Ann Calvello Bio: Parents, Husband & Death

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Ann Calvello was one of the best American athletes in the sport of roller derby. She was famous for her crazy hair and bad girl attitude.

She had a glorious character with wins in both national and international events. Hence, she was inducted into the Roller Derby Hall of Fame.

Likewise, she has a biographical documentary film titled “Demon of The Derby.” And she was famously known as “Banana-Nose” among her fans.

Ann Calvello
Ann Calvello, aka the ‘Demon of the Derby.’

In this article, you will get more information regarding the player. So, let’s dig deeper into Ann Calvello’s early life, how her Career was, and other information.

Also, here are some quick facts about the player before we head any further into the details.

Quick Facts

Name Ann Calvello
Fullname Ann Theresa Calvello
Gender Female
Nickname Demon of the Derby
Banana Nose
Birthdate August 1, 1929
Birthplace Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Died on June 13, 2018
Death place Burlingame, California, United States
Aged 76
Zodiac sign Leo
Chinese Zodiac Snake
Nationality American
Body type Athletic
Hair color Brown
Skin Fair
Height 5’6″ (172 cm)
Weight 156 lb (71 kg)
Education Presentation High School
Profession Athlete
Category Roller derby skater
Professional status Retired
Siblings Tony and Joey Calvello. (Brothers)
Relationship status Married
Husband Roy Langley (Divorced)
Bill Prieto
Net Worth $5 million
Last Update May, 2024

Ann Calvello | Early Life and Background

On August 1, 1929, Ann Calvello was born in Newport, Rhode Island, in the United States of America. Her father was a Navy man from New York with Italian ancestors.

Also, her mother was an Austrian immigrant. Eventually, her father was transferred from Rhode Island to San Francisco in 1941.

Ann was a tomboy in her childhood years. She hung out with the boys after the family moved to the Haight. 

However, there is not a lot of information about the personal lives of her parents and brothers. Similarly, her source of inspiration for picking up roller derby isn’t clear.

A hobby that turned into a career

Ann was interested in skating from an early age. Ann recalled her background naturally pushed her interest in the sport.

Thus, she started roller skating on the cobblestone streets at an early age. Likewise, the late star loved visiting the old Coliseum on 11th Street on her skates.

Hence, Ann and her friends were regularly skating to visit new places. Thus, this hobby served as training for her indirectly.

Consequently, when she was 18, she went to see a roller derby match that had come to town. She had heard they were looking for girls to go to Europe and skate.

Therefore, Ann decided to try it and has never looked back since.

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Ann Calvello | Career

Roller Derby Journey

Ann Calvello graduated from Presentation High School in June 1947. It was a local school in her hometown in San Francisco.

After Ann graduated from high school in 1947, she skated whenever she could. Thus, she would visit the roller park after high school and participate in several races.

Additionally, she discovered that she was good at it and had fun doing it. Since she was quicker than the ladies, she skated and raced with the guys.

Eventually, she started her career with the International Roller Speedway in 1947-48.

Consequently, she became a member of the Roller Derby League in 1949. And within six months, Ann was appointed the women’s ‘Captain’ of her team.

However, she faced an entirely different challenge. The Roller Derby was very unmanaged. Especially when she joined between 1948 and 1952, the sport was forgotten.

Early Competitive Journey

Ann realized she needed further training to be better at the game. Therefore, in 1949, she, at 18, went to Salt Lake City, Utah, to train and skate. 

Ann had learned various methods of skating during her time in Utah. Thus, she felt ready for competitions and started trying out local teams.

Eventually, Ann joined the California Bombers as an amateur in 1954. Leo Seltzer, a Bay Area resident, had formed the Bombers, a San Francisco team. She was on the initial squad and trained on weekends.

During this decade, Ann was very active in the game. However, the local scene was in danger since it wasn’t trendy.

Likewise, the laws changed in 1959. Jerry Seltzer succeeded his father as the owner of the Roller Derby team. Also, all skaters were required to wear helmets when he took over the company.

Ann decided to leave the Bombers in 1960. She had been on the red shirt team and recalled having a good time there.

Transitions and Rise

After leaving the Bombers, her Career went through a series of changes. She became a member of the Mexican City Cardinals in 1963 and stayed for a year. 

However, in 1964 she decided to give up Roller Derby. Ann then traveled to Hawaii to focus on her private life. Also, she was tired of skating for the home teams.

Similarly, Roller Games was going through a change of its own. Bill Griffiths purchased it. In 1965, the derby was set to be in Hawaii.

Ann Calvello practicing during her time at Pioneer
Ann Calvello with a fellow teammate.

Bill approached her to skate for him. Not to mention, Ann joined the San Francisco Shamrocks in 1965 with other displaced skaters.

Here, she impressed both management and fans with her unique skating style.

Eventually, the Roller Games bosses asked her to lead Australian Thunderbirds women. Ann agreed to join the following season. It meant she’d be skating with the home team once more.

In 1966, she spent three months skating for the Australian Thunderbirds. 

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Rivalry and Injuries

Ann had all the momentum he needed going in 1967 when she was appointed as captain of the Pioneer squad. This arc occurred between 1967 and 1971.

Likewise, Ann felt at home as she returned to Roller Derby. Her rivalry with Joan Weston marked it.

