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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kay Noble
Ring name(s) Kay Noble
Billed height 5'7" (1.70 m)[1]
Billed weight 132 lb (60 kg)[2]
Born October 15, 1940(1940-10-15)
St. Joseph, Missouri[2]
Died April 27, 2006 (aged 65)
Amarillo, Texas
Trained by Laura Martinez
Sonny Myers
Debut 1957[3]
Retired 1987

Mary Charlene Noble[4] (October 15, 1940 – April 27, 2006), known from childhood by her nickname Kay Noble,[4] was an American female professional wrestler. Her career spanned from the 1950s to the 1980s, during which time she was known for her toughness in the ring. She worked along well-known female professional wrestlers such as Penny Banner, The Fabulous Moolah, and Gladys Gillem. She also wrestler in mixed tag team matches with partners such as her husband Doug Gilbert and Terry Funk. During her almost thirty years wrestling, she held the Texas Women's Championship, Central States Women's Championship, and AWA World Women's Championship. She was also honored by the Cauliflower Alley Club in 2001, before dying of stomach cancer in April 2006.


Professional wrestling career

Noble began her professional wrestling career in 1957 at the age 18 after being approached by a promoter in her hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri.[2] She was trained by Laura Martinez and Sonny Myers.[2] The following year in October 1958, Noble, along with Lorraine Johnson, Penny Banner, and Laura Martinez were charged with inciting a riot when they began fighting outside of the ring, but they pleaded not guilty in court.[2][4] The promoters of the event paid the fine.[4]

She later helped train male professional wrestler Colonel DeBeers.[2] During her career, she held both the Texas Women's Championship and Central States Women's Championship.[2] Throughout her years wrestling, Noble was known for her toughness and strength.[2][4] She was also a high-flying wrestler.[1]

In the 1960s, she worked primarily in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[2] During this time, she wrestled a series of mixed tag team matches with her husband Doug Gilbert against Roy Collins and Barbara Baker.[1][2] She also wrestled a series of matches against and teaming with Betty Niccoli.[1] She also wrestled as the partner of Jack Cain in mixed tag team matches against Jean Antone and Terry Funk.[1] Funk was also her partner on occasion.[1] Her other well-known opponents included Penny Banner, The Fabulous Moolah, and Gladys Gillem.[4] In 1963, she won the vacant AWA World Women's Championship by defeating Kathy Starr in Minnesota, and she held the tile for approximately eight years, losing it to Vivian Vachon in November 1971 in Canada.

In the 1970s, she performed in Japan.[2] She was named WFIA's "Girl Wrestling of the Year" in 1971.[2] By the 1980s, Noble only wrestled part-time while raising her children.[4] She wrestled her last match in 1987 against Marie Laverne.[2] Four years after her retirement, she wrestled Laverne in two matches for a fundraiser for an Amarillo high school's amateur wrestling uniforms.[1] Noble won the match, but she broke her foot when Laverne threw her outside of the wrestling ring.[4] In 2001, the Cauliflower Alley Club, a society of retired professional wrestlers, honored her contributions to women's wrestling.[2]

Personal life

She once worked for Bob Geigel as a bartender in Kansas.[2] After retiring from professional wrestling, Noble entered into the pest control and upholstery industries.[2] Noble owned Kay's Upholstery in Amarillo, Texas.[3] She later worked in pediatrics at Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital.[1][4] In her spare time, she played both the piano and the guitar.[1]

Noble was first married to Doug Gilbert (Doug Lindzy), who she met in an elevator and married in 1959.[2] The couple had three children: Teresa, Michael, and Steve.[2] After having the children, the couple bought a home in South Bend, Indiana, where they also owned horses.[2] Her second marriage to Dean Fortune produced two sons, David and Danny.[2][4] In November 1985, she married Dick Bell, to whom she was still married at the time of her death.[1]

Her friends in the wrestling business included Marie Laverne, who she considered to be part of the family, Jean Antone, Terry Funk, Leo Burke, Bob Geigel, Mae Young, and Bob Orton, Sr..[1][2]

She died on April 27, 2006 in Amarillo, Texas due to an inoperable cancer of the stomach, having been diagnosed the previous October.[2] She received unsuccessful radiation and chemotherapy treatments.[2] She died at the age of 65.[3] Her funeral was on May 1, 2006.[2] At the time of her death, she also had 20 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.[3] She also had a German Shepherd named Gunner, given to her by Marie Laverne.[1]

Championships and accomplishments

  • Other titles
    • Texas Women's Championship[4]
    • Central States Women's Championship[4]
    • WFIA's Girl Wrestler of the Year (1971)[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Oliver, Greg (April 30, 2006). "Colleagues share Kay Noble stories". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Oliver, Greg (April 27, 2006). "Cancer claims women's great Kay Noble". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d Associated Press (May 3, 2006). "Kay Noble-Bell, Wrestler, Dies at 65". NY Times. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Holley, Josh (May 7, 2006). "Pro wrestler Kay Noble". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 

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