Larger text size Very large text size Henry Ford might be famous for saying, "We live many lives," but former professional wrestler, pornographic actress and ESL teacher Joanie "Chyna" Laurer, who was found dead Thursday at 45, truly embodied it. Chyna, who was found dead in her apartment in Redondo Beach, California, would break the glass ceiling for women in professional wrestling in the 's before becoming a pornographic film actress after a private sex tape was leaked.
Wanting to escape from the adult film world, she moved to Japan to teach English and centre herself before returning to the US last year. AP No cause of death has yet been determined. KTLA reported that police were called to her apartment after receiving a call from a friend who dropped by to check on her after not hearing from her for several days. Twitter shared its condolences for the wrestling hero.
She was truly a pioneer in our industry, and she will be missed. AP Advertisement Long before she adopted the stage name Chyna and became known to wrestling fans as the "9th Wonder of the World," Laurer spent her formative years merely trying to keep her head above water. In her autobiography, If They Only Knew, Laurer tried to recall how many fathers she had growing up. Born in Rochester, New York, she would move several times often depending on the man her mother was dating or married to , around New York and beyond.
She battled bulimia, only stopping when the capillaries in her eyes burst from the force of vomiting and "stomach lining started showing up in the toilet," she wrote. According to her book, she had tumultuous relationships with both her biological father Joe Laurer, and her first stepfather. Throughout all this, before she made a living by choke-slamming, clothes-lining and pile-driving men on primetime television, she found peace in the deep baritones of the cello.
She started eating - keeping her food down - and lifting weights. When it came time to choose a college, she attended the University of Tampa, where she studied Spanish literature. But things didn't go much better there. In her book, she wrote that she blacked out drinking one night. When she woke, she was being raped by two football players. Perhaps as a result, her comfort zone shifted from playing the cello to taking care of her body.
As her muscles grew, she graduated and began selling beepers. And one night, she caught pro wrestling on TV. It struck her light a bolt of lighting.
That's what she wanted to do. But she didn't want to play the role the woman were generally cast in - ornaments there to titillate male fans and do little more. She wanted to actually wrestle. The first stop was attending Walter Kowalski's wrestling school. Kowalski, known on the professional wrestling circuit by his stage name "Killer" Kowalski, was against training a woman until Laurer lifted a man over her head. He was so impressed with her dedication, to say nothing of her strength - she told Time in a interview that she could bench press pounds - or kilograms - that when it came time for her first match, he pit her against a man, wrote Gladys L.
Knight in her book, Female Action Heroes: Eventually, Vince McMahon, founder of World Wrestling Federation or WWF, would hire her, but it took weeks of convincing and even then, she began as an assistant of sorts to the male wrestlers, Knight wrote.
Because of her body size, she was called "monster" and "freak" by the media. Her male colleagues refused to enter the ring with her. Fans would "chuck batteries at me in hate," she told the Guardian. Throughout her time in wrestling, she tried not to appear too feminine.
She wore tight black lingerie-reminiscent clothing but threw men into ring posts. Once, on stage, they burst. She spent so much time researching implants, there is one named the Chyna S after her. But even as she rose to prominence, she felt maligned.
Chyna made several claims regarding the tape. I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. That's when I went to Vivid," she told VICE, referring to the porn company that would produce her short career, suggesting that the release of "1 Night In China" without her permission led her to the industry. But that didn't last long.
In , she attended the Exxxotica Porn Expo, where she passed out on three different days, according to Bleacher Report. Waltman has made claims that she was an alcoholic and drug addict; she denied these rumours on Celebrity Rehab with Dr.
Less than a year later, she announced that she was quitting the porn industry and moving to Japan to teach English, where she remained until last June. I didn't know what the vibe would be, it doesn't even feel like I've been gone that long. It was love right off the back. I'm still fit, but I'm doing yoga now.
Be my own success.