Former professional wrestler and actress Chyna was founded dead in her home Wednesday night, she was just forty-five years old. Best known for her role as the bodyguard in the WWE Attitude era wrestling stable D-Generation X and later singles wrestler. After leaving the company in 2001, Chyna made wrestling appearances around the globe before becoming a reality television star and actress. The cause of her death is currently being investigated but their is no signs of foul play.
Born Joan Marie Laurer on December 27, 1970 in Rochester, New York; Chyna had a rough childhood marred by domestic violence and a broken home. She studied music at an early age and was a high school athlete. After graduating from the University of Tampa with a major in Foreign Language (she could speak Spanish, French and German fluently) joined the Peace Corps. Returning home from her assignment in Guatemala, Chyna worked a variety of odd jobs and trained as a fitness competitor before deciding to become a professional wrestler.
Chyna trained at Killer Kowalski’s Wrestling School in 1995 and worked the independent scene for a year before she joined the WWE in 1997. She was placed in the heel wrestling stable Degeneration-X after making her debut on February 16, 1997 as a “plant” (fake fan) in the stands. Chyna started out as the group’s bodyguard who later transitioned into a singles wrestling a couple of years later when she entered the 1999 Royal Rumble. A few pro wrestlers in the company did not want to put her over much less wrestler her but she succeeded and became a breakout star.
For the next two years, Chyna became one of the WWE’s biggest stars. She wrote an autobiography of her life, appeared in Playboy Magazine, made a few appearances on television in guest starring roles and won the Intercontinental and Women’s titles. But Chyna had a falling out with the WWE and was released by the company on November 30, 2001. Still a celebrity, she took advantage of her fame by continuing to appear in guest starring roles on television shows and wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling several times in 2002 before retiring from the sport due to injuries.
Chyna’s personal life started to come off of the rails. In 2003 she began to battle a severe drug/alcohol addiction along with mental health issues. During this time her appearances in the media were mainly as a reality star on such shows as the “Surreal Life,” her sex tape “1 Night in China” and later “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.” Chyna’s life hit rock bottom in 2009 and she slowly began to climb out by working as an adult actress, making five films before leaving the business to become an English teacher in Japan. During this time she has since reconciled with her estranged family and has made the rounds at wrestling conventions looking the healthiest she has in years.
Sadly on April 20, 2016 Chyna passed away in her Redondo Beach home from what looks like a possible drug overdose as no signs of foul play were discovered and she was taking medication for sleep deprivation along with anxiety pills. Want to know more about the life of professional wrestler and actress Chyna? Please visit these websites for more information: Daily Mail, Wikipedia, IMDB, TMZ and KTLA.