Schwarzenegger, Arnold

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Arnold Schwarzenegger


Born July 30, 1947, in Graz, Austria; son of Gustav (a police officer) and Aurelia (Jadrny) Schwarzenegger; married Maria Shriver (a journalist), April 26, 1986; children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick, Christopher. Education: University of Wisconsin—Superior, B.A. (business and international economics), 1980. Hobbies and other interests: Horseback riding, reading, travel, classical music, art, motorcycles.


Home—Santa Monica, CA. Office—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA 95814.


Actor, politician, fitness expert, and entrepreneur. Body builder, 1962-76; health club manager and instructor in Munich, Germany; producer of Mr. Olympia/Mr. International competition, 1975-81; Special Olympics, national weight-training coach, 1977, international weight-training coach, 1979—; President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, chair, 1990-93; California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, former chairman; governor of California, 2003—. Actor in films, including (as Arnold Strong) The Long Goodbye, United Artists (UA), 1973; Stay Hungry, UA, 1976; Pumping Iron (documentary), Cinema Five, 1977; The Villain, Columbia, 1979; Conan the Barbarian, Universal, 1982; Conan the Destroyer, Universal, 1983; The Terminator, Orion, 1984; Commando, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1985; Red Sonja, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/UA, 1985; Raw Deal, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, 1986; Predator, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1987; The Running Man, TriStar, 1987; Red Heat, TriStar, 1988; Twins, Universal, 1988; Kindergarten Cop, Universal, 1990; Total Recall, TriStar, 1990; Terminator 2: Judgement Day, TriStar, 1991; Feed (documentary), Original Cinema, 1992; (and executive producer) Last Action Hero, Columbia, 1993; Beretta's Island, Phoenix Group, 1994; True Lies, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1994; Junior, Universal, 1994; Eraser, Warner Bros., 1996; Terminator 2: 3-D (also known as T2 3-D: Battle across Time), 1996; Batman and Robin, Warner Bros., 1997; On Wings as Eagles, Paramount, 1998; I Am Legend, Warner Bros., 1998; (as Jericho Cane) End of Days, Universal, 1999; (as Adam Gibson) The Sixth Day, Columbia, 2000; (as Gordy Brewer) Collateral Damage, Warner Bros., 2002; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2003; and (as Prince Hapi) Around the World in Eighty Days, 2004. Actor in television films, including The Jayne Mansfield Story, CBS-TV, 1980. Director for television, including episode of Tales fromthe Crypt, HBO, 1990, and movie Christmas in Connecticut, TNT, 1992. Lecturer on fitness and bodybuilding; "Wide World of Sports," ABC-TV, former commentator for body-building events. Founder, Oak Productions, Inc.; Planet Hollywood (restaurant), New York, NY, co-owner, 1991-2000. American Media, Inc., executive editor of Muscle & Fitness and Flex (magazines), 2004—. Military service: Austrian Army, 1965.

Awards, Honors

Thirteen world champion body-building titles, 1965-80, including Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and Mr. Olympia; Golden Globe Award for best newcomer in films, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, 1976, for Stay Hungry; National Association of Theatre Owners ShoWest Special Award for International Star of the Year, 1985, and International Star of the Decade, 1993; National Leadership Award for support of Holocaust studies, Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1991, 1997; MTV Movie Award for best male performance, 1992, for Terminator 2: Judgement Day; Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actor in a motion picture, 1995, for Junior; Bambi Award (international film), 1996; honorary doctorate, University of Wisconsin—Superior, 1996; Golden Apple Award for male star of the year, 1996; Golden Camera Award (Germany), 1996; Humanitarian Award, ShoWest, 1997; Blockbuster World Artist Award, 1998; American Cinematheque Award, 1998; Saturn Award nomination for best actor, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 2001, for The Sixth Day; Taurus Honorary Award, World Stunt Awards, 2001; honorary doctorate, Chapman University, 2002; Maverick Tribute Award, Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, 2004; star at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood Walk of Fame.


(With Douglas Kent Hall) Arnold: The Education of a Body-Builder, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1977.

(With Douglas Kent Hall) Arnold's Bodyshaping for Women, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1979.

(With Bill Dobbins) Arnold's Body-building for Men, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1981, revised as Arnold's New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, 1998.

(With Bill Dobbins and Bruce Algra) Arnold's Encyclopedia of Modern Body-building, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1985.

(With Charles Gaines) Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages Birth to Five: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Charles Gaines) Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages Six to Ten: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Charles Gaines) Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages Eleven to Fourteen: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1993.

Author of syndicated body-building column, "Ask Arnold." Contributor to periodicals, including Newsweek and Muscles and Fitness.


Perhaps no one person embodies the possibilities underlying the American Dream more than Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born bodybuilder who came to the United States with the goals of becoming a film actor and marrying a member of the Kennedy family. Not only did he become one of the most well-known actors in the world and wed a Kennedy in the person of television journalist Maria Shriver, but Schwarzenegger also went a step further: he got himself elected governor of the State of California in a quirky 2003 contest that had the Republican action hero pitted against not only the current Democratic governor in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, but also a political lineup that resembled nothing so much as a guest list for the Jerry Springer Show.

Blessed with an unusual physique that limited his acting roles, Schwarzenegger rose to fame through his work on action films such as Predator, The Terminator, True Lies, and Collateral Damage, balancing those films with the lighter fare—Twins, and Kindergarten Cop—that endeared him as well to a less-action-oriented audience. This balancing act extended into Schwarzenegger's off-screen life as well; a successful real estate investor and restauranteur who was the first U.S. civilian to own a military transport vehicle, he also motivated young people to improve their health as chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness from 1990 to 1993, and has served as international weight training coach for the Special Olympics since 1979. "Arnold is the embodiment of the Superior Man," film director John Milius explained to Rolling Stone contributor Bill Zehme, describing the public Schwarzenegger. "Arnold is the Nietzschean man. There's something wonderfully primeval about him, harking back to the real basic foundational stuff: steel and strength and will." That strength and will came in particularly handy when he took on the governor's job in California and faced a host of budgetary crises and a failing bond rating.

The Determination to Excel

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947, in Graz, Austria, and grew up in the village of Thal, where his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, a champion curler who had served in the German Strumabteilung, or SA, during the Nazi regime, was the police chief. During Schwarzenegger's childhood, Austria was still recovering in the wake of World War II, and such luxuries as indoor plumbing, telephones, and refrigerators were nonexistent in his home until Arnold was a teenager. Family life was regimented by Schwarzenegger's father, a strict disciplinarian who valued nutrition and athletics; Arnold and his older brother, Meinhard, woke daily at dawn to begin their morning chores, after which they had to complete an exercise routine before breakfast.

Schwarzenegger began playing soccer as a child, and at the age of twelve was playing wing for the Graz Athletic Club's senior-level team. Beginning weight-lifting as a way to strengthen his legs for soccer, he soon became fascinated with the transformative power of bodybuilding. By the age of fifteen soccer was history, and Schwarzenegger was now studying anatomy and developing training routines designed to maximize the results of his hard work. His parents, concerned by their son's new obsession, only allowed Schwarzenegger to go to the gym three times a week. Unwilling to compromise, he set up a gym at home in an unheated room, where he worked out daily, regardless of the cold.

