Biography for Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger
Nickname: Arnie, Austrian Oak, Conan the Republican, Styrian Oak,
6′ 2″ (1.88 m)
Growing up in a small, isolated village in Austria, he turned to
bodybuilding as his ticket to a better life. Prior to that he served a
mandatory one year in the Austrian military (beginning in 1965). After
conquering the world as arguably the greatest bodybuilder who ever
lived, he went to America to make his name in motion pictures. Hampered
by his impossible name and thick accent, success eluded him for many
years. It wasn’t until he found the tailor-made role of Conan that he
truly came into his own as a performer. A succession of over-the-top
action films made him an international box office star. By alternating
violent action films with lighter, comedic fare, he has solidified his
position as one of the most popular – if not the most popular – movie
stars in the world. After his long, and successful movie career, he ran
in the California recall. He is now the Governor of California, yet
again another celebrity to be elected to the position.
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0005425/” Maria Shriver (
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/OnThisDay?day=26&month=April” 26 April
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/MarriedInYear?1986” 1986 – present) 4
Frequent movie line “I’ll be back”
Often has his character say comedic one liners that puncuate the action.
Many of his films have his characters doing feats of strength to match
his muscular look, eg HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0088944/”
Commando (1985) where he is first seen in the film carrying a whole
tree trunk on his shoulder.
Frequently has some type of action scene in bathrooms. ( HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0181852/” Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
(2003), HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0111503/” True Lies
(1994) and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0099938/” Kindergarten
Ranked #20 in Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All
Time” list. [October 1997]
Fourth child, a boy, born. [27 September 1997]
Underwent heart surgery to correct a congenital heart valve condition.
Called by the Guinness Book of World Records, “the most perfectly
developed man in the history of the world.”
Noted fan of cigar smoking.
His voice in “Hercules” was dubbed.
Was part-owner of Planet Hollywood and Schatzi restaurants.
Advocate for the Republican party.
He reprised his Terminator character for the theme park attraction
“T2-3D”, a short film which uses an enhanced 3-D process that makes the
film really appear to jump out at you.
His production company is ‘Oak Productions’.
Became a US citizen. 
His wife Maria is the niece of President HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0448123/” John F. Kennedy and Senators
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0448305/” Robert F. Kennedy and
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0448356/” Ted Kennedy .
Graduated from University of Wisconsin-Superior with a major in
international marketing of fitness and business administration. 
Sold his Planet Hollywood stock off and is no longer a part owner of the
The soccer stadium in Graz, Austria (his home town) is named after him.
Was considered for the title role in the 1970s TV series HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0077031/” “The Incredible Hulk” (1978), but
was reportedly deemed not tall enough. His former bodybuilding
competitor, HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0002073/” Lou Ferrigno
, ultimately won the part.
After leaving Austria for the first time, he came to England to work,
earning under F30 a week.
Received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, the University of
Wisconsin Superior, in 1996 in recognition of his charitable works.
Son-in-law of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0795418/” Sargent
Shriver and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0447885/” Eunice
Kennedy Shriver .
At his bodybuilding peak his chest was 57″, waist 34″, biceps 22″,
thighs 281/2″, calves 20″, and his competition weight was 235 lbs (260
He and Warner Bros. agreed to postpone the release of HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0233469/” Collateral Damage (2002)
indefinitely in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks on
America. The plot centers around a firefighter who lost his family in a
terrorist bomb attack. [September 2001]
7 September 2001 – Sues International Game Technology for the
unauthorized use of his voice and likeness in slot machine games. His
lawyer told the press he was seeking $20 million in damages, which is
the amount he believes he would have received had he approved the use.
Childhood friends stated that he often said his goals in life were to
move to America, become an actor, and marry a Kennedy. He accomplished
Son of a police officer.
Underwent a genioplasty — a procedure in which his jaw has been moved
back so that it no longer juts out.
Cousin-in-law of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0492441/”
Was the first private citizen in the U.S. to own a Humvee (High Mobility
Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle).
Lobbying in May 2002 to promote anti-juvenile delinquency initiative on
California ballot that would commit the state to allocate $400 million
for extracurricular activities and tutoring for students, kindergarten
through ninth grade.
