Ann Theresa Calvello (August 1, 1929 – March 14, 2006) was an American athlete and notable personality in the sport of roller derby.
Ann Calvello graduated from Presentation High School in San Francisco in June 1947.
Calvello competed in roller derby in seven decades, the 1940s through the 2000s. She broke into the sport in 1948 originally skating for a league called International Roller Speedway. Skating with the original Roller Derby, beginning in 1948, she would be named women's 'Captain' of her team within six months. Calvello, who often sported dyed hair and color-coordinated uniforms, was known for her temper. She was nicknamed "Banana-Nose" by legendary skater, Buddy Atkinson, Sr.. She traveled the world skating in Europe, Guam, Philippines, Cuba, Australia and all over the United States. She broke her nose 12 times during her career. Her most famous rival on the track was Joan Weston.
Ann gave birth to a daughter, Teri Ann Langley-Conte, on August 11, 1953. She was a perennial Roller Derby All-Star and league MVP in 1963 skating with the Mexico City Cardenales. After skating with the rival Roller Games league for two years, she was inducted into the Roller Derby Hall of Fame when she returned to the original Derby in 1968.
In 2001, Demon of The Derby, a biographical documentary film about Calvello, was completed by Fireproof Productions. It has been released on DVD, and is occasionally screened at fundraisers organized by roller derby leagues.
The primary investor in 'Demon of the Derby,' Gary Powers, a fan from Brooklyn, NY, would start 'Roller Derby Foundation,' in order to raise money to assist Calvello who was working in a grocery store and as a ticket taker for the SF Forty-Niners. Calling Powers her 'son,' Calvello would donate her vast collection of Roller Derby memorabilia to Powers, who reopened the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 2005, Calvello contributed many rare photos and clippings from her personal collection to the book Roller Derby Classics…and more! by Jim Fitzpatrick, self-published via Trafford Publishing. She also wrote the foreword to the book.
On February 27, 2006, Calvello was featured in the reality television show Rollergirls that was broadcast on the A&E Network. In the episode, filmed in 2005, members of the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls traveled to California in search of Cavello, their hero. TXRD has named their championship the Calvello Cup in her honor. Calvello also appeared in the season finale where the Rhinestone Cowgirls and the Holy Rollers battled for the championship.
Calvello last resided in San Bruno, California with partner, Billy Prieto, and her cats. She never officially retired from roller derby, but had not competed since 2000, although in 2001 she returned to the track one final time to win a match race with Kenneth Loge III on the finale of RollerJam. In early 2006, she was diagnosed with liver cancer, and died at the age of 76 soon after.
| International Roller Derby League Female MVP
- Mills, Ami Chen (1997-05-01). "Queen of the Jungle: Meet a 67-year-old Roller Derby queen who can't get her skates off". Metro (Silicon Valley weekly).
- "Roller Derby Legend Ann Calvello to "Lace Up Skates" as a Special Guest On TNN's "ROLLERJAM" Series" (Press release). Business Wire (via FindArticles). 2000-06-01. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Tudor, Silke (August 29, 2001). "The Lioness in Winter: At age 72, Ann Theresa Calvello, the Roller Derby Queen, is the subject of a movie — and as salty as ever". S.F. Weekly, Vol. 20, Iss. 30. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Original "Roller Derby Queen" Ann Calvello dies". San Francisco Chronicle; Associated Press. 2006-03-15. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Roller derby queen Ann Calvello dies after cancer bout". San Jose Mercury News. March 15, 2006.
- Morente, Christine (2006-03-16). "ANN CALVELLO, 1929–2006: Roller derby queen rolled for 7 decades". Oakland Tribune (via FindArticles). Retrieved 2007-10-09.[dead link]
- Costantinou, Marianne (2006-03-16). "Ann Calvello -- the flamboyant villainess of roller derby". San Francisco Chronicle. p. B–7. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Martin, Douglas (2007-03-17). "Ann Calvello, 76, a Legend in Roller Derby's Rowdy Rinks, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Deford, Frank (commentator) (2006-03-22). Sweetness and Light: Roller Derby Queen was Best Bad Girl in Sports (streaming RealAudio or WMA via HTML front-end) (syndicated radio broadcast). National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Mz. Behavin' (2007). "Remembering the Queen of Mean" (PDF) (2). Derby Gal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Demon Of The Derby: The Ann Calvello Story—promotional site for the film
- The National Roller Derby Hall of Fame—site with an Ann Calvello in memoriam
- Roller Derby Classics…and more! (Archived 2009-10-25)—promotional site for the book by Jim Fitzpatrick (with foreword by Ann Calvello)
- Ann Calvello interview[permanent dead link] from 2005
- The Great Ann Calvello Remembered