After graduating from high school in 1965, Schwarzenegger enlisted in the Austrian army, where the familiar regimentation appealed to him. In addition to his responsibilities as a soldier, which included driving a tank, Schwarzenegger continued his strenuous training regimen. Unlike the Schwarzenegger home, where meat had been served once a week, the army diet was rich in protein, and Schwarzenegger's physique grew by leaps and bounds. After just one month of military service he won his first body-building title, Mr. Junior Europe, in Stuttgart, Germany. Because he had left his base without permission to compete in Stuttgart, Mr. Junior Europe was greeted by a one-year sentence in the brig upon his triumphant return to base.

Schwarzenegger's training consisted of daily sessions that routinely lasted five hours. He ignored the pain and fatigue that resulted from these intense workouts; in fact, he considered exhaustion an indication of progress, and firmly believed that each hour spent in the gym brought him closer to his goals. In 1967 the twenty-year-old Austrian earned the Mr. Universe title, the youngest champion in the history of that event. The following year, Schwarzenegger made his first visit to the United States to defend his crown at the Mr. Universe competition in Miami, Florida, but finished second to Frank Zane. Fitness pioneer Joe Wieder, impressed by Schwarzenegger's early success, invited the Austrian bodybuilder to live and train under his patronage. Schwarzenegger moved to Los Angeles, where Weider provided him with an apartment, a car, and a weekly salary. In exchange, Schwarzenegger contributed articles discussing his innovative training methods to Weider's body-building magazines, including Muscle and Fitness. Weider's backing allowed Schwarzenegger to devote himself almost exclusively to training, and at Gold's Gym in Venice, California, he focused his energies on recapturing the Mr. Universe crown.

From Bodybuilding to Business

In 1969 Schwarzenegger recaptured the Mr. Universe title, going on to become the first person to win all three major body-building competitions: Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and Mr. Olympia. At the peak of his career the 6-foot 2-inch Schwarzenegger weighed in at 235 pounds during competition, with a chest of 57 inches, a waist of 34 inches, and biceps of 22 inches. When he retired from body-building in 1975, having invested wisely in a series of small businesses, as well as in real estate, he could boast six consecutive Mr. Olympia victories and five Mr. Universe titles. In 1980, at age thirty-three, Schwarzenegger came out of retirement to take his seventh and final Mr. Olympia title.

Having found success in body building, Schwarzenegger now turned his attention full-time to one of his main life goals: becoming a film actor. He enjoyed the attention of the public, and as early as 1970 he had appeared in the title role in the low-budget Italian television production Hercules Goes to New York. Three years later he briefly appeared in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, and in 1975, the year he retired from bodybuilding, landed the breakthrough role of body-builder Joe Santos in Bob Rafelson's Stay Hungry. This film pits Santos against a group of land-hungry developers in Birmingham, Alabama, who want to demolish the gym where Santos and his comrades train. While the movie received little attention from critics, Schwarzenegger impressed critics with his confidence and unaffected manner, and in 1976 he was awarded the Golden Globe for best new actor.

In 1977 Schwarzenegger appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary Pumping Iron, directed by George Butler and Robert Fiore. The film, which follows world-class body-builders preparing for competition, depicts body-building as an artistic endeavor, bringing audiences into the gym where "sculpting" takes place. Culminating in a bodybuilding contest, the film reveals the depths of rivalry and tension that develop between contestants in such close quarters. In this setting, Schwarzenegger plays on his opponents' anxieties as easily as he moves heavy weights, and shows the full range of attributes that made him a champion. Although he was not acting in a role, critics were again stirred by Schwarzenegger's charismatic presence on screen, and Pumping Iron brought him to the attention of a wider public.

Stars in First Feature Film

In 1982 Schwarzenegger appeared in his first feature film role. John Milius's Conan the Barbarian, based on the pulp novels of Robert E. Howard, pits a sword-wielding Schwarzenegger against an evil sorcerer and his minions. The film—along with Schwarzenegger's performance—was almost universally panned by critics, who found the actor's heavy German accent difficult to comprehend and his movements on screen stiff and unconvincing. Audiences, apparently, thought otherwise. Conan the Barbarian and Richard Fleischer's sequel, Conan the Destroyer, were box office hits, earning $100 million and $80 million respectively.

Two years later came the film that catapulted Schwarzenegger to the top of the action-film industry, James Cameron's The Terminator. The film opens in the year 2029, after civilization has been destroyed in a nuclear war initiated by a supercomputer wrongly entrusted with the defense of the United States. The computer has since spawned an army of machines whose purpose is to exterminate residual humans. Schwarzenegger assumes the role of a murderous cyborg, or Terminator—a robotic skeleton and digital brain encased in human flesh—that is sent back through time to the year 1984. His mission: to assassinate the mother of the yet-to-be-born man who will lead the human resistance against the post-holocaust machine army. Knowing only the woman's name—Sarah Connor—the Terminator begins systematically killing women with that name. The Sarah Connor in question (Linda Hamilton) manages to elude the cyborg, and is eventually joined by Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a human soldier who has traveled backward in time to protect her from the Terminator. The remainder of the picture is a tense, extended chase sequence during which Reese and Connor must constantly outmaneuver the relentless and virtually indestructible Terminator.

Filmed on a moderate budget, The Terminator was another box-office success for Schwarzenegger, earning $100 million. The title role required only convincing physical acting and the monotone delivery of appropriately timed one-liners, thereby making assets out of Schwarzenegger's acting liabilities, according to New Yorker contributor Terrence Rafferty, who dubbed the film a "smart, unpretentious, thoroughly enjoyable thriller—an ideal B movie." This pattern of violence interspersed with comic relief established the formula for Schwarzenegger's next few films. The Terminator also gave Schwarzenegger his trademark line: "I'll be back."

Commando (1985) and Raw Deal (1986) both feature Schwarzenegger in high-action, predictably violent roles. While reviewers found neither film notable, both grossed the enormous sums that were becoming routine for Schwarzenegger features. Although reviews of his performances were generally not positive, critics noted continued improvement in Schwarzenegger's acting, and acknowledged that he had gained fluency of movement and physical poise on screen.

As with other challenges he had mastered, Schwarzenegger gained proficiency as an actor through dedication and hard work. Early in his career he took acting lessons, but as his career gained momentum he decided that the Hollywood sound-stage was the best learning atmosphere. "I think the best practice you can get—the thing that makes you feel most comfortable and grow as an actor—is to work with different directors and different talented actors. It's on-the-job training," Schwarzenegger explained to Pat H. Broeske in Interview. "The things that I have always worked on are the accent and the movement. Not that I want to get rid of the accent completely, because it has become a trademark, a signature."

Other films followed in the wake of The Terminator, among them 1987's Predator, which finds Schwarzenegger cast as the leader of a military hostage-rescue mission into a Central-American jungle that goes awry when it is discovered that an alien being is behind the hostages' deaths. Featuring cutting-edge—for its day—special effects, Predator was nominated for an Academy Award for best visual effects. Red Heat, released the following year, was the first American motion picture to include scenes filmed in the Soviet Union. In this film Schwarzenegger stars opposite Jim Belushi as a Moscow-based KGB detective who has come to the United States in pursuit of a Russian drug czar. While Newsweek reviewer David Ansen found the costars' onscreen relationship unconvincing, Peter Travers expressed a different opinion in his People review, asserting that "Schwarzenegger and Belushi prove they can crack heads and jokes with the best of them."

