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York's 'Gorgeous George' was pioneer of televised wrestling

Apr 22, 2010 9:59:00 AM - thestate.com

Almost 40 years after “Gorgeous George” Grant the wrestling showman hung up his robes and blond hair for good and heard the last calls for his head to be smashed with a folding chair because he was the worst pansy villain there was, Gorgeous George has stepped through the ropes and out of the squared circle for the last time.

He will throw no more roses at fans demanding he be beaten into a bloody pulp.

Grant, a pioneer of televised wrestling in the 1950s and early 1960s, who himself said he “dressed like Liberace” before there was a Liberace in show business, he of the feathered capes, sequins and leg drops that caved in ribcages, died in Columbia on Wednesday at the Dorn Veterans hospital, according to his daughter Melody. This particular Gorgeous George – there were others – was 85 years old.

But this Gorgeous George wasn’t always old, or flashy, or “gorgeous.” The year was 1952, in a smoky hot arena in Marietta, Ga. The event was ‘rasslin’. The crowd, beehive hairdos, overalls, chewing tobacco and Lucky Strikes, screamed for blood.

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