Received an honorary doctorate from Chapman University in Orange,
California. [June 2002]
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0173372/” Franco Columbu was best
man at Arnold’s wedding.
Underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff as a result of an injury on
the set of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0181852/” Terminator 3:
Rise of the Machines (2003). Was in a sling for 3-4 weeks, but it was
not expected to delay the completion of the movie. [29 January 2003]
Ranked #9 in Star TV’s Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s (2003)
The character Rainier Wolfecastle in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0096697/” “The Simpsons” (1989) is based on
Won Mr. Olympia title seven times (1970-1975, 1980).
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000116/” James Cameron orginally
wanted him for the role of Kyle Reese in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0088247/” The Terminator (1984), but when
Arnold walked into the restaurant to meet Cameron about the role,
Cameron took one look at him and said “You’re a machine!” and that’s why
he got the role of The Terminator.
Announced his candidacy for the Governorship of California on
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0103569/” “The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno” (1992) on August 6, 2003.
Suffered a back injury (among other various assorted injuries) while
filming HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0082198/” Conan the
Barbarian (1982) when the dogs who were chasing him jumped him from
behind and he fell down the rock he was climbing to escape them.
In HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0106697/” Demolition Man
(1993), HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000113/” Sandra Bullock ‘s
character Lenina Huxley is telling HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000230/” Sylvester Stallone ‘s character John
Spartan about the Arnold Schwarzenegger Presidential Library, explaining
that, based on the sheer popularity of Schwarzenegger’s movies, a
Constitutional amendment was passed in order for Schwarzenegger to run
for President, which, according to Huxley, he did. In 2003, ten years
after this film’s release, Schwarzenegger ran for the office of Governor
of California, and won the election on 7 October 2003. While
Schwarzenegger is not eligible to run for the presidency by present laws
(as a naturalized citizen, not a born citizen as required by the
Constitution), most past presidents have been governors of their
respective home states. Members of Congress are currently considering an
amendment to the Constitution to allow foreign-born US citizens to be
allowed to run for the Presidency, specifically with Schwarzenegger in
Had one elder brother Meinherd (1946-1971).
His mother was Aurelia Jadrny (1922-1998) and his father was Gustav
Children: Katherine Eunice (b. 1990), Christina Maria Aurelia (b. 1991),
Patrick Arnold (b. 1993), Christopher Sargent Shriver (b. 1997)
Was elected Governor of California as a Republican on 7 October 2003.
Turned down the role of John McClane in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0095016/” Die Hard (1988). The role went to
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000246/” Bruce Willis instead.
TV Guide selected Arnold Schwarzenegger’s announcement on HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0103569/” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
(1992) to run for Governor of California as the greatest TV moment of
Said that filming the climatic fight at the end of HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0093773/” Predator (1987) was made difficult
by the fact that the late HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0001310/”
Kevin Peter Hall , who played the Predator, couldn’t see through his
Has the record for winning the most major bodybuilding events in
history, 13 (1 Mr. Junior Western Europe, 7 Mr. Olympias, and 5 Mr.
After he had started lifting weights as a teenager, he noticed that his
body was becoming disproportionate. His arms, shoulders and chest were
developing nicely, but his calves and lower legs weren’t coming along as
he wanted. To motivate himself to work harder on his calves, he cut off
all of his pants (trousers) at the knee. Walking around like that,
people would look at (and maybe even laugh at) the big man with
‘chicken’ legs. It worked.
Cousin-in-law HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0492441/” Christopher
Lawford appears with him in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0216216/” The 6th Day (2000).
His father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, nicknamed him “Cinderella” as a child
and his older brother, Meinherd, constantly picked on him growing up.
Both men were killed while driving under the influence.
Is one of only two actors to appear in all three of the ‘Terminator’
films (_The Terminator (1984)_ , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0103064/” Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
and HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0181852/” Terminator 3: Rise
of the Machines (2003)). The other is HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0091286/” Earl Boen who portrayed the
character of Dr. Peter Silberman in all three films.
Only the second governor in California’s history to be born in a foreign
country. John Downey, the 7th Governor of California, was born in
Ireland and served from 1860- 1862.