Schwarzenegger's acting career reached another turning point with Twins. Forsaking his usual action-hero role, he teamed with diminutive actor Danny DeVito in this comedy about fraternal twins separated at birth who are reunited in a search for their birth mother. The brothers are the result of a genetic experiment in which Schwarzenegger's Julius inherits their parents' positive genetic traits, while DeVito's Vincent receives the leftovers. After birth the brothers are spirited away from their mother; Vincent is abandoned in an orphanage and enters a life of crime, while Julius is raised and educated in affluence. Time reviewer Richard Schickel praised both stars' performances, and added that "The whole movie has a warmth about it that never slops over into sentiment: there is much more here than tall-guy, short-guy jokes." "The muscle-bound Schwarzenegger demonstrates a remarkably delicate comedic touch," added Maclean's contributor Brian D. Johnson. "Suddenly the brute from The Terminator and Red Heat does not seem to have a vengeful bone in his body."

Chairs President's Council on Physical Fitness

In 1990 Schwarzenegger's life expanded in yet another direction when he was named by President George Bush to chair the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Armed with his reputation as a fitness expert and the slogan "Fitness for the '90s," Schwarzenegger traveled throughout the United States for the next three years, hoping to change Americans' attitudes about fitness. In an essay published in Newsweek, he called the lack of physical fitness among young people "America's secret tragedy," and advocated greater involvement on the part of schools and parents in getting children to exercise regularly. Adults and senior citizens, too, need to make a commitment to regular activity to remain vigorous and productive, Schwarzenegger noted, explaining to Newsweek interviewer Suzie Boss that during the 1980s "the only gain in fitness in this country has been by adults who can afford health clubs and workout videos. The inner cities have been left out, and our children have been left out." To promote his recommendations, Schwarzenegger coauthored a series of books on children's fitness. Arnold's Fitness for Kids: A Guide to Health Nutrition and Exercise consists of three volumes, each directed toward a specific age group. The guides emphasize play over competition, and "provide sound advice for getting kids to stay in shape and eat wisely," affirmed a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

Schwarzenegger returned to the screen in 1990 in Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall. Based on a story by noted sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, the film takes place in 2084, as Quaid (Schwarzenegger), a construction worker bored with life on Earth, decides to take a virtual vacation to recently colonized Mars. He hires a company to implant memories of a fictional trip to Mars in his brain, but the procedure backfires because Quaid's memories have already been altered. In fact, he is not Quaid at all, but Hauser, an agent of the tyrant Cohaagen (Ronny Cox), who controls the supply of air on Mars. Quaid/Hauser does not sort out his dual identity immediately, however, and only after journeying to Mars does the mystery unravel. At $50 million one of the most expensive films produced to date, Total Recall bursts with violence, gadgetry, and special effects. Time film critic Richard Corliss described the movie as a "mammoth, teeming fantasy vision on film." Other critics were more ambivalent; Jack Kroll in Newsweek admitted that while the altered memory/lost identity plot holds a certain appeal, "ultimately mayhem beats memory to a pulp."

Schwarzenegger balanced the over-the-top action of Total Recall with Kindergarten Cop, taking on the role of a Los Angeles detective who tracks the estranged wife and son of a wanted criminal to a small town in Oregon. When his search is frustrated because no one can identify the wife and child, he goes under cover as a kindergarten teacher as a way to discover the young son's identity. Ralph Novak in People gave Schwarzenegger high marks for his performance as a kindergarten teacher, characterizing his interaction with the children as "irresistible" and calling the action hero "witty, charming, subtle, tough and most impressive—a Cary Grant with pecs." "I loved Kindergarten Cop," the actor told Pat H. Broeske of Interview. "It was one of the few times when I could look at a movie of mine and say that I think my performance was good. I believed myself in it, and that's hard for me to do," he confessed.

Four years after Kindergarten Cop, Schwarzenegger rejoined DeVito and director Ivan Reitman for Junior. In this 1994 film he plays a self-absorbed geneticist conducting research on a super-fertility drug. Losing funding for his research before the drug can be tested, he is persuaded by friend Dr. Larry Arbogast (DeVito) to try the drug on himself. Arbogast steals a frozen human egg, which Hesse fertilizes and injects into himself; coupled with the fertility drug, this causes Hesse to become pregnant. "When the Big Guy starts showing, and begins to get that radiant glow, Junior hits its mellow, endearing comic stride," wrote Newsweek's Ansen.

Mega-Star of Mega-Buck Movies

Schwarzenegger has revisited his Terminator role in two films, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which combine with the original to create a cohesive and entertaining sci-fi saga. James Cameron manned the helm on the first sequel, popularly known as T-2, in which John Connor (Edward Furlong), son of Sarah Connor and the destined leader of the human resistance during the so-called "machine wars," is now a troubled teen. In an interesting twist on the first film, Schwarzenegger's T-800 model has been reprogrammed and sent back in time to protect John from a second, more technologically advanced terminator, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick). With the help of his cyborg protector, John manages to free his resourceful mother (Hamilton) from the mental institution she has been locked away in following her unsuccessful efforts to warn of impending nuclear disaster. Together the trio attempt to halt the chain of events leading to that apocalypse, all the while contending with the dogged T-1000, whose liquid-metal composition makes it impervious to harm.

With its budget of $100 million, Terminator 2 was, by 1991 standards, the most expensive film ever produced. In addition to the requisite explosions and chase scenes, it introduced audiences to the startling visual effect of "morphing" created by cutting-edge computer-animation. Schwarzenegger's grisly makeup for the film's final sequences also reached new heights of realism, and the application of the make-up required to depict a face half gone took five hours. While the film was an uncontested blockbuster, some critics continued to quibble. Finding T-2 inferior to The Terminator, Time's Corliss described the film as a "humongous, visionary parable that intermittently enthralls and ultimately fails." The critic noted, however, that Terminator 2 clearly "establishes Schwarzenegger as a stolid icon with a sense of humor."

Over a decade would pass before Schwarzenegger once again reprised his role as the Terminator, much to the chagrin of the series' legions of fans. Finally, in 2003 the Jonathan Mostow-directed Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines reached theatres and brought closure. John Connor (Nick Stahl) is now a young man living in anonymity on the streets; Sarah Connor is dead. The T-800 is again sent to Earth to protect John—as well as the future Mrs. John Connor (Claire Danes)—from a particularly formidable foe: the seemingly indestructible T-X (Kristanna Loken). As the two cyborgs battle for John's life, the Terminator begins to evolve into self-awareness, a pivotal moment in the sci-fi series. People reviewer Leah Rozen praised the long-awaited film, noting that T-3 "manages to further its story and characters while paying homage to its past." She also commented on the "whopping helping of self-mocking humor" sprinkled throughout the screenplay. Noting that Schwarzenegger "still enunciates like a man who bought a 'Teach Yourself English' kit . . . and then lost half the tapes," New Yorker contributor Anthony Lane admitted that the actor's shtick "allows him to find slivers of pathos in his deadpan calm." Noting Schwarzenegger's "durable charms" in his Terminator role, Lisa Schwarzbaum added in her Entertainment Weekly review that "Arnold's famous 'doan doo dot' Teutonic-Conehead monotone" continues to "work its low-tech magic" on film audiences.

