Chyna Biography

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Birth Name: Chyna

Joan Marie Laurer began her celebrity career as a professional wrestler under the stage name Chyna in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later rebranded WWE -- World Wrestling Entertainment). She was born on December 27, 1970, in Rochester, New York, and raised in a broken home prone to domestic problems.

Despite the distractions of her biological father's alcohol problems and a suicidal stepfather, Joanie excelled in school, taking both violin and cello lessons. But in seventh grade she was sexually molested by one of her teachers, which nearly put her on the path of destruction. In high school she turned to bodybuilding to distract her from her troubles.

She left home at age 16 to live with her father, who helped her get into college. She spent her last year of high school studying in Spain on a U.N. scholarship before heading to the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. She graduated in 1993 with a degree in Spanish literature. In addition, she also studied French and German and is fluent in all three languages.

After college, Chyna joined the R.O.T.C. and served in the Peace Corps, teaching literacy in Guatemala. When she returned to the States she began to enter fitness competitions, ultimately landing in Malden, Mass., to train at Wladek "Killer" Kowalski's wrestling school after seeing a WWF match on television. She was the only female in the program.

Chyna caught the eye of wrestling superstars Triple H (real name Paul Levesque) and Shawn Michaels (aka "HBK"). The two helped break her into the WWF, where she became the first woman wrestler to compete against men. At the height of her career she posed for Playboy magazine, a move that was written into the wrestling storylines. Her issue became one of the top-five selling issues of all time.

Chyna left the organization in 2002 after five years and went to Japan to wrestle. She subsequently made cameos in several TV series such as Relic Hunter and 3rd Rock From The Sun.

After leaving WWE, she had an affair with former wrestling partner Sean Waltman, with whom she made a sex tape. The video leaked and was released as "1 night In China" in 2004. Since then she's gone into the world of adult entertainment, signing a contract with the industry's biggest company, Vivid Entertainment, and starring in a handful of films for the company, including "Another Night in China," "Backdoor To Chyna," and "Avengers XXX: A Porn Parody," starring alongside performers Dale DaBone and Lexi Swallow.

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