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Chyna dead: WWE star Joan Laurer dies at 45

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Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Former WWE star Joanie “Chyna” Laurer has died at age 45, her team confirmed late Wednesday night.

“It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero,” read a statement shared on her website and Twitter. “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.” 

While Laurer’s cause of death has yet to be revealed, police confirmed to CNN that she was found dead in her Redondo Beach, California apartment, and there were no signs of foul play.

Chyna first rose to prominence as a wrestler in 1997 and went on to beat some of the biggest male names in the the sport’s history, including Triple H, Chris Jericho, and Kurt Angle, before leaving the then-WWF in 2001. A few years later, Chyna became a regular on VH1’s reality shows when she joined the cast of The Surreal Life in 2005 and later appeared on The Surreal Life: Fame Games and Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.

Many stars of the wrestling world have been sharing their grief — and their gratitude for Chyna’s groundbreaking career — across social media:

https://twitter.com/crystalhefner/status/723032027633586176

https://twitter.com/MizzHogan/status/723023902264324096