Has his look-alike puppet in the French show _”Guignols de l’info, Les”
Went AWOL from the Austrian army to enter his first bodybuilding
Stumped for President HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0124133/”
George W. Bush the weekend before his re-election in Ohio, as
Schwarzenegger has always had a strong relationship with Ohio.
He was voted the 53rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment
Has played a character who died in only four of his films: HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0088247/” The Terminator (1984), HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0103064/” Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991),
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0146675/” End of Days (1999) and
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0181852/” Terminator 3: Rise of the
Was considered for the role of the gentle giant Fezzik in the 1970s when
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0001279/” William Goldman ‘s book
“The Princess Bride” was being discussed for a film adaptation.
Had his first romantic scene in a movie with actress HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0000922/” Sandahl Bergman , in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0082198/” Conan the Barbarian (1982).
Is good friends with fellow bodybuilder HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0861752/” Sven-Ole Thorsen .
Turned down a request to reprise his Conan character in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0119484/” Kull the Conqueror (1997)
(originally titled “Conan the Conqueror”). Also, he was supposed to play
Conan in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0089893/” Red Sonja
(1985), though ultimately, a new character was created who was
essentially Conan in everything but name.
Is the only person to receive Razzie nominations for Worst Actor, Worst
Supporting Actor and Worst Screen Couple (with himself cloned) in the
same year. All for the same movie, HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0216216/” The 6th Day (2000).
In German, the word “schwarzen” means “black”, and “egger” means
“ploughman”. So “Schwarzenegger” is “Black Ploughman”.
His life strangely mirrors the life of Conan from HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0082198/” Conan the Barbarian (1982). Conan
was born in a small village and grew up to be a physically powerful man
from years of slavery. After winning great fame as a gladiator, he is
given to wine and women, but later rejects this hedonistic lifestyle and
goes on to perform great heroic feats, and eventually he is crowned
king. Arnold was born in a small Austrian town and took up weightlifting
as he got older. After achieving success as a bodybuilder, he indulged
in drug abuse and womanizing, but he later rejected this and went on to
become a vocal supporter of social causes, and was eventually elected
governor of California.
Performed many of his own stunts in his films, owing largely to the fact
that it was hard to find stunt doubles who matched his size. HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0524085/” Billy D. Lucas , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0004273/” Joel Kramer and HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/name/nm0448827/” Peter Kent eventually became his
personal stunt doubles and close friends.
His famous line “I’ll be back”, which originated from HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0088247/” The Terminator (1984), was
originally written as “I’ll come back”.
Initially refused to star in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0181852/” Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
(2003) because James Cameron, who created the character and directed the
first two films, would not be directing the third installment. Arnold
tried to persuade Cameron to do the third film but Cameron declined and,
feeling that the Terminator character was as much Arnold’s as it was his
own, Cameron advised Arnold to just do the third film and ask for a lot
While filming the behind the scenes documentary for the special edition
DVD of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0082198/” Conan the
Barbarian (1982), the microphone hit him in the head at the end of the
interview, to which he immediately joked “You see, I can’t even do an
interview about Conan without getting hurt”.
Addressed the Republican National Convention in 2004.
The etymology for Arnold is “Eagle Power”
Grew up in a house that had no phone, no fridge and no toilet.
Was engaged to HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000557/” Brigitte
Was the spokesperson for Japanese DirecTV, a competitor to Quentin
Tarantino’s endorsed local satellite TV operator SkyperfecTV.
Was considered for the role of Flash Gordon in the 1980 film. The part
eventually went to Sam J. Jones instead.
Sandahl Bergman was the first actress he ever did a love scene with. He
was also the first actor she ever did a love scene with.
While filming the movie “Predator” became close friends with co-star
“I was always interested in proportion and perfection. When I was
fifteen, I took off my clothes and looked in the mirror. When I stared
at myself naked, I realized that to be perfectly proportioned I would
need twenty-inch arms to match the rest of me.”
“There’s so little time to do all the things I want to do that I can’t
see any reason to get bogged down in sequels.” – to Starlog magazine in
1991, explaining his reluctance to do sequels to most of his successful
films from the ’80s.
