|General Actor Information|
|Born:||October 9, 1932|
|Birthplace:||Los Angeles, CA|
|Occupation:||Martial artist, actor, stunt performer, martial arts instructor, professional wrestler|
|Related to:||Mike LeBell|
|Children:||David LeBell, Monica LeBell Pandis, Danny "LeBell" Martindale|
|Character on MWC:||Larry in "Earth Angel"(Season 2) |
Referee in "You Gotta Know When to Fold 'Em (Part 2)"(Season 4)
Drunk Bar Patron in "Rites of Passage"(Season 6)
Black Ben in "Peggy and the Pirates"(Season 7)
Brutus in "Damn Bundys"(Season 11)
Ivan "Judo" Gene LeBell (often credited simply as Gene LeBell or with a minor spelling variation) is a martial artist, actor, and stunt performer. Besides being a martial arts champion, he has appeared in numerous movies and television shows as both an actor and stunt performer.
On Married... with Children, Gene appears on the show several times during its run in various roles.
Born in 1932 to Aileen Eaton, a boxing and professional wrestling promoter, he began his martial arts training at the age of 6, learning grappling from many well known fighters who trained at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, where his mother worked.
In 1954, at the age of 20, he won both the National AAU Heavyweight Judo Championship and the USA Overall Judo Championship and won again the following year. After dominating in Judo, he switched over to wrestling, dominating in that sport as well. His brother, Mike, was a wrestling promoter at that time.
In 1963, he took on boxer Milo Savage, in what many considered the first televised mixed martial art match. After 4 rounds, he was able to take down a now exhausted Savage and choke him out. This has earned him the nickname "The Grandfather of MMA".
After his martial arts career, he and his brother operated NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) Hollywood Wrestling from 1968 to 1982. He also operated two martial arts schools.
His trademark style is his use of a pink judo uniform, the result of red shorts accidentally mixed in with his laundry while he was preparing for a Judo competition in Japan.
He holds a 10th degree black belt in Judo and 9th degree in Jiu-jitsu, in addition to being proficient at Catch Wrestling.
Currently, besides teaching Judo privately, he is mentoring MMA champion Ronda Rousey. He is also a Nevada and California Athletic Commission judge.
Acting / Stunt Coordinator careerEdit
Using his martial art skills, he was able to break into films as a stunt performer and/or coordinator and actor. Some of the film and shows that he has been a stunt coordinator include The Green Hornet, Kung Fu, Airplane!, Robocop, Dutch, Rapid Fire, Walker Texas Ranger and Spider-Man 2. He has taught his skills to notable martial arts actors such as Bruce and Brandon Lee, Bob Wall and Chuck Norris.
He has also appeared in numerous movies and television shows as an actor, often as a referee for a wrestling/boxing/martial arts match, on shows and movies like Married..With Children, The Fall Guy, Man on the Moon, That 70's Show and Baywatch. Though he has done other roles such as a taxi cab driver in Rush Hour, an angry man on an electric wheelchair in Reno 911, a bartender in The X-Files, a gunman in Rapid Fire and an archbishop in Sledge Hammer.
Appearances on Married...With ChildrenEdit
He has played different roles on MWC, such as Al's friend, Larry. who pays him to look at Tiffany while pretending to do yard work, a referee who judges the match between Al and Big Bad Momma and one of Captain Courage's (a.k.a. Al's) crew members, Black Ben. He also had non-speaking roles, such as the drunk bar patron that Al punches at the Nudie Bar and as Brutus, a member of the Devil's football team that Al has to play against.