Schwarzenegger found another box-office hit in Jim Cameron's True Lies, playing an American intelligence operative who not only deals swift punishment to the enemy, but, as New Republic critic Stanley Kauffmann observed, has "James Bond characteristics: suavity and erudition." Some of this suavity must be hidden, however, as, unlike Bond, Schwarzenegger's Harry Tasker also has a cover: a family who thinks he's a computer salesman. Frustrated by neglect, Tasker's wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) suspects her husband of cheating, and ultimately becomes caught up in his current assignment: preventing a terrorist group from detonating an atomic weapon. Although cited for stereotypical depictions of Arab terrorists and a sexist treatment of Helen, True Lies captivated many filmgoers due to its intriguing plot, humor, and high action content. "Cameron's script is often ingenious and always original," noted Ralph Novak in his review of the film for People.

Filmed for $120 million, Eraser, a 1996 action-thriller, also drew praise from critics. Here Schwarzenegger is Kruger, a top-notch agent in the federal witness protection program whose specialty is helping witnesses assume new identities by "erasing" their old ones. He is assigned to protect Lee Cullen (Vanessa Williams), who wants to testify against her employer and thereby stop the illegal export of an advanced weapons system known as the Rail Gun. When ties between Cullen's employer and the U.S. government surface, Kruger—and filmgoers—don't know whom to trust, in a film described as "good action fun, with spectacular stunts and special effects . . . and high energy" by Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. Corliss, reviewing the film in Time, admitted that Eraser "could have been a fiasco; instead, it smartly remythologizes this indispensable Hollywood icon"; "for the first time in a while," he concluded, "[Schwarzenegger's] character is as solid as he is."

While he had become one of the most well-known actors in the world, for Schwarzenegger life as an action hero has a down side: a certain amount of wear and tear. His first film, Conan the Barbarian, had resulted in a fall down a hill while being chased by dogs. During the making of Terminator 3 he suffered a serious rotator-cuff injury to his shoulder that kept him out of commission for several weeks. Although seemingly indestructible—as an actor, Schwarzenegger consistently worked to minimalize any affects of ageing that would be visible to the public—in 1997 the fifty-year-old actor was also forced to undergo open-heart surgery to correct a congenital heart-valve malfunction.

Movie Mimics Life--and Death

Surgery aside, middle age did not seem to slow Schwarzenegger, who continued to take physically demanding roles in action films. End of Days and The Sixth Day garnered lackluster praise from critics, despite drawing well at the box office; in the first, a horror thriller released in 1999, Schwarzenegger stars as an ex-cop-turned-supernatural-demonfighter; in the second he plays a man whose world is turned upside down when he discovers that he has been cloned—and that his clone has taken over his life. Schwarzenegger's third action picture of the new millennium, Collateral Damage, was scheduled for release in the fall of 2001, but was temporarily withdrawn from distribution because the plot—a Columbian-based terrorist blows up innocent civilians in Los Angeles and plans the same for Washington, D.C., unless Schwarzenegger can shut him down in time—hit too close to home after the real-life terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, for most critics, the wait wasn't worth it; Rozen dubbed Collateral Damage a "pointless revenge fantasy" in People, and Owen Gleiberman observed in Entertainment Weekly that "Schwarzenegger, at 54, is long past being able to run, leap, and knuckle people's heads in with his old Teutonic vigor."

From Terminator to "Governator"

In response to the national tragedy Schwarzenegger served on the board of New York City's Twin Towers Fund for the victims of September 11, and also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars toward this effort. And perhaps in response to critics of his most recent films, he began to trade in his role as an action hero for an increasingly active role in public policy-making, particularly in his home state. His efforts to promote a California ballot initiative to provide funds for after-school programs for children proved successful, as did the $1 million of his own money that he donated to the cause.

When the political events in California began to play out like a script for the Theatre of the Absurd, the time was ripe for Schwarzenegger to act on the Republican principles he had held for many years. Dissatisfied with the performance of their current governor, Democrat Gray Davis, California voters hit upon a novel idea: hold a recall election a year into Davis's term, and accept all comers on the ballot. On August 6, 2003, fresh from a visit to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for governor of California on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The announcement put to bed rumors of the actor's political aspirations, but awoke a host of new rumors regarding everything from his father's Nazi affiliation to a chronic tendency to grope young, attractive women. Although a backlash against the conservative Austrian-born actor was mounted, Schwarzenegger easily won the election held in early October, becoming California's thirty-eighth governor.

One of Schwarzenegger's first acts as governor-elect was to cease lame-duck Democrat Davis's ability to spend state funds. Sworn in on November 17, 2003, the actor-turned-politician quickly took a hard line on state spending, hoping to turn around California's sagging, close-to-bankrupt economy which boasted a $14 billion indebtedness by election day. He also derailed, during his first days in office, an incongruous plan to issue drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants as a way to fill state coffers. In his first state-of-the-state address Schwarzenegger warned state residents that the road to recovery would be a difficult one, and in the days to come he proved this to be true: under the knife went cuts in unessential programs for the poor and disabled, along with reductions in the state funds allotted to health care, local governments, and schools. While his proposals were deemed ruthless by some, Schwarzenegger found increasing support within the California legislature.

If you enjoy the works of Arnold Schwarzenegger

If you enjoy the works of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you might want to check out the following films:

Will Smith in I, Robot, 2004.

Sylvester Stallone in First Blood, 1982.

Bruce Willis in Die Hard, 1988.

Despite the criticism leveled at Governor Schwarzenegger from some partisan quarters, he retained the support of California voters nervous over the continued monetary demands of big government. Rather than governing Terminator-style, as many pundits anticipated, the former actor has "shown that the art of compromise is neither a lost art, nor something favoured only by wimps," according to a London Financial Times writer who added that "the former body-builder has redefined what constitutes political strength." Also rallying Californians has been Schwarzenegger's continued efforts to give something back. In December of 2003 he announced that he would refuse to accept the $175,000 salary he was entitled to as governor, and the following March he arranged to serve as executive editor for two body-building magazines published by American Media Inc. on the condition that the fitness publisher donate $250,000 a year to the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Reviewing Schwarzenegger's first few months in office, an Economist writer noted that the former actor "is proving a lot more adept than his critics had imagined." Schwarzenegger's efforts to promote business—and job—growth statewide while reducing spending resulted in an increase in the state's credit rating for the first time in four years, bolstering investment in state-issued bonds issued to keep California running. "If I can sell tickets to my movies like 'Red Sonja' or 'Last Action Hero,' you know I can sell just about anything," a confident Schwarzenegger joked in the Economist, referring to two of his worst films. "California is the easiest sell I've ever had."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Andrews, Nigel, True Myths: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carol Publishing (New York, NY), 1996, revised as True Myths: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger: From Pumping Iron to Governor of California, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2003.

Blitz, Michael, and Louise Krasniewicz, Why Arnold Matters, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Butler, George, Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Portrait, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990.

Conklin, Thomas, Meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.

Flynn, John L., The Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carol Publishing Group (Secaucus, NJ), 1995.

Green, Tom, Arnold!, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1987.

Lipsyte, Robert, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hercules in America, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.


Chicago Sun-Times, June 21, 1996, Roger Ebert, review of Eraser.

Economist (U.S.), January 10, 2004, p. 24.

Entertainment Weekly, February 22, 2002, Owen Gleiberman, review of Collateral Damage, p. 120; July 11, 2003, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, p. 59.

Financial Times, April 23, 2004, p. 16.

