Notable Deaths ›

Chyna Laurer (1969 - 2016)

Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment / Gabe Ginsberg

As a wrestler, Chyna was known as the "9th wonder of the world."

Joan Laurer, aka Chyna, the former professional wrestler and reality TV personality, died Wednesday, according to her personal account on Twitter. She was 46.

"It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero, Joanie Lauer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world has passed away," the tweet on her page states.

Laurer was found dead in Redondo Beach, California, according to multiple news sources, including The Associated Press. The cause of death was not immediately available.

Laurer was born Dec. 27, 1969, in Rochester, New York. She graduated from the University of Tampa in Florida before launching her wrestling career.

Laurer starred in the World Wrestling Federation in 1997, taking the ring name Chyna and promoting herself as the Ninth Wonder of the World. Andre Roussimoff, another professional wrestler known as Andre the Giant, had been billed the Eighth Wonder of the World. She performed in WWF — also known as World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE — until 2001, wrestling sporadically in two other venues.

In 2005, Laurer turned to reality television. She became a member of the cast of VH1's "The Surreal Life." She followed up with the program's 2007 sequel, "The Surreal Life: Fame Games," and a different reality TV show, "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," the following year.


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In a post on Facebook, WWE stated: "WWE is saddened to learn of reports that Joanie Laurer, best known for competing in WWE as Chyna, has passed away. #RIPChyna"

A number of other professional wrestlers have died at a fairly young age, including the Ultimate Warrior, Owen Hart, and "Ravishing" Rick Rude.

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