Laura Combes
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Who is Laura Combes?

One of the most well-known female bodybuilders and an IFBB Hall of Famer is Laura Combes. She started her fitness journey after sustaining knee injuries during a rugby match; as part of her recovery, her doctor advised her to exercise weights.

Short Career of Laura Combes

Laura Combes developed lean muscle as a result, giving her the shape she is known for. Laura decided to enter her first contest in 1979 after receiving encouragement from her friends and family.

After dominating the sport in the latter part of the ’80s, she ultimately cemented her legend. Sadly, though, Laura lost her battle with alcohol issues after she stopped competing in bodybuilding.

Body Measurements of Laura Combes

Full Name: Laura Combes
DATE OF BIRTH: 19 October 1953
DATE OF DEATH: April 4, 1989
PROFESSION: Professional Bodybuilder
HEIGHT: 5’4″ (162.5cm)
WEIGHT: 145 to 155 lbs.  (65.8 – 70.3kg)
ERA: 1970, 1980

Laura Combes


Competition History

  • 1979 Ms. Brandon Physique – 4th
  • 1979 Ms. Florida – 5th
  • 1979 Ms. Suncoast Body Beautiful – 2nd
  • 1979 IFBB Best In The World – 6th
  • 1979 Ms. Tampa Physique – 1st
  • 1979 Ms. West Florida – 1st
  • 1979 Ms. Northwest Florida – 1st
  • 1980 AAU Ms. Florida – Overall Winner
  • 1980 AAU Ms. America – 1st
  • 1980 NPC USA Championship – 7th
  • 1980 NPC Nationals – 1st (Overall)
  • 1981 Pro World Championship – 6th
  • 1981 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 4th
  • 1982 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 6th


Young Years

Laura Combes didn’t have much time to settle as a child despite being born in “The Big Apple,” New York (USA). In 1966, when she was just 13 years old, her family relocated to Tampa, Florida (USA).

Her participation in a variety of sports, including fencing, sailing, archery, canoeing, horseback riding, water skiing, tennis, and rugby, was the one constant in her life.

She was undoubtedly a natural-born athlete with exceptional talent in various sports, but when she was a teenager, she showed little interest in bodybuilding or working out with weights.


A career-ending injury to both of her knees caused Laura to retire from rugby at the age of 23 around the end of the 1970s. Laura Combes was advised to start weightlifting by her doctor as a result of her recovery.

But because of her inherent agility, she was able to succeed as a bodybuilder, quickly sculpting a beautiful form while accumulating lean muscle.

Soon after, Laura’s friends started noticing the improvement in her appearance and pushed her to compete in her first fitness competition.

First Competition

Following several months of practice, Laura entered the stage at the Ms. Brandon’s Physique show in 1979. While competing against more seasoned competitors, the youthful athlete managed to finish fourth despite not taking the first position.

Although she wasn’t happy with her performance, Laura was determined to get better to win a prize because she is a competitive person.


This was a very impressive debut year for a competitive female bodybuilder, setting the stage for bigger things to come. Laura’s tenacity led her to enter a total of 6 events that year (in 1979).

She improved her performance in the gym, and she won every competition. With her first career prize in hand, Laura did, however, experience victory at the Ms. Tampa Physique competition.

However, she wasn’t done yet.

Making Legends

Laura participated in 8 additional shows over the following 3 years, dominating female bodybuilding in late 1979 and early 1980.

She won trophies in practically all of the competitions she participated in during this time, solidifying her reputation in the fitness sector.

However, Laura decided to give up her career after finishing sixth in her second Ms. Olympia, the most renowned competition for female bodybuilders. The fitness legend declared her retirement from competitive athletics in 1982 at the age of 29.

Laura Combes


After putting the finishing touches on a distinguished career, Laura developed drinking issues following the passing of both of her parents. The legend started on a terrible trajectory that would ultimately claim her life.

In her Florida residence on October 4, 1989, Laura was discovered dead. Acute alcohol poisoning was the cause of death.

The IFBB Hall of Fame

Laura left a legacy as a female bodybuilder despite dying during a difficult time in her life. Laura helped bring the sport into the public eye throughout her brief but fruitful career, motivating countless female athletes to start their fitness journeys.

To recognize her accomplishments, the IFBB inducted her into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2002.

What could Laura Combes Teach Us?

We can learn from Laura’s tale to keep an open mind and not be afraid of a new journey. Laura Combes developed a passion for bodybuilding as a result of listening to her friends’ support and choosing to enter her first competition in 1979.

This steered her in the direction of fitness, where Laura found success as a female bodybuilding icon and established herself as one of the sport’s founders.