From 1986 to 1992, America was captivated by the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a campy, off-the-wall comedy-wrestling series featuring an exclusively female cast of wrestlers. The ladies were split up into “good girl” and “bad girl” parts and were required to always be in character. The popular 2017 Netflix series GLOW is inspired by the lives of the original wrestlers. It’s been over 30 years since the original series debuted, so let’s catch up with some of these gorgeous ladies and see where they are now.
Jeanne Basone was cast the “bad girl” character “Hollywood” on the show, and usually lost because of that. After the end of the show, Jeanne did some modeling, acting, and continued to do some underground wrestling. In the mid-90s, she created her own production company, making custom photos or videos for her fans. She has continued to wrestle, including private wrestling lessons for fans.
Babe, the Farmer’s Daughter
In addition to playing “Babe, the Farmer’s Daughter,” Ursula Hayden also played the characters “The Princess of Darkness” and “Donna Matrix.” Following the end of the show, Ursula purchased the G.L.O.W. company in 2001 and holds the rights to many of the episodes and the official website. She sells the original G.L.O.W. episodes on her website. Ursula has also produced, directed and is a consultant on the Netflix TV series GLOW. Ursula appeared on the television reality show The Bachelor, to train eight of the women how to wrestle so they could put on a wrestling match for the show.
Mt. Fiji (real name Emily Dole) was one of the most iconic and beloved wrestlers on the show. Her stats came in at 5’11” and 350 pounds, making the Samoan wrestler a fierce opponent. The largest wrestler in the cast, she never lost a match.
In 1989, Dole was videotaped being beaten by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, along with 36 members of her family during a family bridal shower. In 1998 her family won a $23 million lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
After the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Dole appeared in subsequent television and wrestling events. Dole reunited with her G.L.O.W. castmates in a tearful and heartfelt reunion that can be seen in the 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, available on Netflix. Unfortunately, Dole passed away in January 2018 at the age of 60 after battling serious health problems for several years.
Lorilyn Palmer was cast as the Russian villain “Colonel Ninotchka,” and her politically incorrect character was frequently shown talking about the KGB. Lorilyn has since stayed out of the public eye, but she appears in the 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
Matilda the Hun
Unlike many of the actresses on G.L.O.W. who learned to wrestle after being cast on the show, Deanna Booher (“Matilda the Hun”) was a wrestler before auditioning for the show. In the documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, she revealed that she was not allowed to wrestle men on the circuit and instead once faced a live bear as an opponent! Her character “Matilda the Hun” would eat raw meat on stage, and she even had a hit single entitled “(I Eat) Raw Meat.” Besides wrestling, Deanna also competed as a roller derby skater. After G.L.O.W., she wrestled under the name Queen Kong for the Powerful Women of Wrestling and would perform singing telegrama “Slam-a-Grams” at events. Yes, you could personally hire Matilda the Hun to bodyslam and wrestle you.
Big Bad Mama
Lynn Braxton joined the cast as “Big Bad Mama” in the last two seasons of G.L.O.W., appearing in 52 episodes. Her character would use voodoo in the wrestling ring, casting spells to incapacitate her opponents. Lynn went on to appear in an episode of Married with Children and a few other television shows. Sadly, Lynn passed away from cancer at the age of 61 in 2013.
Melody Trouble Vixen
Melody Trouble Vixen (shown being lifted over Mt. Fiji’s head above) was played by Eileen O’Hara. Following the end of the show, O’Hara did some television and movie acting, appeared in some reality television episodes and began her career as a writer. She published her first book of the Banners of Avalon series in 2015 under the name E.F. O’Hara and is currently working on the second book.
After leaving G.L.O.W., Little Egypt (real name Angelina Altishin) continued to participate in the wrestling community through television series, movies and reality television. She is a mentor and professional speaker, loves to travel and creates recipes inspired by different cultures.
Dawn Rice was a British wrestler who joined the cast as “Godiva.” She went on to do some additional wrestling work but is no longer in the entertainment industry. Perhaps ironically considering she played a goddess-like character, Dawn now works in ministry and community outreach.
After G.L.O.W., Tina Ferrari (real name Lisa Moretti) began wrestling under the name Ivory for the WWE from 1999-2005. In 2007, she opened up a dog grooming business called Downtown Dog, but has wrestled sporadically since leaving the WWE, most recently appearing on WrestleMania 34 in 2015. In 2018, Lisa was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.