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Corinna "Cory" Everson (née Kneuer) (born January 4, 1958)[2] is an American female bodybuilding champion and actress. Cory won the Ms. Olympia contest six years in a row from 1984 to 1989.[3]

Corinna Everson
Personal info
Born (1958-01-04) January 4, 1958 (age 61)
Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.[1]
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight(In Season): 155-160 lb.
(Off-Season):160-165 lb.
Professional career
Pro-debutIFBB North American, 1982
Best winUndefeated in professional competition
Ms. Olympia six consecutive times, 1984-1989
PredecessorCarla Dunlap
SuccessorLenda Murray
ActiveRetired 1989



Corinna Kneuer was born in Racine, Wisconsin and attended high school in Deerfield, Illinois. Cory attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she was a multi-sport standout (gymnastics, track & field and badminton).[4]

Personal lifeEdit

While attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Cory met Jeff Everson, a competitive bodybuilder who worked there as a strength coach. They married in 1982. While they were married, the Eversons built a successful mail-order clothing business called Sampson and Delilah.[5]

Everson, who adopted a Russian child, is active with Nightlight Christian Adoptions, an adoption agency that brings orphans from Russia and Belarus to the US to stay with families looking to adopt a child.[6]

Bodybuilding careerEdit

Corinna Everson began to train seriously as a bodybuilder after her graduation, and made rapid progress. In the early years, she and Jeff trained at Ernie's Gym on Sherman Avenue in Madison.

Contest historyEdit

  • 1980 Ms. Mid America - 1st (Tall and Overall)
  • 1980 American Couples - 3rd
  • 1981 Ms. Midwest Open - 1st (Tall & Overall)
  • 1981 Ms. Central USA - 1st (HW and Overall)
  • 1981 Couples America - 1st
  • 1981 American Championships - 11th (MW)
  • 1982 Ms. East Coast - 1st (MW)
  • 1982 Bodybuilding Expo III - 2nd (MW)
  • 1982 Bodybuilding Expo Couples - 2nd
  • 1982 AFWB American Championships - 5th (HW)
  • 1982 IFBB North American - 1st (MW and Overall)
  • 1982 IFBB North American Mixed Pairs - 1st
  • 1983 Bodybuilding Expo IV - 1st (MW and Overall)
  • 1983 Bodybuilding Expo Mixed Pairs - 1st
  • 1983 U.S. Bodybuilding Championships Couples - 1st
  • 1983 AFWB American Championships - 8th (HW)
  • 1983 NPC Nationals - 2nd (HW)
  • 1984 American Women's Championships - 1st (HW and Overall)
  • 1984 NPC Nationals - 1st (HW and Overall)[7]
  • 1984 IFBB Ms. Olympia - 1st[3]
  • 1985 IFBB Ms. Olympia - 1st[3]
  • 1986 IFBB Ms. Olympia - 1st[3]
  • 1987 IFBB Ms. Olympia - 1st[3]
  • 1988 IFBB Ms. Olympia - 1st[3]
  • 1989 IFBB Ms. Olympia - 1st[3]

Everson is unique in having never lost a Ms. Olympia contest.[7]

Awards and honorsEdit

In January 1999, Everson was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame, as part of the inaugural group.[8] She was inducted into the Muscle Beach Venice Body Building Hall of Fame on September 5, 2005.

At the 2007 Arnold Classic she became the first woman to be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, Everson was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame.[9]

Film and television careerEdit

After retiring from competition, Everson began acting. Her first major movie appearance was in Double Impact (1991) alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme.[10] In it she plays Kara, a bone-crushing assassin working for the main villain whose attempts at lesbian seduction are rebuffed by Alonna Shaw's character Danielle and which ultimately leads to her downfall.[11] This film involves a number of brutal fight scenes. Later in the movie, her character is killed by the hero, Alex (played, of course, by Jean-Claude Van Damme, after being stabbed to death in a battle. She took a minor role in Natural Born Killers (1994). Then in Ballistic (1995), (known in some countries as Fist of Justice) she reprised the evil musclewoman role with bravado. However, she lost the final epic fight to Marjean Holden playing an undercover cop.