Sure, Weston had plenty of rivalry in Derby. But when Ann and Joan Weston skated against each other, they brought out the best.

Hence, the fans loved to watch the two athletes compete. Thus, they were some of the earliest Roller Derby memories for many.

In 1973, she rejoined the Red Devils with Bob Woodberry. Then, the team was scheduled to race against the San Francisco bombers.

But, Bob fell on her knee by mistake and injured the knee seriously. It was so bad that she had steel pins on her knees.

Later, Joan revealed Jerry had shut down the Roller Derby after mishaps.

Final Steps and Retirement

Ann was assigned to the Bombers in 1975, along with Jensen and Weston. Later that year, they skated in a few tournaments, one of which was at the San Quentin jail. The inmates had a great time watching the game.

Likewise, she served as the infield assistant for the Canadian team in 1975. Throughout, she tried various coaching jobs.

She got a chance to travel to Europe, Guam, the Philippines, Cuba, Australia, and all over the United States.

However, Dave Lipshultz took over Roller Derby in the 1980s. Then, with Bill and Diane, she became the captain of the Southern Stars.

They skated in San Francisco and Madison Square Gardens for one game. Regardless, the game was slowly facing a lot of problems. There was a gas shortage back in the early 1970s.

Moreover, the teams couldn’t afford to fly to all of those cities and towns. So the Derbies started getting canceled, and it died slowly.

She had not played in roller derby since 2000, but she never formally retired. In 2002, she made one last appearance on the stage match race against Kenneth Loge III.

Ann Calvello | Did she fight with Carol Roman?

Yes, Ann Calvello did clash with her old teammate on the track over the game. Unfortunately, the fight broke out entirely in the locker room.

Ann jumped and caught her around the waist and head. Eventually, all the equipment and chairs were flying around the building.

Moreover, Roman, who was about to marry, received 17 stitches in her head.

Yet, they both thought of it as the heat of the moment. Roman was called “Frankenstein’s bride” by Ann after everything settled down.

Both the athletes made up after the fight and became even closer. Consequently, Roman offered Ann to be her bridesmaid at the wedding.

Is Ann Calvello Married? | Know About Her Marital Status  

Yes, the American athlete had married two times. Ann met her first husband after she finished the 1951 season. His name was Roy Langley, and they got married on August 23, 1952, in Nevada.

After they married, the connection was strong, and everything went well. Also, Ann left Roller Derby to focus on her private life after marriage.

Then, on August 11, 1953, she gave birth to Theresa Ann Langley, their daughter.  

However, in 1956 the couple decided to split and got divorced. Eventually, Ann started dating Koko in Hawaii.

Regardless, exact information on whether she married Koko is unknown. Yet, many of her family speculate that Ann never married Koko.

Calvello then married Bill Prieto and stayed together for 30 years. Thus, her lineage is survived by her daughter, Teri Conte, of Los Angeles when writing this article.

Similarly, she still has two brothers, Tony and Joey Calvello.

Ann Calvello | Death

Losing her Career to injuries was not the only mishap she had to endure. In addition, she had to undergo surgeries for brain cancer. Yet, she successfully battled cancer twice.

However, in early 2006, she was diagnosed with liver cancer. She was given four to six months to live.

Consequently, Calvello died at 76 at a hospital near her home in San Bruno, California.

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Ann Calvello | Age, Height, and Weight

Ann Calvello passed away at the age of 76. She was one of America’s most decorated roller derby skaters, standing at 5 ft. 6 in (172 cm).

Likewise, Ann weighed consistently around the range of 71kg.

Furthermore, she needed to maintain her weight close to the 70s to stay agile. As a result, she kept a lightweight body with remarkable flexibility and strength in her legs.

Additionally, she stayed in roller derby sports for seven decades. Hence, she dedicated herself to exercises and strict training routines.

However, her exact body measurements are unknown.

Ann Calvello | Appearance and Personality

Ann Calvello was born on August 1, which made her a Leo. She loved to flaunt her zodiac sign. Hence, she had lion rings on every finger, lions on her glass frames, and eight lion tattoos. She even called herself a Lioness.

Likewise, she had her trademark appearance. Often, she would vary her hair colors and polka-dot style.

Also, she used ultra-white white lipstick with her skin tanned. Similarly, she also used to wear different colored skates.

Ann Calvello | Net Worth & Earnings

Ann Calvello accounts for much of her net worth as a professional roller-skater. She produced a lot of brilliant performances in her career.

Likewise, she had a roller derby career spanning seven decades. So, without a doubt, Ann has earned a lot throughout her career.

However, there is no exact information on Ann’s net worth and salary. Research says that the average salary of a Roller Skater is $44,680 per year.

So, we can assume that she made a similar amount to that range.

Nonetheless, Ann Calvello’s expenditures are not well-documented. Nevertheless, her net worth is expected to be around $5 million.


  • “I’ve got too many knives in my back. Every time I go to the airport, all the knives in my back go off. You think I’m kidding’ ya?”.

Queries on Ann Calvello

Does Ann Calvello have a day dedicated to her?

Yes, she does. In Indianapolis, Indiana, the mayor declared April 15, 1972, as Ann Calvello Day.

Did Ann Calvello ever feature in Television?

Yes, Ann Calvello was featured in the reality television show Rollergirls. The show aired on the A&E Network on February 27, 2006.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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