Former professional wrestler and entertainer Chyna dead at 45

Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:10am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Former professional wrestler and reality television personality Chyna was found dead in her Los Angeles-area home on Wednesday, police said. She was 45 years old.

Officers were called to Chyna's Redondo Beach apartment after a friend found her in bed not breathing, the city's police department said in a statement. She had not answered her phone in several days, police said.

A post on Chyna's official Facebook page confirmed the entertainer, born Joanie Laurer, had died.

"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," the post said.

Chyna became a World Wrestling Entertainment star in the late 1990s and later appeared in both mainstream and pornographic films. She was also appeared on reality television shows, among them VH1's "Surreal Life" and "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."

The cause of death was not known.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere, editing by Larry King)

 
Professional wrestler Chyna (L) and Star Wars character "Chewbacca" present an award at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, April 21, 2001 in Santa Monica. Reuters/Files