“Everything I have ever done in my life has always stayed. I’ve just
added to it…But I will not change. Because when you are successful and
you change, you are an idiot.”
“I know that if you leave dishes in the sink, they get sticky and hard
to wash the next day.”
“I would rather be Governor of California than own Austria.”
“I love the Hong Kong style of action movies, but that only looks good
for small guys. The reason why the whole style was developed over there
was because those guys were very puny guys – they’re not
powerful-looking guys, they’re also not powerful guys. There’s no weight
lifting champion coming out of Hong Kong – maybe in the bantam division
or the lightweight division or something like that, but normally you
don’t have really strong men coming out of there…they had to learn a
technique that small people can do that are as effective as the big
guy’s strength. So that’s where the martial arts came from.”
“In the beginning I was selfish. It was all about, ‘How do I build
Arnold? How can I win the most Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympic contests?
How can I get into the movies and get into business?’ I was thinking
about myself…As I’ve grew up, got older, maybe wiser, I think your
life is judged not by how much you have taken but by how much you give
“Where I did make mistakes, or maybe go overboard sometimes…I regret
that. This is a different Arnold” – offering an apology for his
“How many times do you get away with this – to take a woman, grab her
upside down and bury her face in a toilet bowl? The thing is you can do
it, because, in the end, I didn’t do it to a woman – she’s a machine. We
could get away with it without being crucified by who knows what group”
– on his fight scenes with the female T-X in Terminator 3.
“It was the most difficult decision in my life – except the one in 1978
when I decided to get a bikini wax” – on his decision to run for
“This guy owes me bacon now…you can’t have egg without bacon” – after
being pelted with an egg at a rally
“I just realised I have the perfect part for you in Terminator 4” –
responding to criticism during a televised debate
“I will not fail, I will not disappoint you, I will not let you down” –
victory speech as Governor of California
“The worst I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that.”
There’s a lot of people who want me to get out of acting and want me to
run for governor. I think it’s mostly movie critics.
“You have to remember something: Everybody pities the weak; jealousy you
have to earn.”
“I took more abuse in Predator than I did in Conan the Barbarian. I fell
down that waterfall [forty feet] and swam in this ice-cold water for
days and for weeks was covered in mud. It was freezing in the Mexican
jungle. They had these heat lamps on all the time, but they were no
good. If you stayed in front of the lamps, the mud dried. Then you had
to take it off and put new mud on again. It was a no-win situaiton. The
location was tough. Never on flat ground. Always on a hill. We stood all
day long on a hill, one leg down, one leg up. It was terrible.”
“If they don’t have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, ‘I
don’t want to represent you, I want to represent those special
interests, the unions, the trial lawyers … if they don’t have the
guts, I call them girlie men” – referring to Democrats at a political
rally in Ontario, California in 2004.
“If [Democratic Party legislators in California] don’t have the guts to
come up here in front of you and say, ‘I don’t want to represent you, I
want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers
… if they don’t have the guts, I call them girlie men.”
“I was always interested in proportion and perfection.”
“Speaking of acting, one of my movies was called True Lies. It’s what
the Democrats should have called their convention.” – at the 2004
Republican National Convention
“President Bush knows you can’t reason with people that are blinded by
hate. But let me tell you something: Their hate is no match for our
decency, their hate is no match for the leadership and the resolve of
George W. Bush.”
[Talking about his “Conan the Barbarian” director]: “John Milius used to
call himself the dog trainer. Guess who were the dogs?”
[From an interview about his reaction to reading the original
“Terminator” screenplay]: “I have read a lot of action adventure
scripts, and this definitely was one of the best. I knew that I wanted
to play the part of the Terminator as soon as I started reading.”
[About being taken seriously]: “I don’t care. The important thing to me
is that I’m doing work that people enjoy out there, that the movie makes
good money, that the studio makes the money back, and that I’m having a
great time at what I’m doing. I don’t even consider myself serious. So
how do I expect people to take me serious? I think this whole Hollywood
thing has to be taken much looser… it’s just entertainment.”
“There were various stepping-stones in my career. One of them was Conan,
because it was the first time I did a film with that kind of budget and
I had the title role. The next big stepping-stone was The Terminator.
