Former WWE wrestler known as Chyna has been found dead in an apartment in California, police have confirmed.
Chyna died at the age of 45.
A friend discovered Chyna, (whose real name was Joan Laurer) and she immediately called police. The police stated that Laurer had died some time before that.
The sad news has been confirmed by her Twitter account.
“It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world has passed away. She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her.”
— Chyna (@ChynaJoanLaurer) April 21, 2016
According to police reports, there are no signs of foul play.
“On April 20, 2016, Redondo Beach Police Officers were dispatched to an apartment unit in the 900 block of Esplanade. The Redondo Beach Police received a 9-1-1 call from a friend of the apartment unit resident that the female inside was not breathing. The friend told Redondo Beach Police that the female had not answered her phone in a few days, and went to the location to check on her welfare.
“Officers arrived on scene and discovered a deceased female inside the location. There are no indications or signs that the death was a result of foul play. From the preliminary investigation, it appears that the deceased passed away prior to being discovered by the friend.”
Laurer first rose to prominence in the professional wrestling promotion the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1997, where she performed under the ring name Chyna and was billed as the “Ninth Wonder of the World” (André the Giant was already billed as theeighth). A founding member of the stable D-Generation X, she held the WWF Intercontinental Championship (the only female performer to do so) twice and the WWF Women’s Championship once. She was also the first woman to participate in the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring events, as well as to become number one contender to the WWF Championship. With singles victories over several prominent male wrestlers – including multiple-time world champions Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho and Jeff Jarrett. Chyna has left “a lasting legacy as the most dominant female competitor of all time”. After leaving the WWF in 2001, Chyna wrestled sporadically, most notably with New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002 and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2011.
Outside of wrestling, Laurer appeared in Playboy magazine twice, as well as numerous television shows and films. In 2005, Laurer was a cast member on VH1’s The Surreal Life, which led to several other celebrity reality appearances on the network, including The Surreal Life: Fame Games in 2007 and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008. She is also known for her tumultuous relationship with fellow wrestler Sean Waltman, with whom she made a sex tape released commercially in 2004 as 1 Night in China. She starred in a further five pornographic titles, and was a two-time AVN Award winner.
May Chyna rest in peace.