Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin’s wife played the role of Precious, his valet. Now just Jimmy Williams, he tossed his tights when he quit wrestling and now flies planes
Courtesy of Highspots
During his years in the ring, Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin donned sequined pants, matching jackets, the occasional feather boa, big bushy eighties hair, and a beard. But when the civilian known as Jim Williams peeled off those Spandex tights for the last time, that was it.
"I actually took a lot of my sequined outfits and threw them in the gray trash container out by the street. ... I was just so done," says Williams, fifty-seven. He began wrestling at age nine and turned pro at seventeen, eventually modeling his preening character after Gorgeous George, a 1950s wrestler whose valet would spray cologne in his path and carry a mirror for him. Garvin adopted a valet as well.
"The limo used to come to pick me up, and the original [valet] Precious would come to the door to get me. My wife thought it was kind of uncomfortable. So I said I'll change the valet, but I can't change the gimmick," he says. He drafted wife Patti to play the role. The couple had been married a decade. Their daughters were one and six. "She was a quiet, reserved type, but she loved me so much that she did it."
Precious remained ringside until 1988. Williams continued wrestling for four more years after that, but he also was training to be a pilot.
"When I was about nineteen a promoter took me to a show in his private air- plane and I fell in love with aviation and started taking lessons. When I was about twenty-six I said to myself, ‘When I turn forty I'm going to retire. I'm going to fly airplanes and play a little golf,' " he says.
And he has. As a captain for NetJet, Williams flies celebrities like Tiger Woods on seven- passenger planes.
Garvin spends the rest of his time riding motorcycles with his old opponent Terry Allen (aka Magnum TA), golfing, and hanging with Patti, who works at a SouthPark boutique. The couple lives near Raintree, between two golf courses. He says he's never recognized.
"Am I ever glad. When I quit in '92 I remember cutting my hair off and my beard and going to Wal-Mart and Lowe's. It was the first time in maybe fifteen or twenty years I could walk around without someone saying something or throwing something at me," he laughs. "It was a joy to walk through Harris Teeter and look at vegetables."