As we remember Tonya Knight, her life was filled with extraordinary achievements and immense dedication to her craft.
Born on March 24, 1966, in Peculiar, Missouri, Tonya Knight became an accomplished IFBB pro bodybuilding champion.
Her victory at the 1991 IFBB Grand Prix in Italy cemented her legacy as the number-one women’s bodybuilder.
Tonya Knight Early Life & Education
Only a little about Tonya’s educational background is known, as she primarily discussed her bodybuilding career in interviews and public appearances.
Although Tonya grew up in a family with no previous bodybuilding background, she developed a passion for the sport at a young age.
By age 18, she competed in significant events, such as the NPC USA Championship in 1984, where she secured 11th place.
Tonya Knight Family Life
Her father, Francis Knight, was her stepfather, and she remembered him fondly as an inspiration.
Tonya was the only sister in a family of three brothers, Timothy, Todd, and Travis.
Tonya shared a close relationship with her mother, and their strong family bond played an essential role in her life and experiences.
Tonya Knight Marriage and Divorce
Tonya Knight married John Poteat, a bodybuilder, actor, and producer from Pennsylvania, before 2001. The couple eventually separated, and John passed away in 2016.
Tonya and John had a son, Malachi Ray, born in 2001. Malachi started his graduation in 2019, and rumors suggest that he may pursue a career in modeling.
Tonya Knight’s Physical Appearance
Tonya Knight was known for her striking presence, standing tall at 5’8″ and weighing 58 kg.
Her blonde hair and black eyes were captivating features that contributed to her unique appearance.
Tonya wore a US shoe size of 8 and had pierced ears, adding a subtle yet stylish touch to her overall look.
Tonya Knight Career Highlights
Tonya’s bodybuilding career began in 1984, and she quickly made a name for herself by competing in prestigious events like the NPC USA Championship and Ms. Olympia.
Despite being disqualified in 1989, Tonya showed resilience and determination by winning the Miss International title in 1991. Her impressive achievements include securing the 3rd position in the Jana Tana Classic in 1993.
In addition to bodybuilding, Tonya expanded her career into modeling and acting.
She made her debut as a fitness model in the Sharper Image Catalog, and from 1989 to 1992, she appeared in the popular TV series American Gladiator, playing the character of Gold.
Tonya also hosted American Muscle Magazine, further solidifying her status as a prominent figure in the fitness industry.
Tonya Knight’s Net Worth
Tonya earned significant cash prizes throughout her career, such as the $12,000 prize for winning the Ms. International title in 1989.
However, she faced disqualification and had to return the prize money and title after admitting to drug use. Tonya’s net worth was estimated at around $1.8 million, which she left to her son.
Her financial success allowed her to indulge in luxury purchases, such as a Ferrari 348 Spider convertible.
Remembering Tonya Knight
Tonya Knight passed away on February 7, 2023, after a battle with cancer.
Her death was mourned by many famous American bodybuilders, with news of her passing first confirmed by SNBC13.
Despite facing challenges and setbacks, Tonya Knight’s diverse bodybuilding, modeling, and acting career led to a considerable net worth and a lasting legacy in the fitness industry.