What Are the Original 'GLOW' Wrestlers Doing Now? It's Been 28 Years Since the Show Went Off The Air
Netflix's GLOW is fictional, yes, but it's based on both a real television program — GLOW: The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling — and inspired by real characters. Season 2, which returns to Netflix on Friday, June 29, promises to be filled with just as much glitz, glamour, and faux-gore as the previous season. As for where the original GLOW wrestlers are now, their paths have stretched in a number of different directions, both in the ring and out.
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling premiered in 1986 and would only be on the air until 1990. But its outrageous characters and bad rap intros cemented themselves in the minds and hearts of fans. In addition to the ones mentioned below, GLOW's characters also included Little Egypt (Angelina Altishin), Liberty (Penelope Johnson), Godiva (Dawn Rice), and Big Bad Mama (Lynn Braxton), among others.
And while the show lasted a mere four years, many of its stars are still — understandably — trying to bank on their '80s wrestling personas. But not all of them. At least one has tragically passed away. Some are dealing with health issues, while others have been mysteriously low-profile. To catch up with everything the stars of the real GLOW have been up to and to learn more about the original show, viewers can watch Brett Whitcomb's 2012 documentary GLOW: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.
Hollywood (Jeanne Basone)
This villain from the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling went on to start her own company, Hollywould Productions, according to Thrillist. Basone hires herself out to do private wrestling sessions, and although it sounds X-rated, she emphasized that nothing happens in those sessions. "[Y]es, we are just wrestling," she told Thrillist. "And I make it clear from the start: no sex, no nudity."
That being said, there's definitely a kinky aspect to it. "I think it all stems from something that turned them on during childhood," she told Thrillist of her clients' motivations. As of 2017, the wrestler was still hiring herself out for sessions and making good money doing it. Basone also has an Etsy store where she sells GLOW-themed merchandise.
Mountain Fiji (Emily Dole)
Sadly, Dole passed away in January 2018 at the age of 60, per the New York Daily News. Although no cause of death was given at the time, she was depicted in the 2012 documentary as being in poor health. What's more, she told the Orange County Register back in 2008 about her extreme weight gain post-GLOW. "I was just hungry," she said. "It’s in my genes." At her heaviest, Dole weighed 425 pounds, but as of 2008, she was down to 235.
However, her life was about more than her weight and wrestling. Per the OCR, Dole almost made the U.S. Olympic Team twice for shot put in 1976 and 1980. The descendant of Samoan royalty also appeared in two films: Personal Best (1982) and Son in Law (1993). Dole's wrestling persona, the gentle giant Mt. Fuji, was almost certainly the inspiration for Britney Young's Machu Picchu on the Netflix revival.
Matilda the Hun (Deanna Booher)
Booher, who played the Germanic villain on GLOW, is now permanently in a wheelchair. This is due to a degenerative disc disease, which is a side effect from years of wrestling, according to Vice. "Now there’s physical therapy and there’s awareness of chronic pain; there was no real awareness of chronic pain in those day[s] or what to do about it," she told the Daily Mail. Booher also has a memoir called Glamazon Queen Kong: My Life of Glitter, Guts, and Glory, which came out in 2013.
Booher was not involved in the Netflix GLOW and seemed offended that she and some of the other original girls weren't asked to be involved. "I would think, when you have a brand, you would want to use the ones who helped make that brand," she said in the same interview, "but I don’t know."
Colonel Ninotchka (Lorilyn Palmer)
Palmer's character was a clear inspiration for Alison Brie's Zoya the Destroyer persona on the Netflix revival. "[Ninotchka is] always making phone calls and talking about the KGB, so I would watch those when working on the accent," Brie told Uproxx about preparing for her role. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Palmer was a dancer before joining the wrestling show, but not much is known about what she's doing these days. She appears to be keeping a low profile, although she appeared in the 2012 GLOW documentary.
Babe, the Farmer's Daughter (Ursula Hayden)
Hayden proved to be a shrewd businesswoman, purchasing the rights to GLOW back in 2001 from financier Meshulam Riklis, according to the Washington Post. "I still don’t have all the episodes, which is unfortunate," she told Inverse in 2017. "I’m having some internal problems with that. But I got the tapes I could get a hold of transferred and found some really great footage of complete shows, so I re-manufactured and designed covers and started selling the DVDs." Hayden also owns the official GLOW website, where she sells merchandise and DVDs.
Not only that, but the body-slamming Babe also consults on the Netflix revival, as well. “My job is basically meeting with the writers, [creators] Liz [Flahive] and Carly [Mensch] mostly," she said in another interview with Inverse.
It's been 18 years since the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling aired, but the Netflix revival has ignited a renewed interest in the ragtag, low-budget women's wrestling show — especially one as politically incorrect as GLOW. Luckily, audiences will only have to wait until Friday to see if Netflix includes any new characters in Season 2 of its wrestling revival.