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Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in Thal, a village near Graz, Austria. His father, Gustav (the police chief in Graz) and his mother Aurelia gave him, and his elder brother Meinhard (who was killed in a car accident in 1971), a strict Roman Catholic upbringing. Arnold played a lot of sport as a boy, especially baseball, soccer and weightlifting. When he was seventeen, he began a competitive career with the ambition of becoming a championbody
Arnold aged about 10
In 1965, Schwarzenegger joined the Austrian army, for the compulsory one year of military service that all Austrian males were required to do at that time. He was jailed for a week in 1965 for taking part in the Junior Mr Europe contest (which he won) without the army’s permission. After this week inprisonhe
champion bodybuilder, much against the wishes of his parents.
in prison, he was allowed to continue his training in the barracks. This success led to him being voted Europe’s ‘best-builtman
Schwarzenegger is Junior Mr Europe
Schwarzenegger the bodybuilder
built man’. This qualified him to attend the ‘Mr Universe’ contest in London in 1966, in which he came second. The following year he won, and became the youngest ever ‘Mr Universe’.
Schwarzenegger is Mr Olympia 1980
In 1968, Schwarzenegger moved to the United States. He had dreams of going into acting, but his English was poor, and he continued to compete in bodybuilding contests whilst at the same time, improving his language skills. He trained at a gym in California, and made many friends in Hollywood. In all, Schwarzenegger would go on to win an unprecedented four ‘Mr. Universe’ titles (1 amateur and 3 professional) and no less than seven ‘Mr. Olympia’ titles in the space of thirteen years.
The world surrounding Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding career is perfectly captured in the documentary Pumping Iron (1977) which focuses on his efforts to win the Mr Olympia contest for the sixth time in a row. The film also profiles his competitors including Lou Ferrigno (later to star as the green monster in The Incredible Hulk TV series), Mike Katz & Ken Waller.
Schwarzenegger’s pronounced Austrian accent proved a barrier when he was auditioning for film roles, however his breakcame
break came when he was cast as Hercules for the movie, Hercules in New York (1969). Hercules is sent by the gods to Earth, where he finds true love and starts a promising career in the bodybuilding business! In this film Schwarzenegger was credited as “Arnold Strong”, but his accent was so heavy that his lines were dubbed after production. Thus Arnie's acting career began.
As Hercules in Hercules in New York
It wasn’t long before Schwarzenegger received a Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ for his performance as bodybuilder Joe Santo in Stay Hungry (1976), alongside Jeff Bridges & Sallly Field. With hisgreat
As Conan the Destroyer
Jeff Bridges & Arnold Schwarzenegger in
his great physical strength and size, Schwarzenegger was a natural for films such as this, and was soon to be seenplaying
seen playing leading roles in popular action movies, including Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984).
1984 saw Schwarzenegger take on one of the most iconic movie roles, that of an indestructible cyborg in human form, called Theerminator
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Grace Jones in Conan the Destroyer
Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2
This science fiction drama was later followed by two sequels. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) had a budget of $102 million, making it the most expensive film to produce at that time, but it did win four Oscars, grossed $520 million worldwide at the box office and is widely regarded as one of the all-time great action movies. It is widely accepted that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) was not as good as the earlier Terminator films.
Kristanna Loken & Arnold Schwarzenegger in
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Schwarzenegger & Carl Weathers in Predator
Brigitte Nielsen & Arnold Schwarzenegger in Red Sonja
Schwarzenegger showed his more comedicstyle
Following on from The Terminator, Schwarzenegger starred in a number of films in quick succession. These included the fantasy adventure Red Sonja (1985) with Brigitte Nielsen, along with the all-action thrillers Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), The Running Man (1987) directed by Paul Michael Glaser, and Predator (1987).
Schwarzenegger as Ivan Danko in Red Heat
Schwarzenegger as John Matrix in Commando
Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards in The Running Man
With Kathryn Harrold in Raw Deal
comedic style in Twins (1988) co-starring Danny De Vito, and Red Heat (1988), where he plays a cold Russian detective
detective sent to Chicago. More box office success came with the Oscar-nominated sci-fi thriller Total Recall (1990) where he is cast as a construction worker, Douglas Quaid who dreams of a life on Mars. In the crime comedy Kindergarten Cop (1990) Schwarzenegger is cast as Detective John Kimble who masquerades as a kindergarten teacher in order to track down a drug dealer.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid in the sci-fi thriller Total Recall
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop
With Jamie-Lee Curtis in True Lies
As Harry Tasker in True Lies
After Terminator 2, Schwarzenegger’s films of the 1990s had varied success. There were good ones like the007-style
the 007-style thriller True Lies (1994) with Jamie-Lee Curtis and the mystery drama Eraser (1996) but alsomediocre
also mediocre ones including the romantic comedy Junior (1994) in which Schwarzenegger becomes pregnant, Jingle All the Way (1996) and The 6th Day (2000).