With The Terminator, I think people became aware of the fact that I
didn’t really have to take my shirt off or run around and expose my
muscles in order to sell tickets. After I did The Terminator and we had
seen it be more successful than the Conan films, people then sent me a
variety of different kinds of scripts – all in the action-adventure
genre, but they were not muscle movies or Viking movies or pirate movies
or anything like that.”
[Talking about playing the Terminator]: “I had to act like a cyborg,
which meant I couldn’t show any kind of human fear or reaction to the
fire, explosions, or gunfire that was going off around me. That can be
difficult when you’re walking through a door with its frame on fire,
trying to reload a gun, and at the same time thinking in the back of
your mind that people have accidents doing these kinds of stunts and
that it might be my turn.”
[About more sequels to the Terminator]: “I don’t necessarily want to
leave the magic of the Terminator movies behind, and who says we have
to? According to what we know about the future, there were hundreds of
Terminators built. The story of the Terminator could go on forever.”
[From an interview expressing concern over making Conan less brutal in
its sequel]: “I think it’s a mistake. I know Sylvester Stallone made an
extra $20 million because he got a PG rating for Rocky III, but its a
matter of how much you want to stay within the character’s reality. Can
you slaughter people and never see blood? Is it possible? You must have
battles. That’s part of life, war, and the world of Conan.”
[Talking about Richard Fleischer]: “The first day Fleischer came to see
me work out, he told me, “Arnold, could you put on some more muscles?” I
couldn’t believe it! It turned out that Fleischer thought [John]
Milius’s decision to keep Conan clothed throughout the first film was a
mistake. Felischer believes that people want to see my body much more
often then they did the first time around, so they will. I spend most of
my time in Conan the Destroyer fighting off people while I’m dressed in
[About the dog accident while making the first Conan]: “One of them hit
me too soon. It caught me off guard and I went right over the ledge. I
fell ten feet and landed on my back. I was covered with scratches and
bruises. It was probably a pretty good beginning for this movie, though.
It set the tone for the whole time we were there. This was going to be
fun… but dangerous.”
[Talking about director John Milius]: “There never would have been a
Conan movie without him.”
“There are some people who are close to him that say he is just starving
for attention, and that’s the way he gets attention. Other people said,
look he’s not working and he just feels like he should maybe get
involved in politics. Instead, I just think that maybe he is jealous
that I did jump in. I find it silly, because I respect his work.” [On
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/name/nm0000886/” Warren Beatty ]
“Well, I think because a lot of people don’t know why I’m a Republican,
I came first of all from a socialistic country which is Austria and when
I came over here in 1968 with the presidential elections coming up in
November, I came over in October, I heard a lot of the press conferences
from both of the candidates Humphrey and Nixon, and Humphrey was talking
about more government is the solution, protectionism, and everything he
said about government involvement sounded to me more like Austrian
socialism. Then when I heard Nixon talk about it, he said open up the
borders, the consumers should be represented there ultimately and
strengthen the military and get the government off our backs. I said to
myself, what is this guy’s party affiliation? I didn’t know anything at
that point. So I asked my friend, what is Nixon? He’s a Republican. And
I said, I am a Republican. That’s how I became a Republican.”
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0181852/” Terminator 3: Rise of
the Machines (2003) $30,000,000
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0233469/” Collateral Damage
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0216216/” The 6th Day (2000)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0146675/” End of Days (1999)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0118688/” Batman & Robin (1997)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0116705/” Jingle All the Way
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0116213/” Eraser (1996)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0110216/” Junior (1994)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0111503/” True Lies (1994)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0107362/” Last Action Hero (1993)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0103064/” Terminator 2: Judgment
Day (1991) $15 million
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0099938/” Kindergarten Cop (1990)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0088247/” The Terminator (1984)
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0082198/” Conan the Barbarian
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0065832/” Hercules in New York
Where are they now
(17 November 2003) Sworn in as Governor of California. Drawing a salary
of $175,000 per annum.
(October 2003) Is now the Republican Governor-elect of California
(August 2003) Running for Governor of California on the Republican
(December 2003) Refused to take the salary for Governor of California.
Uses private jet at his own expense.
