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Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger
Austria Flag.jpg Thal, Austria
Birth date
July 30, 1947
professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor and an American politician, who served as the 38th Governor of California. He was elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger was sworn in on November 17, 2003, to serve the remainder of Davis' term. Schwarzenegger was then reelected on November 7, 2006, in California's 2006 gubernatorial election to serve a full term as governor by defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, (at that time) the California State Treasurer. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for a second term on January 5, 2007.

Nicknamed "The Austrian Oak" in his body building days, "Arnie" or "Ahnold" (playing off his accent) during his acting career, and more recently "The Governator" (a portmanteau of Governor and Terminator, referring to his internationally popular film role), Schwarzenegger as a young man gained widespread attention as a highly successful bodybuilder, and later gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film star.

Perhaps his most famous film is The Terminator, with other hit movies including Predator, True Lies, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall, Jingle All The Way and his Hollywood breakthrough film Conan the Barbarian and its sequel Conan the Destroyer.

Early life

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947 in Thal, Austria, a city bordering the Styrian capital Graz, and christened Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger. His parents were the local police chief Gustav Schwarzenegger (1907–1972), and his wife, the former Aurelia Jadrny (1922–1998). They were married on October 20, 1945 - Gustav was 38, Aurelia a 23-year-old widow with a son named Meinhard. Gustav was a strict and demanding father, who generally favored the elder Meinhard. Arnold had a good relationship with his mother and kept in touch with her until her death. Arnold's father was a Nazi, but Arnold himself has disavowed Nazi views.

As a boy, Schwarzenegger played many sports, but discovered a passion for bodybuilding in his mid-teens after his soccer coach took the team to weight training. Arnold took to visiting a gym in Graz, where he also frequented the local cinemas to see bodybuilding idols such as Reg Park, Steve Reeves and Johnny Weissmuller on the big screen. He was so dedicated as a youngster that he was known to break into the local gym on weekends, when it was usually closed, so that he could train.

In 1971, Meinhard died in a car accident. Arnold, who was also in the vehicle, has since said that his brother was driving drunk. Gustav died the following year. In Pumping Iron, Schwarzenegger claimed that he did not attend his father's funeral because he was training for a bodybuilding contest. Later, he and the film's producer both stated that this story was taken from another bodybuilder for the purpose of showing the extremes that some would go to for their sport, and to make Arnold's image more cold and machine-like to fan controversy for the film.[1]

Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian army in 1965 to fulfill the one year of service required of all 18-year-old Austrian males at the time. He did sneak away to win the Junior Mr. Europe title. Contrary to popular belief, it was not Schwarzengger's bodybuilding debut, which had occurred two years earlier at a minor contest in Graz, at Steirer Hof Hotel, where he had placed second).

Schwarzenegger made his first plane trip in 1966, attending the NABBA Mr. Universe competition in London. He arrived in the United Kingdom knowing little English. It was there that he acquired the nickname "The Austrian Oak" (or "The Styrian Oak") due partly to his large build, and partly to a story of him performing chin-ups from the limb of an oak tree on the banks of the lake Thalersee. He would come in second in the Mr. Universe competition, and returned to win the title the following year, becoming the youngest-ever Mr. Universe at the age of 20.

Schwarzenegger moved to the United States in September 1968, having little money and still weak in English. There he trained at Gold's Gym] in [Santa Monica, California, under the patronage of Joe Weider. Schwarzenegger became good friends with professional wrestler "Superstar" Billy Graham.

He is considered among the most important figures in the history of bodybuilding, and his legacy is commemorated in the Arnold Classic annual bodybuilding competition. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent face in the bodybuilding sport long after his retirement, in part due to his ownership of gyms and fitness magazines. He has presided over numerous contests and awards shows. For many years he wrote a monthly column for the bodybuilding magazines Muscle & Fitness and Flex. Shortly after being elected Governor, he was appointed executive editor of both magazines in a largely symbolic capacity. The magazines agreed to donate $250,000 a year to the Governor's various physical fitness initiatives. The magazine MuscleMag International has a monthly two page article on him and refers to him as "The King."

