Mary Lillian Ellison, whose flying drop kicks, flying head scissors and hair-pulling “flying mare” body slams brought her renown as the professional wrestler the Fabulous Moolah, died Friday in Lexington, S.C., near her home in Columbia. She was 84.
She died at a hospital after shoulder replacement surgery and might have had a heart attack or a blood clot, said her daughter, Maryetta Austin.
Moolah was women’s wrestling champ for 28 years or so. A farmgirl who found wrestling a way to make a name for herself and find a place in the world, she was a champion in every sense of the word. She won the women’s championship for the last time at age 76. She did a job when she was 80 (above). Indisputably the greatest female wrestler of all time, she came up in the time when a woman in a singlet was expected to put on a show with grit, determination and fighting spirit, not just silicon, and held her own against anyone.