Interview, July, 1991, Pat H. Broeske, interview with Schwarzenegger, p. 85.

Maclean's, December 19, 1988, Brian D. Johnson, review of Twins, p. 48; February 18, 2002, review of Collateral Damage, p. 54.

Muscle and Fitness, August, 2003, interview with Schwarzenegger.

Nation, July 16, 1988, pp. 66-68; July 19, 1993, Stuart Klawans, review of Last Action Hero, pp. 115-116.

New Republic, August 12, 1991, pp. 28-29; September 5, 1994, Stanley Kauffmann, "Dishing It Out," pp. 34-35; March 4, 2002, Stanley Kauffmann, review of Collateral Damage, p. 26.

Newsweek, July 4, 1988, David Ansen, "Spinning Wheels in the Windy City," p. 58; May 21, 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger, "A Secret Tragedy," p. 9; June 11, 1990, Jack Kroll, "Thanks for the Memories," p. 62; August 27, 1990, Suzie, Boss, "Hey, Kids, Get Physical!," pp. 62-64; June 28, 1993, David Ansen, "Bang, Bang, Kiss, Kiss," pp. 64-65; November 28, 1994, David Ansen, "Arnold Proves He's Bigger than Ever," p. 66.

New York, June 18, 1990, pp. 68.

New Yorker, June 18, 1990, Terrence Rafferty, "Terminated," pp. 91-92; July 5, 1993, Anthony Lane, "Reality Check," pp. 94-97; July 14, 2003, Anthony Lane, "Metal Guru," p. 85.

People, June 20, 1988, Peter Travers, review of Red Heat, p. 17; January 14, 1991, Ralph Novak, review of Kindergarten Cop, p. 12; July 25, 1994, Ralph Novak, review of True Lies, p. 17; February 25, 2002, Leah Rozen, review of Collateral Damage, p. 31; July 14, 2003, Leah Rozen, review of Terminator 3, p. 33, and Michelle Tauber, "Arnold: He's Back," p. 71.

Publishers Weekly, April 12, 1993, review of Arnold's Fitness for Kids: A Guide to Health, Exercise and Nutrition, p. 65.

Rolling Stone, January 24, 1991, review of Kindergarten Cop, pp. 42-43; August 22, 1991, Bill Zehme, "Big Shot," pp. 38-42, 79.

School Library Journal, August, 1993, Todd Morning, review of Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages Six to Ten: A Guide to Health Exercise and Nutrition, p. 183.

Time, December 12, 1988, Richard Schickel, "Double the Pleasure," p. 82; June 11, 1990, Richard Corliss, "Mind Bending on Mars," p. 85; December 24, 1990, Elizabeth L. Bland, "Box-Office Brawn," pp. 52-55; July 8, 1991, Richard Corliss, "Half a Terrific Terminator," p. 55-56; July 1, 1996, Richard Corliss, "Arnold, Back to Basics."

World and I, December, 2003, "Arnold Terminates Davis: An Encouraging Start," p. 42.


Welcome to California: Governor's Web Site, (July 4, 2004), "Arnold Schwarzenegger."*

Schwarzenegger, Arnold 1947–

views updated May 29 2018

Schwarzenegger, Arnold 1947–

(Arnold Strong)


Full name, Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger; born July 30, 1947, in Graz (some sources cite Thal), Austria; immigrated to the United States, 1968, naturalized U.S. citizen, 1983; son of Gustav (a police chief) and Aurelia (maiden name, Jadrny) Schwarzenegger; married Maria Owings Shriver (a journalist and writer), April 26, 1986; children: Katherine Eunice, Christina Maria Aurelia, Patrick Arnold, Christopher Sargent Shriver. Education: University of Wisconsin Superior, B.A., business and international economics, 1980.Politics: Republican. Avocational Interests: Collecting art, motorcycling, horseback riding, travel, reading, classical music.

Addresses: AgentWilliam Morris Agency, One William Morris Place, Beverly Hills, CA 90212; Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Publicist—Full Picture, 8899 Beverly Blvd., Suite 412, West Hollywood, CA 90048; PMK, 8500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-3105 (some sources cite 955 Carrillo Dr., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90048).

Career: Actor, writer, director, and producer. Bodybuilder, 1962–76; Special Olympics, national weight training coach, 1977, international weight training coach, beginning in 1979; Arnold Classic Fitness Weekend and Annual Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic (body building competition, also known as Arnold Classic), founder; President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, chairperson, 1990–92; Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for the state of California, chairperson; Los Angeles Inner City Games, member of executive commission, beginning in 1991; Inner City Games Foundation, chairperson; produced and affiliated with body building events and competitions; volunteer with prison rehabilitation programs; affiliated with other organizations, including the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Foundation; spokesperson for products, appeared in advertisements, and appeared in commercials for political issues; Flex and Muscle and Fitness magazines, executive editor. Planet Hollywood (restaurant chain), co-owner, 1991–2000; Schatzi on Main (restaurant), Santa Monica, CA, co-owner; also a real estate investor and bricklayer. Elected governor of California, 2003; speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention, New York City, 2004. Military service: Served in the Austrian Army, beginning 1965.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America.

Awards, Honors: Thirteen world champion body-building titles, 1965–80, including Mr. Universe, Mr. World, Mr. Olympia, and Junior Mr. Europe, as well as powerlifting championships and a designation as the best built man of Europe; Sportsman of the Year Award, Association of Physical Fitness Centers, 1977; Golden Globe Award, best acting debut in a motion picture—male, 1977, for Stay Hungry; Saturn Award nomination, best actor, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 1985, for The Terminator; Special Award, international star of the year, National Association of Theatre Owners, ShoWest Convention, 1985; Saturn Award nomination, best actor, 1988, for Predator; named video star of the year, Video Software Dealers Association, 1990; Timmie Award, Touchdown Club, 1990; National Leadership Award, Simon Wie-senthal Center, 1991, for support of Holocaust studies; Saturn Award nomination, best actor, 1991, and Video Premiere Award nomination (with Paul Verhoeven), best audio commentary, DVD Exclusive awards, 2001, both for Total Recall; named an entertainer of the year, E! Entertainment Television, 1991 and 2003; MTV Movie Award, best male performance, and Saturn Award nomination, best actor, both 1992, for Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Life Career Award, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 1992; Special Award, international star of the decade, ShoWest Convention, 1993; Saturn Award nomination, best actor, 1994, for Last Action Hero; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a motion picture—comedy/musical, 1995, for Junior; Saturn Award nomination, best actor, and MTV Movie Award nominations, best dance sequence (with Tia Carrere) and best kiss (with Jamie Lee Curtis), all 1995, for True Lies; Golden Apple Award, male star of the year, Hollywood Women's Press Association, 1996; Bambi Award (Germany), international film category, 1996; honorary doctorate, University of Wisconsin Superior, 1996; Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite supporting actor—science fiction, 1997, for Batman & Robin; MTV Movie Award nomination, best action sequence, 1997, for Eraser; Humanitarian Award, ShoWest Convention, 1997; Die Goldene Kamera (Golden Camera Award [Germany]), 1997; named one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, Empire magazine, 1997; named one of the most fascinating people of the year, 1997 and 2003; World Artist Award, Blockbuster Entertainment awards, 1998; American Cinematheque Award, American Cinematheque Gala Tribute, 1998; Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actor—action or science fiction, 1999, for End of Days; Father Flanagan Award for Service to Youth, Girls and Boys Town, 2000, for his work with the Special Olympics and the Inner City Games; Saturn Award nomination, best actor, 2001, for The 6th Day; Video Premiere Award nomination (with John Milius), best DVD audio commentary, 2001, for Conan the Barbarian; Taurus Honorary Award, World Stunt awards, 2001; Humanitarian Award, World Sports awards, 2001; Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, 2002, for his work with the Special Olympics and the Inner City Games and his affiliation with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Foundation; honorary doctorate, Chapman University, 2002; named one of the top ten box office stars of the 1990s, Star TV, 2003; Sport for Good Award, Laureus World Sport awards, 2003; Schwarzenegger's announcement on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that he would run for the office of California governor was named the greatest television moment of 2003 by TV Guide, 2003; Teen Choice Award nomination, choice movie actor, 2004, for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; Maverick Tribute Award, Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, 2004; Schwarzenegger's performance in the film The Terminator was named to the 100 heroes and villains list, American Film Institute, 2006; received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; named one of the greatest movie stars of all time, Entertainment Weekly magazine; the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium (which once included a museum of Schwarzenegger's training equipment), in Graz, Austria, was named in his honor.


