Nell Stewart was a farmer's daughter from Steele, Alabama. She left a job as a waitress and trained under wrestling veteran Gladys Kill-em Gillem. Nell entered professional wrestling in the late 1940s. The sport was dominated by all-time greats like Mildred Burke, Dot Dotson, Mae Young, and June Byers. Nell was a fresh face and she was a beauty also, with enticing blonde hair and a curvy shape. Her most productive and successful years were between 1952-1957. On one occasion she was the last survivor in a battle royal of seven prominent wrestlers in a Jim Downing promoted 1953 event in Edmonton, Alberta. With June Byers among the women eliminated, it came down to Nell and Ida May Martinez, a wrestler of Latin descent.