Everson has made a number of TV guest appearances, most notably playing Atalanta on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In 1991 Everson appeared on To Tell The Truth Game Show. She appeared in two episodes of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. with her sister, Cameo Kneuer.

Everson was the original host of the fitness show BodyShaping,[12] which she also produced. She also hosted her own exercise show on ESPN, Cory Everson's Gotta Sweat,[13] for seven years.


Year Title Role Other notes
1996 Felony Sondra
1995 Ballistic Claudia
1994 Natural Born Killers TV Mallory
1991 Double Impact[10] Kara
1986 The Morning After Miss Olympia

Television workEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Charmed Hulk Paige Episode: "Hulkus Pocus"
1998 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Atalanta Episode: "If I Had a Hammer"
1997 Home Improvement Herself Episode: "Pump You Up"
1996 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Atalanta Episode: "Let the Games Begin"
Goode Behavior Episode: "Goode Sport"
Tarzan: The Epic Adventures Mara Episodes: "Tarzan's Return: Part 1" and "Part 2"
Strange Luck Physik Receptionist Episode: "Wrong Number"
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Atalanta Episode: "Ares"
1994 Renegade Aurora Episode: "Muscle Beach"
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Amazon Woman #1 Episode: "Wall of Sound"
1993 The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Katrina Schwenke Episodes: "No Man's Land" and "Steel Horses"


Cory and Jeff Everson divorced in 1996; however, she kept 'Everson' as her stage name. She married Dr. Steve Donia, a cosmetic dentist, in 1998; they have two children that they adopted from Russia. Everson's sister, Cameo Kneuer, is a two-time Ms. National Fitness champion and a mainstay of the TV game series Knights and Warriors.

Books authoredEdit

  • Strength Training for Beauty Volume 3 - Number 1Runner's World Magazine Company (1986)
  • Superflex: Ms. Olympia's Guide to Building a Strong & Sexy Body Contemporary Books (1987) ISBN 0-8092-4865-4 with Jeff Everson
  • Back in Shape Houghton Mifflin Company (1991) ISBN 0-395-56272-4 with Stephen Hochschuler
  • Cory Everson's Workout Perigee Trade (1991) ISBN 0-399-51684-0 with Jeff Everson
  • Cory Everson's Fat-Free & Fit Perigee Trade (1994) ISBN 0-399-51858-4 with Carole Jacobs
  • Cory Everson's Lifebalance Perigee Trade (1998) ISBN 0-399-52444-4


  1. ^ "The Cory Story".
  2. ^ "Iron Man Magazine".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Ravo, Nick (December 2, 1992). "WORKING OUT WITH: Lenda Murray; Wonder Woman In the Flesh". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Bodies are her business". Minneapolis Star Tribune. July 31, 1988. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  5. ^ Herman, Valli (March 20, 1991). "Lines muscling in on fitness fashion". LA Daily News. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  6. ^ Stiefel, Steve (December 2002). "Cory's kids". Flex. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Cory Everson bio". International Federation of Body Building. Archived from the original on 1 January 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Hall of fame inductees for 1999". International Federation of Body Building and Fitness. Archived from the original on 1 January 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  9. ^ Skrabacz, Ron (April 18, 2008). "National Fitness Hall of Fame introduces Class of 2008". Daily Herald. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  10. ^ a b Harrington, Richard (August 12, 1991). "Double Impact". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  11. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (Aug 23, 1991). "Double Impact". Entertainment Weekly. pp. Issue #80. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  12. ^ Rushin, Steve (July 17, 1989). "Are You Sweating Yet?". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  13. ^ Stevens, Liz (April 16, 1998). "The newest aerobic trend is a real kick". Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 28 January 2010.

External linksEdit

Ms. Olympia
Preceded by:
Carla Dunlap
First (1984) Succeeded by:
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Second (1985) Succeeded by:
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Third (1986) Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Fourth (1987) Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Fifth (1988) Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Sixth (1989) Succeeded by:
Lenda Murray