Mr. Olympia, Mr. Universe, “Terminator” and “Governator”: Arnold Schwarzenegger has a few titles. The action legend turns 75.
Apparently, there’s practically nothing this man can’t do if he really puts his mind to it. This is probably the motto of Arnold Schwarzenegger (75). Whether bodybuilding champion, action star or politician: his life and career are manifold. Perhaps because he keeps getting back up, no matter what obstacles he has to overcome. It’s not for nothing that he is known for the phrase “I’ll be back” from the “Terminator” movies. Today, he is hailed as one of the most successful action actors and bodybuilders in the world.
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger, his real full name, was born on July 30, 1947 in Thal, Styria, Austria. His mother (1922-1998) was a housewife, his father (1907-1972) a policeman and former head of the SA. After attending high school and completing his military service, he emigrated to the United States in 1968 at the age of 21 – at that time his English skills were still very poor. Nevertheless, he later managed to earn a degree in economics.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: the sportsman
In the United States, Schwarzenegger devotes himself to a great passion: sport, especially bodybuilding. He found like-minded people and made contacts. The athletic heart of the aspiring bodybuilder of the time was developed from early childhood. At the age of 14, he entered a gym for the first time and discovered weightlifting on his own. His role model has always been actor and bodybuilder Reg Park (1928-2007).
After first competing against competitors in weightlifting, he won the ‘Mister Universe’ title at the age of just 19 – he is the youngest winner of this title to date. The victory was his breakthrough on the bodybuilding scene. He was aiming for the next step: “Mr. Olympia”. In 1970, he won the coveted title in London. Relegated to second place: his idol Reg Park.
He had arrived in the bodybuilding Olympus and was virtually invincible. He made a name for himself all over the world and started touring in various countries. In 1975, he put an end to his sports career to celebrate a comeback five years later. His last appearance as a bodybuilder was a renewed participation in the “Mr. Olympia” contest in 1980, in which he aged all the athletes and won. Overall, the already established bodybuilder has won seven “Mr. Olympia” titles and five “Mr. Universe” titles. Without a little help, however, he did not achieve his successes. In interviews, he revealed that he used to use anabolic steroids.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: the actor
In addition to sport, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been interested in films and series since his childhood. The Austrian first tried to break into the film scene as Arnold Strong. His first role: Hercules in the film “Hercules in New York” (1969). However, his Austrian accent was so strong at the time that a voice actor had to rush in and dub Schwarzenegger. In 1976, he appeared in front of the camera for “Mr. Universum” alongside Jeff Bridges (72) and Sally Field (75). In 1977, he won a Golden Globe for Best Newcomer for his portrayal of an aspiring bodybuilder.
The budding actor received international recognition at the age of 35 for his starring role in the film “Conan the Barbarian” (1982). The next step followed in 1984: “Terminator”. The film catapulted Schwarzenegger and director James Cameron (67) to Hollywood Olympus. The Austrian’s role is best known as he only utters 17 sentences in the entire film. To solidify his now earned reputation as an action star, he starred in such films as “The Phantom – Commando” (1985), “Predator” (1987) and “Running Man” (1987). He also showed humor in strips like “Twins” (1988) alongside Danny DeVito (77) and “Kindergarten Cop” (1990). He was one of the highest paid actors in the film industry at the time. Moreover, his Austrian accent was no longer an obstacle, but had become a trademark.
After starring in one of the highest-grossing films of all time (grossing $500 million) with “Terminator 2 – Judgment Day” (1991), less successful engagements followed. After the third installment of the “Terminator” series (2003), Schwarzenegger temporarily put an end to his acting career and devoted himself to politics. In 2010 he returned for an appearance on ‘The Expendables’ – a favor for his friend Sylvester Stallone (76). In 2015, Schwarzenegger returned to his iconic role as T-800 in the fourth “Terminator” film. In total, Schwarzenegger has been involved in over 70 productions – including films, series, speaking roles and documentaries.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Politician
Schwarzenegger’s political career began in the 1990s. Around this time, he was appointed by George Bush (1924-2018) as chairman of the National Council of Fitness and Sport. In 2003, he finally ran for Governor of California for the Republican Party. One of his supporters was multi-billionaire Warren Buffett (91). In November 2003, he was sworn in as governor, wishing to give up his salary, as he announced at the time.
Schwarzenegger’s political course was strict. Among other things, he supported the death penalty in the United States. His harsh leadership was not well received in Austria and, among other things, the revocation of his Austrian citizenship was discussed. In 2006, he did not make himself popular in Mexico either. Due to his intensified integration policy, he has been called “racist” by Mexican politicians.
Environmental policy was particularly important to Schwarzenegger. He signed an “executive order” to reduce greenhouse gases, according to which greenhouse gas emissions should be down to 2000 levels by 2010. Above all, car emissions were a thorn in his side. foot, which is why emission ceilings have been set. With the “Global Warming Solutions Act” of 2006, the governor showed what he planned for his state. Schwarzenegger campaigned for the promotion of renewable energy and stipulated that by 2020, Californian electric companies should obtain 33% of their energy from renewable sources. In 2006, Schwarzenegger was re-elected for his second term. In 2011, he was finally replaced by Jerry Brown (84), a Democrat. Before and during his tenure, Schwarzenegger was often referred to as the “Governor”. In 2017, he founded the Austrian World Summit, an international conference on climate protection.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: the icon
Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long and deep friendship with Sylvester Stallone. Together with Bruce Willis (67) and Jackie Chan (68), they both opened the “Planet Hollywood” burger chain in 1991. Of more than 100 branches, there were only seven in three countries in 2020 He has been almost completely vegan since 2016 and has campaigned for this lifestyle.
The Austrian married Maria Shriver (66) in 1986 and had four children with her. There is also another illegitimate son with a housekeeper at the time.
Schwarzenegger holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and was awarded the Styrian State Ring of Honor and Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star for services to the Republic of Austria. Whether big or small: Arnold Schwarzenegger has shaped several generations and is still a role model for many today, whether in sports or cinema.