With Emma Thompson in Junior
As Mr Freeze in Batman & Robin
In October 2003 Schwarzenegger, running as a Republican, was elected as the 38th Governor of California in a special ‘recall’ election to remove the previous Governor Gray Davis because of his mismanagement
As Adam Gibson in The 6th day
As Howard Langston in Jingle All the Way
mismanagement of California’s finances. After his election, Schwarzenegger promised to bringeconomic
bring economic stability to his adopted state, and worked hard to promote new businesses and to protect the environment. His inspiration was former US President and fellow actor Ronald Reagan, of whom he said, “I became a citizen of the United States when he was president, and he is the first president I voted for as an American citizen. He inspired me and made me even prouderto
California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
prouder to be a new American." In 2006, Schwarzenegger was easily re-elected, but his second term was more challenging as he struggled to help California through financially difficult times. The ‘Governator’, as Arnold Schwarzenegger came to be called, held office until January 2011.
Governor Schwarzenegger greets President Obama
In 2012, Schwarzenegger revived his acting career as Trench in the box-office success The Expendables 2, appearing alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. He played Trench again intheless
in the less successful The Expendables 3 (2014) followed by Terminator Genisys (2015) with a storyline loosely based on the previous Terminator films.
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Harrison Ford in The Expendables 3
During this time, he also starred with Sylvestor Stallone in the prison thriller Escape Plan (2013) and David Ayer's action thriller Sabotage (2014). In 2015, he starred with Abigail Breslininthe
Breslin in the zombie thriller Maggie.
As John 'Breacher' Wharton in Sabotage
Sylvester Stallone & Arnold Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Abigail Breslin in Maggie
Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Guardian in Terminator Genisys
On April 26, 1986, Schwarzenegger married television journalist Maria Shriver, (a niece of President John F. Kennedy) in 1986. They had four children - Katherine (b. 1989); Christina (b. 1991), Patrick (b. 1993) and Christopher (b. 1997). They divorced in 2011 after it was revealed that Schwarzenegger had fathered a son in 1997 with Patty Baena, an employee in theirhousehold
their household. Schwarzenegger also had an affair with co-star Brigitte Nielsen whilst filming Red Sonja in 1985.
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Maria Shriver
With Brigitte Nielsen in Red Sonja
Schwarzenegger's autobiography, Total Recall, was published in October 2012. Mostof
Most of his book is devoted to his successes as a bodybuilder, actor and Governor of California, although a chapter entitled ‘The Secret’ tells of his extramarital affair with Patty Baena.
Arnold Schwarzenegger became a naturalized American citizen in 1983, and in 1987, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was the 1,847th star to be placed there. It is situated outside No. 6764 Hollywood Boulevard.
(left) Schwarzenegger with his Walk
of Fame star
Pumping Iron - full documentary
Hercules in New York - Dubbed vs. Original
Sergei, Aleksandr & Arnie commercial for comparethemarket.com
The Terminator. In The Terminator (1984) it is sent from the year 2029 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son is destined to lead humanity in a war against the machines. Written & directed by James Cameron, and co-starring Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn,The
Biehn, The Terminator was rejected by a number of film companies before being accepted by Orion Pictures (a subsidiary of MGM) and going on to take $38 million at the box office. The film’s success led to a franchise consisting of a television series,
series, comic books, and novels. Arnie’s catchphrase, “I’ll be back”, very quickly became part of popular culture throughout the world.
Arnie has autographed my still from Collateral Damage
In 2015, Schwarzenegger made several
several cameo appearances in the highly popular commercials for the British price-comparison website comparethemarket.com where he is featured with the meerkat puppets Aleksandr & Sergei promoting '2 for 1' cinema tickets. Aleksandr has also interviewed Arnie, and you can see that here.
Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Olexy event that
I went to in Birmingham in 2016
Schwarzenegger 'I'll Be Back' artwork
It was a tremendous thrill to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger at a 'Black Tie' event held at the International Conference Centre in Birmingham in January 2016. He gave a very entertaining talk, and answered audience questions. He is one of the most well known men on the planet, and an actor whose films I have always enjoyed! Having my photo taken with him is a moment that I will never forget!