Adrian Street is a Welsh professional wrestler and author known for his flamboyant, androgynous wrestling persona, brought to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s. Street was often accompanied to the ring by his long-time manager Miss Linda.
Born in Brynmawr in Brecknockshire, Street’s family was in the coal mining business – his father was a miner for 51 years. In his teenage years, he began bodybuilding. He left home at age 16 and began his professional wrestling career in 1957. His early inspirations were American wrestlers Lou Thesz, Buddy Rogers, and Don Leo Jonathan (from whom Street adopted his first moniker, Kid Tarzan Jonathan).
Street was trained as a professional wrestler by Chic Osmond. His first professional wrestling match was on August 8, 1957. Using the name Kid Tarzan Jonathan, Street defeated Geoff Moran. Later in his career, he developed his “Exotic” Adrian Street image, an outrageously-attired, effeminate character who was hinted but never outright-stated to be gay. Street has explained that this gimmick was born by accident as a result of him playing up to taunting from an audience one evening, commenting, “I was getting far more reaction than I’d ever got. My costumes started getting wilder.” His wrestling attire evolved to including pastels and glitter make up and clipping his bleached hair into mini-pigtails. As “The Exotic One” his signature move in the ring was to kiss opponents to escape being pinned down and to put make-up on his opponents when they were disabled.
Working primarily as a heel, Street traveled all over the world including wrestling in Germany, Canada, and Mexico. In the UK, he formed a tag partnership with fellow heel Bobby Barnes named the Hell’s Angels. In 1969, Street met his future manager/valet and real-life wife Miss Linda. The two formed a double-act, Miss Linda becoming one of professional wrestling’s first female valets and frequently participating as an accomplice to Street’s in-ring shenanigans.
Adrian Street and Miss Linda appeared in various areas in the independent wrestling circuit in North America, and finally settled in Ron Fuller’s Continental Championship Wrestling in the Southeast in 1985. He worked early on as a heel against Austin Idol, Wendall Cooley, and Norvell Austin before turning face in 1986. Street was so convincing as a heel that fans stood in shock as Street saved Bob Armstrong, under a mask as the Bullet, from an attack by Robert Fuller, Jimmy Golden, and Tom Prichard. Street had a long feud there with “The Hustler,” Rip Rogers. He returned to the area shortly before it closed in summer 1989, teaming with Bill Dundee and Todd Morton against “RPM” Mike Davis and a young Masahiro Chono, as well as a feud against Terry Garvin and his partner, Marc Gullen, known as Beauty and the Beast.
After retiring from full-time in-ring work, Street ran the Skull Krushers Wrestling School in Gulf Breeze, Florida, until being forced to close doors following severe damage from Hurricane Ivan. Street and Linda also went into business designing and selling professional wrestling gear and other sundries via their website. He created the ring gear worn by Mick Foley as Dude Love during his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
In 2005, he appeared at WrestleReunion in a battle royal for the IWA Heavyweight Championship, which was won by Greg Valentine. As of 2010, Street estimated that during his career he had wrestled between 12,000 and 15,000 matches.
Street starred alongside Ron Perlman in the film Quest for Fire. He also appeared in Grunt: The Wrestling Movie, as well as appearing in the opening scenes of Pasolini’s 1972 film The Canterbury Tales as a wrestler. A photo of Street in full regalia posing at the mine his father worked at features as the front cover of Black Box Recorder’s debut album.
Street is the subject of a documentary by visual artist Jeremy Deller, entitled The Life and Times of Adrian Street.
In 2005, Street proposed to long-time manager Miss Linda at a reunion of the Cauliflower Alley Club. Don Leo Jonathan was his best man at the wedding.