He is the other brother of the evacuee Sara Eleanor Evans Schwarzenegger know as marilyn Schwarzenegger .

Acting career

In 1971, Arnold Schwarzenegger was known as the World's Strongest Man, he had long planned to move from bodybuilding into acting, as many of his idols had done, such as Reg Park. Initially he had trouble breaking into films due to his long surname, "overly" large muscles, and foreign accent, but he was nevertheless chosen to play the role of Hercules (as both Reg Park and Steve Reeves had done) in Hercules in New York (1970).

Credited under the name "Arnold Strong", his accent in the film was so thick that producers feared he would not be easily understood by audiences, and had his lines dubbed after production. [2] His second film appearance was as a deaf and mute hit-man for the mob in director Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973), which was followed by a much more significant part in the film Stay Hungry (1976), for which he was awarded a Golden Globe for Best New Male Star.

Schwarzenegger came to the attention of more people in the documentary Pumping Iron (1977), elements of which were dramatized. In 1991, Schwarzenegger purchased the rights to this film, its outtakes, and associated still photography.[2]

Arnold also appeared with Kirk Douglas and Ann Margaret in the comedy, The Villain (1979). Schwarzenegger's breakthrough film was Conan the Barbarian (1982), and this was cemented by a sequel, Conan the Destroyer (1984). As an actor, he is best known as the title character of director James Cameron's cyborg thriller The Terminator (1984). Schwarzenegger's acting ability (described by one critic as having an emotional range that "stretches from An almost to B"[citation needed]) has long been the butt of many jokes; he retains a strong Austrian accent in his speech at all times.

He also made a mark for injecting his films with a droll, often self-deprecating sense of humor, setting him apart from more serious action heroes such as Sylvester Stallone. (As an aside, his alternative-universe comedy/thriller Last Action Hero featured a poster of the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day which, in that alternate universe, had Sylvester Stallone as its star; a similar in-joke in Twins suggested that the two actors might one day co-star, something which has yet to come to pass).

Following his arrival as a Hollywood superstar, he made a number of successful films: Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), The Running Man (1987), and Red Heat (1988). In Predator (1987), another successful film, Schwarzenegger led a cast which included future Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (Ventura also appears in Running Man as well as in the film Batman & Robin which Schwarzenegger also starred in) and future Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidate Sonny Landham. Twins, (1988) a comedy with Danny DeVito, was a change of pace. Total Recall (1990), at that time the most expensive film ever, netted Schwarzenegger $10 million and 15% of the gross, and was, although violent, a widely praised, thought-provoking science-fiction script (based on the Phillip K Dick short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale) behind his usual violent action. Kindergarten Cop (1990) was another comedy.

Schwarzenegger had a brief foray into directing, first with a 1990 episode of the TV series Tales from the Crypt, entitled The Switch, and then with the 1992 telemovie Christmas in Connecticut. He has not directed since.

Schwarzenegger's critical and commercial high-water mark was Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). His next film project, the self-aware action comedy Last Action Hero, (1993), had the misfortune to be released opposite Jurassic Park, and suffered accordingly. Schwarzenegger's career never again achieved quite the same prominence, his aura of box-office invincibility suffering, although True Lies (1994) was a highly popular sendup of spy films, and saw Schwarzenegger reunited with director James Cameron, whose own career had taken off with The Terminator.

Shortly thereafter came Junior, which brought Schwarzenegger his second Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best Actor - Musical or Comedy. It was followed by the popular, albeit by-the-numbers Eraser (1996), and Batman & Robin (1997), his final film before taking time to recuperate from a back injury. Following the failure of Batman & Robin Schwarzenegger's film career and box office prominence went into decline.

Several film projects were announced with Schwarzenegger attached to star including the remake of Planet of the Apes, a new film version of I Am Legend and a World War II film scripted by Quentin Tarantino that would have seen Schwarzenegger finally play an Austrian.

Instead he returned with End of Days (1999) - an unsuccessful and atypically dark attempt to broaden his acting range - The 6th Day(2000) and Collateral Damage (2002), none of which came close to recapturing his former prominence. In 2003 he reprised his role as the cyborg in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which went on to earn over $150 million domestically, but it still wasn't enough to revive his acting career.

