Joan Laurer, the groundbreaking female wrestler known as Chyna and as a reality-television star has died at 45.
Police in Redondo Beach, California, confirm that Laurer, 45, was found dead in her apartment on Wednesday. Police say they were notified by a friend who went to check on her and found Laurer unresponsive. The cause of death is under investigation, but police say there are no signs of foul play.
Chyna and wrestler Triple H pose for a photo in 1999.
“It is with deep sadness to inform you that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world, has passed away,” said a post on her website.
After graduating from the University of Tampa, Chyna started training in the world of professional wrestling and in 1996 was named the “Rookie of the Year for the Women’s Championship.” She wrestled in the Royal Rumble and King of Ring tournaments and became the only undefeated Women’s Champion in WWF (World Wrestling Federation) history.
Ms. Laurer made many appearances on Howard Stern’s radio show, and she was a cast member of the reality television series The Surreal Life, which documented the antics of past-their-prime celebrities who were placed in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills for two weeks at a time.
She also took part in the VH1 series, Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, which featured the addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chyna‘s family.
Avigail is an Entertainment blogger at All About The Tea, who specializes in The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Potomac. Avigail has a background in marketing. She’s a Brooklynite living in the Bahamas, with a passion for travel, writing, reality TV watching, pop culture and spoken word.