"Mary Lillian Ellison aka ''Fabulous MOOLA'' (PICTURED) and Mildred Burke were Madonnas inspiration for the cover artwork of her new album HARD CANDY.
These were woman that could kick anyones ass, MAN OR WOMAN.
Mildred was best known for her muscular physique and feats that made her the women's world wrestling champion from 1936-56.
She claimed to have won 150 matches against men and more than 5,000
against women without losing. But, of course, in professional wrestling
the outcome isn't always decided on the mat.
"I've had two or three girls say they beat me," Burke said in a 1981
Times profile, "and I've threatened to take them to court, because they
never even wrestled me."
She was in Ripley's Believe It or Not for doing 100 body bridges on the editor's desk.
Her sinewy, well-defined body was such that the Los Angeles Police
Department once displayed her poster in its offices to shame the
officers to stay in shape.
In her prime, she was 5-foot-2, 138 pounds. She was best remembered
as the young woman in posters with flexed biceps, dressed in a
championship belt and a low-cut blue wrestling outfit. Even in her
later years when she operated an Encino wrestling school for women she
kept her muscular build.
But she always was concerned with her looks, and in the 1940s she was voted one of the world's best dressed women.
"She was totally feminine," said her son, Joseph Wolfe of Canoga
Park. "More than anything else, she stressed being very feminine and a
Still, a teen-aged Joseph quickly discovered that it was best not to challenge his mother.
One time, after getting into mischief, "she threw me over her
shoulder," Wolfe said. "I never bothered to give her any trouble again."
Wolfe, who subsequently wrestled at Manual Arts High School and Valley Junior College, had plenty of company.
In 1935, Burke, 19, started wrestling on the carnival circuit,
offering $25 to any man of reasonably similar weight who could pin her
within 10 minutes. None did.