Los Angeles: Former WWE women's champion and reality TV star Chyna, real name Joanie Laurer, has died at the age of 45. The cause of death was not known.
A statement on her Twitter page by her team confirmed the news of her passing. "It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero. She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her," the statement read.
The reason behind her death is not clear. ProWrestlingSheet.com said that Chyna's body was discovered on Wednesday afternoon at her home in Southern California.
After a career in WWE, Chyna took to modeling and bodybuilding. She made a sex-tape with her then boyfriend in 2004 that led to a brief career as a pornographic actress, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
She also had several stints on reality shows like The Surreal Life and Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew.
#RipChyna all of us on team Chyna love you and will love you forever babe.
— Chyna (@ChynaJoanLaurer) April 21, 2016
Twitterati expressed their shock and heartbreak at the demise of the former champion, with several condolences coming throughout the day. Here are some of the tweets:
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) April 21, 2016
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) April 21, 2016
I had been in contact recently with @ChynaJoanLaurer to guest on The Ross Report.
Unfortunately now that will never happen.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 21, 2016
Joanie, I'm so sorry. I will always treasure our friendship and will never forget your kindness to my children. RIP https://t.co/pVV0KjbkFt
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) April 21, 2016
A life can not be summed up in 140 characters. Chyna broke barriers and made people look at women in wrestling a whole new way.#RIPChyna
— David Lagana (@Lagana) April 21, 2016
RIP Chyna Joanie Laurer. You were a pioneer for women in this industry. You were always so nice to me when we would cross paths. God bless.
— Abyss (@TherealAbyss) April 21, 2016
All I can say is that Chyna was always incredibly kind to me. I never forgot that. Life can be rough even to the strongest amongst us.
— Gregory Shane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) April 21, 2016
With agency inputs