Film Appearances:

(As Arnold Strong) Hercules, Hercules in New York (also known as Hercules Goes Bananas and Hercules: The Movie), Trimark Pictures, 1970.

(As Arnold Strong) Hood in Augustine's office, The Long Goodbye, United Artists, 1973.

Joe Santo, Stay Hungry United Artists, 1976.

Himself, Pumping Iron (documentary), Almi Cinema Five, 1977.

Handsome stranger, The Villain (also known as Cactus Jack), Columbia, 1979.

Lars (gym instructor), Scavenger Hunt, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1979.

Himself, The Comeback (documentary), 1980.

Himself, Body by Garret (short documentary), 1982.

Title role, Conan the Barbarian, Universal, 1982.

Title role, Conan the Destroyer, Universal, 1983.

Title role, The Terminator, Orion, 1984.

Colonel John Matrix, Commando, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1985.

Kalidor, Red Sonja, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1985.

Mark Kaminski (also known as Joseph P. Brenner), Raw Deal (also known as Triple Identity), DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group/Embassy Pictures, 1986.

Ben "Butcher of Bakersfield" Richards, The Running Man, TriStar, 1987.

Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, Predator (also known as Alien Hunter, Hunter, and Primevil), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1987.

Captain Ivan Danko, Red Heat, TriStar, 1988.

Julius Benedict, Twins, Universal, 1988.

Douglas Quaid, Total Recall, TriStar, 1990.

John Kimble, Kindergarten Cop, Universal, 1990.

The Terminator and Uncle Bob, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (also known as T2, T2: Extreme Edition, T2: Ultimate Edition, T2—Terminator 2: Judgment Day, El exterminator 2, and Terminator 2—Le jugement dernier), TriStar, 1991.

Himself, Feed (documentary), Original Cinema, 1992.

Himself, Dave, Warner Bros., 1993.

(Uncredited) Himself, The Last Party (documentary), Triton Pictures/LIVE Entertainment, 1993.

Jack Slater and himself, Last Action Hero, Columbia, 1993.

Himself, Beretta's Island, VCL Communications, 1994.

Himself, A Century of Cinema (documentary), 1994.

Dr. Alexander Hesse, Junior, Universal, 1994.

Harry Tasker, True Lies, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1994.

Howard Langston, Jingle All the Way, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1996.

The Terminator, Terminator 2: 3-D: Battle across Time (also known as Terminator 2: 3-D and T2: Terminator 2: 3-D), Landmark Entertainment/Lightstorm Entertainment, 1996.

U.S. marshal John Kruger (title role), Eraser, Warner Bros., 1996.

Himself, Stand Tall (documentary), 1997.

Mr. Freeze/Dr. Victor Fries, Batman & Robin (also known as Batman and Robin and Batman 4), Warner Bros., 1997.

Himself, Junket Whore (documentary), 1998.

Robert Neville, I Am Legend, Warner Bros., 1998.

Jericho Cane, End of Days, Universal, 1999.

Adam Gibson, The 6th Day (also known as On the Sixth Day, The Sixth Day, and Le sixieme jour), Columbia, 2000.

Voice of white wolf, Dr. Dolittle 2 (also known as Doctor Dolittle 2, DR.2, and DR2), Twentieth Century-Fox, 2001.

(Uncredited) Himself, Last Party 2000 (documentary; also known as The Party's Over), Lightning Entertainment, 2001, Film Movement, 2003.

Gordy Brewer, Collateral Damage, Warner Bros., 2002.

Bar patron, The Rundown (also known as Welcome to the Jungle), Universal, 2003.

The Terminator, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (also known as T3 and Terminator 3—Rebellion der Maschinen), Warner Bros., 2003.

Himself, How Arnold Won the West (documentary), MGI International, 2004.

Himself, WMD: Weapons of Mass Destruction (documentary), Cinema Libre Studio, 2004.

Prince Hapi, Around the World in 80 Days (also known as Around the World in Eighty Days), Buena Vista, 2004.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Kid & I, Slowhand Cinema Releasing, 2005.

Himself, Pursuit of Equality (documentary), 2005.

(In archive footage) Himself, Running with Arnold (documentary; also known as Pumping Politics), Panacea Entertainment/Purple Princess Productions, 2005.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Conan the Barbarian, Manolito Espinberg, une vie de cinema (short film), ATICO/La Semilla del Futuro, 2005.

Some sources cite an appearance in On Wings as Eagles (also known as With Wings as Eagles), Paramount, 1998.

Film Producer:

Executive producer, Last Action Hero, Columbia, 1993.

The 6th Day (also known as On the Sixth Day, The Sixth Day, and Le sixieme jour), Columbia, 2000.

Television Appearances; Series:

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself, Fame in the Twentieth Century (documentary), BBC, PBS, and Arts and Entertainment, beginning 1993.

Television Appearances; Documentary Miniseries:

Himself, Naked Hollywood, [Great Britain], c. 1991, broadcast on A & E Premieres, Arts and Entertainment, 1991.

Voice of John G. Nicolay, Lincoln, ABC, 1992.

Himself, Hollywood Women, Independent Television (England), 1994.

Himself, Biography of the Millennium: 100 People—1000 Years, 1999.

Retrosexual: The 80s, VH1, 2004.

I Love the '90s: Part Deux, VH1, 2005.

(In archive footage) Himself, I Love the '70s: Volume 2, VH1, 2006.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Mickey Hargitay, The Jayne Mansfield Story (also known as Jayne Mansfield: A Symbol of the 50s), CBS, 1980.

(Uncredited) Man in chair in front of media truck, Christmas in Connecticut, TNT, 1992.

Television Appearances; Specials:

(In archive footage) Himself, Margret Duenser, auf der Suche nach den Besonderen, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF, Germany), 1981.

Himself, Our Voices Ourselves, 1982.

Host, Carnival in Rio, 1983.

Himself, The Making of "Terminator," 1984.

The Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies, ABC, 1987.

Host, A Very Special Christmas Party (also known as Special Olympics Christmas Party), ABC, 1988.

Superstars and Their Moms, ABC, 1988.

The World's Greatest Stunts: A Tribute to Hollywood's Stuntmen, ABC, 1988.

