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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

R.I.P. - Lillian Ellison

By LEE HIGGINS - lhiggins@thestate.com
In the scripted, fabulist world of wrestling, the Fabulous Moolah was all real.
She wore bling before anyone called it that. She was a showman who clearly was all-lady.
“I love old people and I love babies,” she told The State in 2005. “And if anybody else steps in my way, I’ll just kick (their butt). That’s the way it is.”

The Fabulous Moolah, the legendary female wrestler who called Columbia home and became the first female inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, died Friday.

She was 84.

Born Mary Lillian Ellison in 1923, she was raised in the Tookiedoo neighborhood near Blythewood — the youngest and only girl of 13 children. Her mother died of cancer when Ellison was 8.
Father-daughter time for Ellison meant attending weekly pro wrestling matches in Columbia.
Ellison was trained in the ring in the 1940s by then-women’s champion Mildred Burke — the sport’s biggest star at the time, according to the WWE.

Moolah held the world’s championship for 28 years, from 1956 to 1984.

The next year, she won it again for two more years.
In 1999, at age 76, she reclaimed the title for a final time.

A legend passes.... the creator of the Backbreaker is gone.