Biography from Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia:
He had a name you couldn’t pronounce, an accent you couldn’t cut, and a
body out of a Frank Frazetta painting, yet this worldchampion
bodybuilder defied all the naysayers to become the undisputed Biggest
Movie Star in the World, as well as a restaurateur, political activist,
and leading spokesman for physical fitness. The product of a difficult
childhood, he turned to weight training as both an escape and a
self-esteem booster. Coming to America to make his fortune,
Schwarzenegger landed the title role in the low-budget, barely released
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0065832/” Hercules in New York
(aka HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0065832/” Hercules Goes
Bananas 1970), billed as Arnold Strong. The movie revealed two things:
his impressively sculptured body, and the fact that he couldn’t act (let
alone speak English). Schwarzenegger’s lessthan-spectacular film debut
sent him back to the weight room, and he concentrated on bodybuilding
for some time thereafter, winning seven Mr. Olympia titles-a record only
recently beaten-and earning the nickname “the Austrian Oak.”
Writers George Butler and Charles Gaines featured him prominently in
their book HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0076578/” Pumping Iron
a comprehensive examination of bodybuilding; he then made a considerable
impact in the 1977 film of the same name, and was much talked about.
He’d been cast as a bodybuilder (what else?) in the comedy HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0075268/” Stay Hungry (1976, starring Jeff
Bridges and Sally Field). His performance was, in the main, kindly
reviewed, but Schwarzenegger still didn’t actively pursue a screen
career until accepting the role of the impeccably costumed Handsome
Stranger in a cartoonish Western, HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0080097/” The Villain (1979). He realized
that he’d milked bodybuilding and decided to tackle a new career.
Schwarzenegger threw himself wholeheartedly into acting, beginning with
roles in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0079858/” Scavenger Hunt
(1979) and the TV movie HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0080947/”
The Jayne Mansfield Story (1980, earnestly but ineptly playing
Mansfield’s muscleman husband, Mickey Hargitay), then graduating to the
title role of 1982’s sword-and-sorcery blockbuster HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0082198/” Conan the Barbarian and its 1984
sequel, HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0087078/” Conan the
Destroyer Later in 1984 he starred in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0088247/” The Terminator a sci-fi actioner
that cast him as an unstoppable killer robot from the future; its
success made him a superstar and gave him a signature line-“I’ll be
back!”-that he managed to work into many subsequent films for a knowing
laugh. In fact, Schwarzenegger’s sense of humor (even about himself) set
him apart from the other pumped-up action stars of the 1980s. He played
a Conan-like barbarian in HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0089893/”
Red Sonja (1985), and then churned out a string of
blood-and-wisecracks blockbusters including HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0088944/” Commando (also 1985), HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0091828/” Raw Deal (1986), HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0093773/” Predator , HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0093894/” The Running Man (both 1987), and
HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0095963/” Red Heat (1988). He
turned to silly comedy for real in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0096320/” Twins (also 1988, costarring with
Danny DeVito), proving he could make cash registers jingle without
killing dozens of adversaries in every reel. Since then he’s alternated
between “serious” action films like HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0100802/” Total Recall (1990) and HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0103064/” Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991),
which have been hugely successful, and “lighter” fare like HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0099938/” Kindergarten Cop (1990), a modest
hit, and the overblown, tongue-incheek HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0107362/” Last Action Hero (1993), a colossal
fiasco that had the media clucking that even the mighty Arnold could
fail. In 1994 he reteamed with Terminator’s James Cameron for the smash
hit HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0111503/” True Lies then
starred as a pregnant man in HYPERLINK
“http://imdb.com/title/tt0110216/” Junior .
Though he does not officially produce his films, Schwarzenegger pretty
much calls all the shots, right down to planning publicity, and he has
dabbled in directing for TV (an episode of “Tales From the Crypt” and
the 1992 remake of HYPERLINK “http://imdb.com/title/tt0103961/”
Christmas in Connecticut as a possible prelude to big-screen helming.
In 1990 he was named chairman of the President’s Council on Physical
Fitness, and his lengthy association with Republican politics sparked
rumors that he might someday run for office. Ironically, he is married
to TV journalist Maria Shriver, one of the (Democratic) Kennedy clan.
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