(In archive footage) Himself, Off Your Duff, PBS, 1989.

Mike Tyson—A Portrait of the People's Champion (also known as A Special Look at the People's Champion—Mike Tyson), syndicated, 1989.

The Presidential Inaugural Gala, CBS, 1989.

Himself, The Barbara Walters Special (also known as Barbara Walters: Interviews of a Lifetime and The Barbara Walters Summer Special), ABC, 1990.

Himself and Douglas Quaid, The Making of "Total Recall" (short), 1990.

Grand marshal, The Hollywood Christmas Parade, syndicated, 1990.

Mary Hart Presents: Power in the Public Eye, syndicated, 1990.

The 1990 Goodwill Games, TBS, 1990.

Himself, The Making of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (short), 1991.

Himself, Victory and Valor: A Special Olympics All-Star Celebration (also known as The International Special Olympics All-Star Gala and Victory and Valor: Special Olympics World Games), ABC, 1991.

Entertainers '91: The Top of the Year, 1991.

Welcome Home, America! A USO Salute to America's Sons and Daughters, ABC, 1991.

Himself, Muhammad Ali's 50th Birthday Celebration, ABC, 1992.

Back to School '92 (also known as Education First!), CBS, 1992.

Hats Off to Minnie Pearl: America Honors Minnie Pearl, The Nashville Network, 1992.

Kathie Lee Gifford's Celebration of Motherhood, ABC, 1993.

The Macho Men of the Movies with David Sheehan, NBC, 1993.

The Road to Hollywood, NBC, 1993.

What Is This Thing Called Love?, ABC, 1993.

Himself, Sinatra: 80 Years My Way, ABC, 1995.

The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies, HBO, 1995.

The Opening Ceremonies of the 1995 Special Olympics World Games, NBC, 1995.

Planet Hollywood Comes Home, ABC, 1995.

Himself, The Universal Story, Encore and Starz!, 1996.

Himself, "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 1997," The Barbara Walters Special (also known as Barbara Walters: Interviews of a Lifetime, Barbara Walters Presents The 10 Most Fascinating People of 1997, and The Barbara Walters Summer Special), ABC, 1997.

Masters of Fantasy: Joel Schumacher, Sci-Fi Channel, 1997.

(In archive footage) Himself, Sauna-Report Deutsch-land—Die nackte Lust am Schwitzen, 1998.

Himself, To Life! American Celebrates Israel's 50th (also known as America Celebrates Israel's 50th), CBS, 1998.

Host, Arnold's Rock 'n' Roll Bodybuilding Championship, UPN, 1998.

Himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hollywood Hero, The Learning Channel, 1999.

The 1999 Special Olympics—World Summer Games, ABC, 1999.

(In archive footage) Himself, Kino kolossal—Herkules, Maciste & Co. 2000.

Himself, The Making of "Terminator 2: 3-D" (short), 2000.

Himself, AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies (also known as AFI's 100 Years … 100 Thrills), CBS, 2001.

Himself, I Love Lucy's 50th Anniversary Special, CBS, 2001.

Himself, What Is a Producer?, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

2001 Winter Special Olympics (also known as 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games), PAX TV, 2001.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself, Playboy: Inside the Playboy Mansion, Arts and Entertainment, 2002.

Himself, Raw Iron: The Making of "Pumping Iron," Cin-emax, 2002.

(In archive footage) Himself, Aaret der gik, Danmarks Radio (DR, Denmark), 2003.

Himself, E! Entertainer of the Year 2003, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

Himself, Macy's 4th of July Spectacular, NBC, 2003.

Himself, "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2003," The Barbara Walters Special (also known as Barbara Walters: Interviews of a Lifetime, Barbara Walters Presents The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2003, and The Barbara Walters Summer Special), ABC, 2003.

(Uncredited) Himself, Trier, Kidman og Cannes, TV2 Danmark (Denmark), 2003.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself, TV 2 003—Aaret I ord og billeder, TV2 Danmark, 2003.

Himself and the Terminator, Super Bowl XXXVII, ABC, 2003.

Host and appearance in archive footage, AFI's 100 Years … 100 Heroes and Villains (also known as AFI's 100 Years, 100 Heroes and Villains: America's Greatest Screen Characters), CBS, 2003.

(In archive footage) Himself, Last Laugh '04 (also known as Comedy Central's "Last Laugh '04"), Comedy Central, 2004.

(In archive footage) Himself, Rated"R": Republicans in Hollywood, American Movie Classics, 2004.

Himself, AFI's 100 Years, 100 "Movie Quotes": The Greatest Lines from American Film, CBS, 2005.

Himself, Legends Ball, ABC, 2006.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 56th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1984.

Presenter, The 62nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1990.

The All-Star Pro Sports Awards, ABC, 1990.

Presenter, The 49th Annual Golden Globe Awards, TBS, 1992.

Presenter, 1992 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 1992.

Presenter, 1993 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 1993.

Presenter, The 52nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, TBS, 1995.

(Uncredited) Presenter, The 67th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1995.

Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, syndicated, 1996.

The ShoWest Awards, TNT, 1997.

(In archive footage) The 69th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1997.

(Uncredited) Presenter, The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998.

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, UPN, 1998.

Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger: An American Cinematheque Tribute (also known as Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger), TNT, 1998.

Presenter, The 72nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation (also known as The 72nd Annual Academy Awards), ABC, 2000.

(Uncredited) Presenter, 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Fox, 2000.

My VH1 Music Awards '01, VH1, 2001.

Second Annual World Sports Awards, 2001.

2001 ABC World Stunt Awards, ABC, 2001.

Host, 2002 ABC World Stunt Awards, ABC, 2002.

Presenter, The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2003.

(Uncredited) Presenter, 2003 ABC World Stunt Awards (also known as Third Annual Taurus World Stunt Awards), USA Network, 2003.

(In archive footage) The Award Show Awards Show, TRIO, 2003.

2004 Taurus World Stunt Awards, 2004.

(Uncredited) The 62th Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2005.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Contestant, The Dating Game, ABC and syndicated, 1973.

The Merv Griffin Show, CBS, 1975.

Josef Schmidt, "Dead Lift," The Streets of San Francisco, ABC, 1977.

Muscleman, "Lifting Is My Life," The San Pedro Beach Bums, ABC, 1977.

Himself, Dinah! (also known as Dinah! & Friends), syndicated, 1977.

Himself, V.I.P.—Schaukel, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF, Germany) and Oesterreichischer Rundfunk (ORF, Austria), 1977.

Himself, Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1985.

Himself, Good Morning Britain (also known as TV-am), TV-am and Independent Television (England), 1986.

Himself, Mensch Meier, [West Germany (now Germany)], 1986.

Himself, "Wetten, dass …? aus Linz," Wetten, dass …?, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, 1988.

Himself, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, 1988.

(Uncredited) Himself, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night, Saturday Night Live '80, SNL, and SNL 25), NBC, 1988, 1991.

X-Con, "The Switch," Tales from the Crypt (also known as HBO's "Tales from the Crypt'), HBO, 1990.

Himself, "Wetten, dass …? aus Saarbrucken," Wetten, dass …?, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, 1991.

(Uncredited) Himself, Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1991.

Himself, Aspel & Company, Independent Television, 1993.

Himself, Howard Stern (also known as The Howard Stern Radio Show), E! Entertainment Television, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003.

