Remembering 'The Fabulous Moolah' Mary Lillian Ellison, better known as The Fabulous Moolah, died Friday at age 84. She was a wrestler, promoter and trainer on the so-called "lady wrestling" circuit for more than 50 years. She spoke with Dave Davies in April 2005 about the documentary Lipstick and Dynamite.
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Remembering 'The Fabulous Moolah'

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Remembering 'The Fabulous Moolah'

Remembering 'The Fabulous Moolah'

Remembering 'The Fabulous Moolah'

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The Fabulous Moolah (Mary Lillian Ellison) shows off a women's championship belt, vintage 1962. She held various versions of that title, mostly uninterrupted, for decades, and won her last belt at the age of 76. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. hide caption

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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

The Fabulous Moolah (Mary Lillian Ellison) shows off a women's championship belt, vintage 1962. She held various versions of that title, mostly uninterrupted, for decades, and won her last belt at the age of 76.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Mary Lillian Ellison, better known as The Fabulous Moolah, died Friday at age 84. She was a wrestler, promoter and trainer on the so-called "lady wrestling" circuit for more than 50 years.

Her career culminated with a championship win at the age of 76. She spoke with Dave Davies in April 2005 about the documentary Lipstick and Dynamite.

Ellison's 2002 autobiography, written with Larry Platt, is entitled The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle.

She got that flashy nickname from a promoter who decided that her own name wasn't memorable enough. When he pressed her on why she wanted to work the circuit, as she recounted in that memoir, she snapped at him: "For the money. I want to wrestle for the moolah."

'Lipstick & Dynamite,' Grappling with the Truth

'Lipstick & Dynamite,' Grappling with the Truth

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Professional wrestler Ella Waldek is among those featured in the documentary. hide caption

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Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan reviews Lipstick & Dynamite, a new documentary about the brash and brassy women wrestlers of the '40s, '50s and '60s.

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What makes Lipstick different from the usual worshipful sports documentary is that director Ruth Leitman allows a glimpse of the unvarnished and unsanitized -- how rough, rowdy and raucous these women's world could be. The stories aren't pretty, but they're true to life.