List of Famous Roller Skaters

People rarely spend their entire lives trying to become famous.

However, fame is something intangible and hard to measure.

Many of us find inspiration in people from various walks of life, such as celebrities, politicians, businessmen, or living legends who are extremely successful in their fields.

This article is about 16 of the most well-known roller skaters around the globe.

1. Bill Bogash (22 November 1916 – 20 March 2009)

He was both a coach and a roller derby skater.

He was born in Chicago and began his skating career in 1935, during the Great Depression until 1958.

Bogash’s journey began after his mother, and he attended the Transcontinental Roller Derby, Chicago, on 13 August 1935. It was a six-week race that measured skaters’ distances in laps around tracks on a US map.

In September that year, he joined the second race with his mother, Josephine ‘Ma,’ Bogash, in Kansas.

Bogash had been racing for many teams during the 1940s. In 1949, Bogash led New York Chiefs to their first Roller Derby World Championship. Bogash then skated for the Los Angeles Braves towards the end of his career.

Bogash retired in 1958 and became a restaurateur in Los Angeles. On 20 March 2009, he died from respiratory failure.

In 1953, he was inducted into the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame.

2. Toughie Brsuhn (27 January 1923 – 9 September 1971)

Brasuhn was born in St Louis, Missouri, to a German-American family. She acquired the nickname “Midge”, as a child, because of her height, which is only 4’11. In 1941, she joined roller derby in Minneapolis and married Ken Monte, another skater.

Brasuhn became famous in the 1940s when she was featured on a billboard asking, “Who is Toughie?” She competed regularly against Gerry Murray, sometimes one-on-one. In 1949, she was the lead role in Roller Derby Girl film.

She was named one of the top ten sportswomen in 1950 by the Sportswriters of America. She became the Brooklyn Red Devils’ captain.

She was well-known for her aggressive play and often knee her opponents in their jaws.

Brasuhn was inducted into the Roller Derby Hall of Fame after she retired from the competition in 1962.

She briefly skated for the rival Roller Games in the mid-1960s before moving to Honolulu with her son, where she unexpectedly died in 1971.

3. Ann Calvello (1 August 1929 – 14 March 2006)

American athlete and prominent personality in the sport of roller derby.

Ann Calvello graduated in June 1947 from Presentation High School, San Francisco.

4. Alex Cohen (born 8 July 1972)

He is an American radio and Emmy Award-winning television journalist, roller derby skater, and author.

Cohen was part of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls from 2003 to 2010. He used the derby name “Axles Of Evil” and TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls skating as “Smother Theresa”.

Cohen was hired by Drew Barrymore to direct Whip It, a film about roller derby. Cohen was also the co-author of Down and Derby, an insider’s guide on roller derby. It was published in 2010.

5. Danielle Colby (born 3 December 1975)

American reality TV personality, she is a member of the American Roller Derby Team and appears on American Pickers.

Colby owned and played in the Big Mouth Mickies roller derby female team for three years until she suffered injuries that forced her to stop.

6. Shauna Cross

American screenwriter, novelist, and former roller derby team member. She skated under “Maggie Mayhem” for the Los Angeles Derby Dolls and later wrote the 2007 novel Derby Girl.

This fictionalized version of her experiences with the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls league. Drew Barrymore directed Whip It, a film adaptation of her novel. It was released in 2009.

7. Lezlie Deane (born June 1, 1964)

American actress, singer, musician, and roller derby runner, she is also an American actress.

She has appeared on television and in film.

She is best remembered for her roles in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Girlfriend from Hell (1989), and 976-EVIL (1988). She was a member of the techno group Fem2Fem during the 1990s.

8. Bonnie D.Stroir (born 1980)

He is both a roller-derby coach and a skater. She is the first-ever full-time coach of roller derby in the world.

She travelled the globe to coach many teams and was named Assistant Coach for Team USA at the 2011 Roller Derby World Cup.

9. Jim Fitzpatrick (born 15 April 1959)

American author, photographer, portraitist, and former roller derby athlete.

He skated for the San Francisco Bay Bombers of the International Roller Skating League Roller Derby (IRSL) during the 1977-1987 revival.

He was a league referee after sustaining several shoulder separations.

10. Julie Glass (born 23 February 1979)

She was a former roller derby skater and competitive speed skater.

The year 2008: She joined the Oly Rollers league in her locality and was a key player on their team that won the Championships 2009.

11. Suzy Hotrod (born 1980)

Hotrod was awarded the Gotham Girls Most Valuable Player Award in 2006 and 2009.

He also captained the Queens of Pain in three league titles. In 2010 and 2011, Hotrod also won the Derby News Network reader’s award for Best Double Threat.

12. Hydra

She is a roller derby skater and has been a key figure in the sport’s development.

Hydra resigned as WFTDA president in 2007.

However, she remained on the board of directors of WFTDA until 2009. She was still involved in roller derby for Texas Rollergirls Rec-n-Roller Derby in 2010.

13. Annis Jensen (20 September 2021 – 10 January 2015)

An American roller derby skater. She was the first woman to be elected captain of the San Francisco Bay Bombers, a professional roller derby league.

She was the oldest active skater in the league’s history when she retired in 1969.

14. Charlie O’Connell (7 May, 1935-February 9, 2015)

He was a roller derby skater and the most prominent male figure in his sport. After his first retirement, he was inducted into the Roller Derby Hall of Fame in 1967.

In 1967, he retired but soon returned to the sport, playing until 1978 before finally retiring. He said he played “well over 3000” games during his career.

15. Denise Grimes (born 1969)

She is also a roller derby skater and an organizer.

Grimes was born in Phoenix, Arizona. She grew up watching RollerGames and spent most of her youth skating at the local rink.

In mid-2003, she founded Arizona Roller Derby (AZRD).

She organized the first interleague bout of flat-track roller derby against the LA Derby Dolls in November 2003.

She captained Arizona to its first match against Texas. Her ideas and guidance were sought out by many fledgling leagues.

16. Tim Patten (born 1952)

He was a former roller derby player. He is now a self-published author with seven books under his belt.

For four years, while seeking treatment for an HIV-related neurological infection, the infection was healed through progressive medications.

Patten then wrote Roller Babes: The Story of the Roller Derby Queen. He self-published it under the name D. M. Bordner in 2005.

Conclusion

Here is a list highlighting the most famous roller skaters.

It is impossible to identify a famous person by their late-night efforts.

It takes years to be well-known. It’s not easy to distil the efforts of individuals into a small list.

We may have brought out the best skaters on earth.

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