Former WWE women's champion wrestler and reality TV star Joanie Laurer, a.k.a. "Chyna," has died at age 45, The Associated Press reports. She was found dead Wednesday at her apartment in Southern California by police who were responding to a 911 call from a concerned friend, who had not been able to contact Chyna in several days. A cause of death has not been released.
Chyna rose to fame in the late 1990s as a female pro wrestling star who dubbed herself the "9th Wonder of the World."
Born in Rochester, N.Y., Chyna graduated from the University of Tampa in 1992 with a degree in Spanish Literature and, after a stint in the Peace Corps and several short-lived jobs, she began to compete in fitness competitions.
Her first pro wrestling match came in 1995. She was later hired by the World Wrestling Federation, where she made her debut in 1997. She was a member of the "D-Generation X" group and acted as a bodyguard for wrestler Triple H. In 1999, she was the first woman to ever enter the Royal Rumble