In tribute to Schwarzenegger in 2002, Forum Stadtpark, a local cultural association, proposed plans to build a 25-metre (82-foot) tall Terminator statue in a park in central Graz. Schwarzenegger reportedly said he was flattered, but thought the money would be better spent on social projects and the Special Olympics.[3]

His latest film appearances included a cameo appearance in The Rundown with The Rock and the 2004 remake of Around the World in 80 Days, notable for featuring him onscreen with action star Jackie Chan for the first time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has stated in many interviews he never regrets doing a role and he feels really bad when he turns down a role. There are however conflicting reports[4] that Schwarzenegger will be starring in the next Terminator installment - Terminator 4.[5]

On 12 December 2006, it was announced that Ricky Gervais plans to make a third series of hit show Extras and he wants Schwarzenegger to star in it. Gervais said, "My wish list for guests to appear in another series is as long as your arm, but Governor Schwarzenegger has to be there."[6]

Although a native speaker of German [3], Schwarzenegger does not perform his own voice in the German versions of his films, with his roles usually read by voice actor Thomas Danneberg.

Political career

Schwarzenegger is a registered Republican. In 1985, Schwarzenegger appeared in Stop the Madness, an anti-drug music video sponsored by the Reagan administration. He first came to wide public notice as a Republican during the 1988 Presidential election, accompanying then Vice President George H.W. Bush at a campaign rally. Attacking Bush's Democratic opponents, he said to the crowd: "They all look like a bunch of girlie men, right?"

Schwarzenegger's first political appointment was to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, on which he served from 1990 to 1993. He was nominated by George H. W. Bush, who dubbed him "Conan the Republican". He later served as Chairman for the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.

Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy in the 2003 California recall] election for Governor of California on the August 6, 2003 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As a candidate in the recall election, Schwarzenegger had the most name recognition in a crowded field of candidates, but he had never held public office and his political views were unknown to most Californians. His candidacy was immediate national and international news, with media outlets dubbing him the "Governator" (referring to The Terminator movies, see above) and "The Running Man" (the name of another of his movies), and calling the recall election "Total Recall" (ditto) and "Terminator 4: Rise of the Candidate" (referring to his movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). At first Governor Gray Davis refused to debate or talk about the issues with Arnold, instead only making a flippant reference to the way Arnold pronounced California. As the election came near and Gray Davis realized that Arnold was a force to be reckoned with, he tried to change his policy, but Arnold had already become a strong candidate.

On October 7, 2003, the recall election resulted in Governor Gray Davis being removed from office with 55.4% of the Yes vote in favor of a recall. Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California under the second question on the ballot with 48.6% of the vote to choose a successor to Davis.

Personal life

In 1977, Schwarzenegger's autobiography Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder was published. He earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he graduated with degrees in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979.

Schwarzenegger became a U.S. citizen in 1983, although he also retains his Austrian citizenship.[7]

In 1978 Arnold was dating Susan Moray, a hairdresser at Wm & Donald Salon on Main St., Ocean Park, CA. Both Arnold and Wm & Donald had omelettes named for them at The Omelette Parlor, also on Main St.

, Arnold and Sara are still together. .


