plates,” it read.
On July 3, he wrote, “his is gonna be a cold summer! First pic is from last summer and swipe to see how im looking this year. Still coming close to the final form!”
In May, he wrote, “Been on the cardio tip and light lifting alittle more lately giving the joints a break and more importantly trying to get back on that melted ice journey! Not too shabby for approaching 39 this month!”