WWF icon Chyna (real name Joan Marie Laurer) has been found dead in her LA home on Wednesday. At present, the official cause of death is unknown, although police say there is no sign of foul play.
According to the LA Police Department, Chyna was discovered unresponsive in her bed after a concerned friend alerted them that she hadn't answered their calls for days.
Chyna's official Facebook page announced the sad news late on Wednesday night in the heartfelt post below:
Chyna was undoubtedly the best-known female wrestler of her generation, possibly even up to the present day. Initially, the WWF refused to admit her as they worried audiences would not want to see a woman overpowering men, but despite the reluctance of many male wrestlers to be taken down by her, Chyna became the first woman to qualify for the King of the Ring contest in 1999.
Check out her fighting form and typical bombastic entrance in the video below:
Chyna appeared in a handful of TV shows that made her a well-known personality even outside the wrestling world. You might recognize her from Surreal Life, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Robot Wars: Grand Champions and The Nick Cannon Show.
Chyna struggled with substance abuse for many years and later claimed that she felt like her "life was spinning out of control" around the time she made her now infamous sex tape in 2004.
She later moved to Japan to teach English and get a fresh start in life after her troubled past and turbulent family relations. In one of her last interviews with Vice, Chyna slammed media representation of her as a drug addict and told the public:
“There’s a misconception out there in the media that I’ve become this monster. In the meantime, I’m just trying to get a job and live my life.”
Chyna is survived by her mother, Janet Laurer, and her two older siblings, Kathy and Sonny. Our thoughts are with her friends and family during this difficult time.