Miss Elizabeth Death – Drug Overdose
1960-2003 (age 42)
Wrestling fans around the world received sad news on May 1, 2003. Once called the First Lady of Wrestling, Miss Elizabeth was just 42 years old when she died from a drug overdose. Although she is gone, Miss Elizabeth’s career in sports entertainment is still well remembered by fans.
A Career That Began Behind the Camera
Miss Elizabeth was born Elizabeth Ann Hulette on November 19, 1960 in Frankfort Kentucky. Elizabeth’s father owned a local television station, and it seems she had intentions of working for him even from a young age. At the University of Kentucky, she studied communications, and after receiving her bachelor’s degree, she took a job operating the camera at the station.
While working, Elizabeth met Randy “Macho Man” Savage. At the time, Savage was wrestling for his father’s organization – ICW (International Championship Wrestling). ICW was airing on Elizabeth’s father’s station and by December 1984, Randy and Elizabeth were married.
Miss Elizabeth Steps Into the SpotlightIn June 1985, Randy Savage became one of the WWF’s new stars. His entry into the story lines involved a competition to see who would be his manager. Miss Elizabeth landed the job.
The Mega Powers
In the fall of 1987, Miss Elizabeth became a pivotal part in Randy Savage’s story line. During the Intercontinental Championship she stepped into the ring to try and stop the Honky Tonk Man from assaulting Randy with his guitar. When the villain shoved her aside, Miss Elizabeth ran to Hulk Hogan for help. Afterwards, Savage and Hogan shook hands, ultimately forming a new alliance. The Mega Powers were formed.
Jealousy Unravels the PowersThe Mega Powers were a major story line in the WWF for nearly two years. The tag team was on fire, but bouts of jealousy were emerging from Randy whenever Miss Elizabeth would pay attention to Hulk Hogan.
The alliance ended in 1989, during a live NBC broadcast of “The Main Event”. In a segment that is probably one of the most infamous backstage altercations in WWF history, Savage attacks Hogan with the belt, while a stunned Miss Elizabeth watches in horror. Heel turn 101!
The two battled at WrestleMania V, but not before drama ensued over whose corner Miss Elizabeth would be in. She remained neutral.
A Wedding to Remember
Although Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth parted ways on screen, they remained married behind the scenes. Their in-the-ring personalities were reunited in 1991, and they had a staged wedding at SummerSlam 1991. The joy of the moment was cut short when Jake “The Snake” Roberts presented Miss Elizabeth with a treacherous cobra. For the next few months, a staged feud between Randy and Jake kept WWF fans glued to their screens.
12 years before her death: Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth have a kayfabe wedding at SummerSlam, 1991
Drama at WrestleMania VIII
In April 1992 at WrestleMania VIII, Miss Elizabeth and Randy’s on screen love story once again became a vehicle to bring conflict to the ring. Ric Flair proclaimed that he had dated Miss Elizabeth before she knew Randy. The revelation led to a match at WrestleMania VIII, where Savage was victorious.
Off the screen, Elizabeth and Randy Savage had already separated. The two filed for divorce and public statements were issued about the break-up to share the news with fans. It was one of the first times up to that point in history where personalities’ off-screen lives were acknowledged by the WWF.
Reunited for WCW
After leaving the WWF, for a short time Elizabeth worked as a commentator for ESPN for boat racing events. In 1996 she was back in the world of wrestling with the WCW. When she first returned, Miss Elizabeth once again played the part of Randy Savage’s manager.
Elizabeth was involved in a number of story lines during that time, and eventually became one of Ric Flair’s managers. In 1997, real-life Elizabeth married a Florida attorney named Cary Lubetsky – the couple divorced just 2 years later.
A New Star and the End of a Career
By 1999, Miss Elizabeth had become linked with WCW (and former WWF) wrestler Lex Luger. The pair began a relationship off screen as well. The story line had the two as villains, and in May 2000, she actually stepped into the ring to do a little wrestling herself. Ultimately, Lex and Miss Elizabeth were terminated from the WCW. Their contracts were voided in August 2000, and the two would never again appear ringside.
The Sad Last Days – Miss Elizabeth DeathThere is evidence to suggest that Miss Elizabeth’s relationship became rocky toward the end of her life. Police were called in to settle a domestic dispute on April 19, 2003, and it seemed that both Elizabeth and Lex began to spiral out of control. Luger was arrested for striking her, released on bond and arrested again two days later for getting into an accident while driving under the influence.
On May 1, 2003, Lex placed a frantic call to emergency services in Marietta, Georgia, saying that Elizabeth was not breathing. Paramedics rushed her to Kennestone Hospital, and Miss Elizabeth’s death was called at 5:45AM.
An investigation was launched to determine Miss Elizabeth’s cause of death. Due to the history of domestic violence, Lex was questioned, but there was no evidence that he was involved. The coroner would rule that Miss Elizabeth’s cause of death was toxicity due to a combination of pain pills and vodka. It is unknown whether she intended to commit suicide or simply combined too much of the substances unintentionally.
In a 2013 interview, Lex Luger shoots on the death of Miss Elizabeth
A Lasting Legacy
Without Miss Elizabeth, WWE wrestling may not be what it is today. She played a pivotal role in one of the most dramatic storylines in WWF history – the late 80s magic that was the Mega Powers.
A 2015 WWE.com ranking of the 50 most beautiful performers of all time put her in the #1 spot.
While Miss Elizabeth’s death tragically came much too soon, it’s certain she will live on through her legacy in the world of professional wrestling.
Miss Elizabeth Grave
Miss Elizabeth’s grave is located at the Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, KY.
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