Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an American actor, professional bodybuilder and businessman of Austrian origin. He has also served as the Governor of California (38th) from 2003-2011. Born on July 30, 1947 in Thal, which was occupied by the allied powers at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger started out as a bodybuilder at 15.
He ended up winning four Mr. Universe titles in addition to seven ‘Mr. Olympia’ titles during his illustrious career (as a bodybuilder). Having penned a number of articles and books on bodybuilding, he remains one of the sport’s most popular and recognizable faces.
Over the due course of time, Arnold became a familiar name in the world of entertainment. Many of his commercial hits came during the 1980s and 1990s, such as ‘Terminator’ (1984), Predator (1987), Total Recall and Kindergarten Cop (both 1990), and True Lies (1994).
Considered one of Hollywood’s biggest action stars, he has also starred in a few light-hearted comedy flicks, such as Junior (1994).
Arnold is a highly respected figure in Hollywood, and, as told by Carl Weathers, who starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator, he had a ‘wonderful experience’ working with Arnold in the dense and treacherous forests of Mexico.
There hasn’t been a bigger action star in Hollywood than Arnold Schwarzenegger and it hard for anyone else to replicate his box office success. He has starred in more than 50 movies till date and remains one of Hollywood’s most popular action stars.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Personal Life
A Humble Beginning
Born in Thal, Styria, Austria, Arnold was the second son of Gustav and Aurelia Schwarzenegger. Gustav, his father, served in WWII after having joined the Nazi Party in 1938. Gustav was active in the Battle of Stalingrad, but was discharged in 1943 after having contracted malaria.
As far as academic performances are concerned, Schwarzenegger wasn’t an exceptional student, but was known for his cheerful persona and happy-go-lucky attitude. He spent most of his early childhood in California and grew up in a family with strong catholic beliefs.
Marriages and Relationships
Arnold’s personal life has been subject to widespread media scrutiny and publicity. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s girlfriend in 1969 was Barbara Outland and they remained together for 5 years before parting ways in 1974.
He was married to Maria Shriver, who happened to be the niece of former US President John F. Kennedy, and had four children with her. Katherine (1989), Christina Maria Aurelia (1991) are his daughters whereas Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sons are Patrick (1993) and Christopher (1997).
The pair decided to part ways after 25 years of marriage when it came to light that Arnold had an affair with Patty Buena, an employee working for Schwarzenegger. It was later discovered that Arnold even had a son with Patty.
As per records, he enrolled in an intense training program along with Dan Farmer and took up psychology lessons at 15 to come to terms with the power of his body and mind.
He began his competitive weightlifting career at 17 and went on to try his luck at the Mr. Olympia contest in 1969 where he was defeated by three-time champion Sergio Oliva.
However, he returned a year later to win his first Mr. Olympia title at 23. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr Olympia win in 1970 is a record that has remained unbroken for five decades.
He successfully defended his title from 1971-1975. In 1975, he decided to hang his boots, but eventually came out of retirement in 1980 to win his seventh Mr. Olympia title.
Career in Films
Arnold Schwarzenegger made his big screen debut in 1970 after he was finalized to play the titular role in ‘Hercules in New York’ and was named ‘Arnold Strong’ in the movie’s title card.
However, his first major role came in 1976 with ‘Stay Hungry’. Some of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s old movies (majorly during the 1970s) typecast him as a burly-surly lad who could land a few punches.
Action Star of the 1980s
Arnold starred in Conan the Barbarian in 1982, a film that marked a turning point in his acting career as it turned out to be his first major hit at the box office. The movie was followed by a sequel ‘Conan The Destroyer’ (1984). Arnold shot to fame in 1984 with ‘The Terminator’, James Cameron’s Sci-Fi action thriller film.
The movie starred Arnold as the titular cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator has spawned into one of Hollywood’s most-profitable franchises.
During the late 1980s, Schwarzenegger starred in Predator (1987) and Red Heat (1988). Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator hit a chord with the youngsters because of its popular subject matter and elaborate action sequences. Much like ‘The Terminator’, Predator, too, has spawned into a multi-million-dollar franchise.
Christmas Movie Starring Schwarzenegger
Amazing Anecdotes: Schwarzenegger tried his hand at direction with ‘Christmas in Connecticut’, a television movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Christmas movie ‘Jingle All the Way’ was released in 1996 and turned out to be a moderate success at the box office.
Political Ambitions and Career
Arnold has been a Republican for quite a while. He first came across as a Republican while supporting President George Bush at a campaign rally in 1988. Schwarzenegger won against Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat along with Tom McClintock, a Republican, to be elected the Governor of California in 2003.
Schwarzenegger achieved victory by more than 1 million votes, which meant it was a decisive victory and that a runoff election wasn’t needed. Moreover, he was the first Governor of California who wasn’t ‘American by birth’ after John Downey, who was an Irishman by birth.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Presidential ambitions have been well documented by various media houses in the US and in other parts of the world as well. However, Article II, Section I, Clause V has been a cause of concern for him as it prevents non-American citizens from running for the President’s office. In order to counter this Article, he has been creating a lobby of legislators to bring about a constitutional change.
Schwarzenegger suffered from a bicuspid aortic valve since birth. This meant his heart contained just a couple of leaflets, whereas a normal human heart contains three.
He opted to get a replacement heart valve that was a transplanted tissue of his own. He even had a second surgery at the age of 73. Arnold has mentioned in an Instagram post that he now has a new transplanted aortic valve.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Earnings
More often than not, Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are known for their elaborate action sequences and state-of-the-art cinematography. Also, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator is considered one of the best Sci-Fi action thrillers of all time. As of 2020, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s net worth stands at 400 million dollars.