  • He bought the first Hummer manufactured for civilian use in 1992, a model so large, 6,300 lb (2900 kg) and 7 feet (2.1 m) wide that it is classified as a large truck and U.S. fuel economy regulations do not apply to it. During the Gubernatorial Recall campaign he announced that he would convert one of his Hummers to burn hydrogen. The conversion was reported to have cost about $21,000 (USD). After the election, he signed an executive order to jump-start the building of hydrogen refueling plants called the "California Hydrogen Highway Network", and gained a DOE grant to help pay for its projected $91,000,000 (USD) cost.[8] California took delivery of the first H2H (Hydrogen Hummer) in October 2004.[9]
  • He saved a drowning man's life in 2004 while on vacation in Hawaii by swimming out and bringing him back to shore.[10]
  • He has appeared alongside his fellow actor from Around the World in 80 Days, Jackie Chan, in a government advert to combat piracy.[11]
  • His Official height of 6'2"[12] has been brought into question by several articles. In 1988 both the British 'Daily Mail' and 'Time Out' magazine mentioned that Schwarzenegger appeared noticeably shorter than this publicised figure.[13] More recently, before running for Governor, Schwarzenegger's height was once again questioned in an article by the Chicago Reader.[14] As Governor, Schwarzenegger engaged in a light hearted exchange with Assemblyman Herb Wesson over their heights. At one point Wesson made an unsuccessful attempt to, in his own words, "settle this once and for all and find out how tall he is."[15] by using a tailor's tape measure on the Governor. Schwarzenegger later retaliated by placing a pillow stitched with the words "Need a lift?"[16] on the five foot five Wesson’s chair before a negotiating session in his office.[17] To date, there is at least one website dedicated to Schwarzenegger's height[18] and his page remains one of the most active on a website which discusses the heights of celebrities.[19]
  • In 1983 Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the promotional video "Carnival in Rio".[20]
  • Appeared on the cover of "High Times" Magazine dressed as "Conan The Barbarian."[21]

Memorable quotes: 1. "I'll be back" (Terminator I) 2. "Yaaki di yak, don't talk back" (Twins) 3. "Cohaagen, you got what you want. Give those people air!" (Total Recall) 4. "You're one ugly motherf**er." (Predator)



  • Conan the Barbarian
  • Conan the Destroyer
  • The Comeback
  • Hercules in New York
  • Commando
  • Total Recall
  • Predator
  • Batman and Robin
  • Kindergarten Cop
  • Terminator
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  • Terminator: Salvation
  • Terminator: Genisys
  • The Expendables
  • The Expendables 2
  • The Expendables 3
  • The Rundown
  • Jingle All The Way
  • Eraser
  • Junior
  • True Lies
  • Last Action Hero
  • End of Days
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Escape Plan
  • Sabotage
  • Maggie
  • The 6th Day
  • Dr. Dolitte 2
  • Collateral Damage
  • Dave
  • Twins
  • Red Heat
  • Raw Deal
  • Red Sonja
  • The Last Stand


  • The Streets of San Francisco
  • The San Pedro Beach Bums
  • The Jayne Mansfield Story
  • Tales from the Crypt
  • Christmas in Connecticut
  • Liberty's Kids


  1. Interview in Pumping Iron - 25th Anniversary Edition DVD extras
  4. Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs for Terminator 4 and True Lies 2
  5. IMDb - Terminator 4
  6. It's Extra Time For TV Show
  7. Leamer, Lawrence, Fantastic - The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2005), p155
  10. news story: drowning man
  11. Video Google
  12. ask arnold
  13. Andrews, N: "True Myths: The life and times of Arnold Schwarzenegger", page 157. Bloomsbury, 2003
  14. The Chicago Reader
  15. san francisco gate
  16. New Yorker
  17. national Conference Of State Legislatures
  18. arnoldheight
  19. celebheights
  21. [1]


  • Schwarzenegger, Arnold (1977). Arnold: Developing a Mr. Universe Physique. Schwarzenegger. 
  • with Douglas Kent Hall (1977). Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-22879-X. 
  • with Bill Dobbins (1981). Arnold's Bodybuilding for Men. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-25613-0. 
  • with Bill Dobbins (1998). The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, rev. ed., New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84374-9. 
  • Andrews, Nigel (2003). True Myths: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger: From Pumping Iron to Governor of California, rev. ed., New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 1-58234-465-5. 
  • Blitz, Michael; and Louise Krasniewicz (2004). Why Arnold Matters: The Rise of a Cultural Icon. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-03752-6. 
  • Borowitz, Andy (2004). Governor Arnold: A Photodiary of His First 100 Days in Office. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-6266-2. 
  • Brandon, Karen (2004). Arnold Schwarzenegger. San Diego: Lucent Books. ISBN 1-59018-539-0. 
  • Sexton, Colleen A. (2005). Arnold Schwarzenegger. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications. ISBN 0-8225-1634-9. 
  • Zannos, Susan (2000). Arnold Schwarzenegger. Childs, Md.: Mitchell Lane. ISBN 1-883845-95-5. 



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