Himself, "Wetten, dass …? aus Hannover," Wetten, dass …?, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, 1996.

Himself, E-Explosiv—Das Magazin (also known as Ex-plosiv), RTL (Germany), 1996.

Himself, Mundo VIP, SIC Televisao (Portugal), 1996 (multiple episodes), 1997.

Himself, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 1996, 2002, multiple episodes in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself, Femmes Fatales: Sharon Stone, 1998.

Himself, The Magic Hour, syndicated, 1998.

Himself, "Charles Atlas: Modern Day Hercules," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Charles Atlas), Arts and Entertainment, 1999.

Himself, "The Weider Brothers: Men of Iron," Life and Times, CBC, 1999.

Himself, Intimate Portrait: Kelly Preston, Lifetime, 1999.

Himself, Intimate Portrait: Loni Anderson, Lifetime, 1999.

Himself, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1999.

Himself, WWF Smackdown! (also known as Smackdown!, Smackdown! Xtreme, World Wrestling Federation Smackdown!, and WWE Smackdown!), UPN, 1999.

Himself, "Arnold Schwarzenegger: Flex Appeal," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Arnold Schwarzenegger), Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

Himself, "Night of Championships," WCW Monday Nitro (also known as nWo Nitro, WCW Monday Nitro Live!, and World Championship Wrestling Monday Nitro), TNT, 2000.

Himself, "Siegfried & Roy," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as THS), E! Entertainment Television, 2000.

El chuache, El informal, Telecinco (Spain), 2001.

Himself, "Behind the Scenes of 'Collateral Damage,'" HBO First Look, HBO, 2002.

Himself, "Collateral Damage," HBO First Look, HBO, 2002.

Himself, "The Making of Ivan Reitman," Life and Times, CBC, 2002.

(In archive footage) Himself, "Terminator," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as THS), E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

Himself, "25 Toughest Stars," Rank, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

Voice of Baron von Steuben, "Valley Forge," Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776 (animated; also known as Liberty Kids), PBS, 2002.

Himself, Secrets of Superstar Fitness, Discovery Health Channel, 2002.

Himself, "Behind the Scenes of T3," HBO First Look, HBO, 2003.

Himself, "Sharon Stone," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Sharon Stone), Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

Himself, "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," HBO First Look, HBO, 2003.

Himself, BBC World News, BBC and PBS, 2003.

Himself, Channel 4 News (also known as ITN Channel 4 News), Channel 4 (England), 2003.

Himself, The Oprah Winfrey Show (also known as Oprah), syndicated, 2003.

Himself, Otro rollo con: Adal Ramones (also known as Otro rollo), [Mexico], 2003.

Himself, Richard & Judy, Channel 4, 2003.

(In archive footage) Himself, The Screensavers, TechTV (later G4TechTV), 2003.

Himself, Tinseltown TV (also known as Tinseltown.TV), International Channel, 2003.

(In archive footage) Himself, Celebrities Uncensored, E! Entertainment Television, 2003, 2004.

Himself, Dennis Miller, CNBC, 2004.

Himself, Famous: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Biography Channel, 2004.

(In archive footage) Himself, 101 Biggest Celebrity Oops (also known as E's "101"), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

(In archive footage) Himself, 101 Most Unforgettable SNL Moments (also known as E's "101"), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Himself, 60 Minutes (also known as TV Land Legends: The 60 Minutes Interviews), CBS, 2004.

Himself, Hannity & Colmes, Fox News Channel, 2004, 2005.

Himself, "I Love Lucy," The E! True Hollywood Story (also known as THS), E! Entertainment Television, 2005.

Himself, "The Leomiti-Higgins Family," Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, 2005.

Himself, "Sylvester Stallone," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Sylvester Stallone), Arts and Entertainment, 2005.

Himself, Corazon de …, Television Espanola (TVE, Spain), 2005.

Himself, Hardball with Chris Matthews (also known as Hardball), CNBC, 2005.

Himself, NBC Nightly News, NBC, 2005.

Himself, The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News Channel, 2005 (multiple episodes).

Himself, Bl!tz (also known as Blitz), [Germany], 2006.

Himself, Meet the Press, NBC, 2006.

Himself, Taff, [Germany], 2006.

Himself, This Week (also known as This Week with George Stephanopoulos), ABC, 2006.

Appeared as himself in "The Films of James Cameron" and "The Films of Ivan Reitman," both episodes of The Directors, Encore; appeared in episodes of other series, including The Critic (animated), ABC and Fox; and Friday Night Videos, NBC.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Rico, Happy Anniversary and Goodbye, CBS, 1974.

Television Director; Movies:

Christmas in Connecticut, TNT, 1992.

Television Director; Episodic:

"The Switch," Tales from the Crypt (also known as HBO's "Tales from the Crypt'), HBO, 1990.

Television Executive Producer; Specials:

Arnold's Rock 'n' Roll Bodybuilding Championship, UPN, 1998.

Radio Appearances; Episodic:

Himself, Howard Stern (also known as The Howard Stern Radio Show), 1994, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003.



Himself, Shape Up with Arnold, c. 1982.

Himself, The Making of "The Terminator": A Retrospective (short), LIVE Home Video, 1992.

Himself, T2: More Than Meets the Eye, 1993.

Himself, A Century of Science Fiction, 1996.

Himself, Falco—Hoch wie nie, 1998.

Himself, Conan Unchained: The Making of "Conan" (also known as Conan Unchained: The Making of "Conan the Barbarian"), Universal Studios Home Video, 2000.

Himself, End of Days: The Beginning (short; also known as Spotlight on Location: End of Days), Universal Studios Home Video, 2000.

Himself, Anthony Quinn: The Final Words, White Star, 2001.

Himself, Dirty Harry: The Original, Warner Home Video, 2001.

Himself, If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of "Predator" (short), Twentieth Century-Fox, 2001.

Himself, Imagining "Total Recall" (short), Artisan Entertainment, 2001.

Himself, Other Voices: Creating "The Terminator," Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2001.

Himself, Predator: The Unseen Arnold (short), Twentieth Century-Fox Home Entertainment, 2001.

Himself, Collateral Damage: The Hero in a New Era (short), Warner Home Video, 2002.

(In archive footage) Himself, Christmas from Hollywood, Koch Vision, 2003.

Himself, Inside "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" (short), Warner Home Video, 2003.

(In archive footage) Himself, Sex at 24 Frames per Second (documentary; also known as Playboy Presents "Sex at 24 Frames per Second: The Ultimate Journey through Sex in Cinema"), Playboy Entertainment Group, 2003.

T-101, T3 Visual Effects Lab (short), Warner Home Video, 2003.

Terminator 3: Sky Net Database (short), Warner Home Video, 2003.

(In archive footage) Himself, East Meets West: "Red Heat' and the Kings of Carolco, Lions Gate Films, 2004.

(In archive footage) Himself, A Stuntman for All Seasons: A Tribute to Bennie Dobbins, Lions Gate Films, 2004.

(In archive footage) Himself, Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight—Batman Unbound, Warner Home Video, 2005.

Jack Slater in "Big Gun" music video, AC/DC: Family Jewels, Sony, 2005.

Video Producer:

Shape Up with Arnold, c. 1982.


Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Body Workout, 1983.

Music Videos:

Bon Jovi, "Say It Isn't So," 1990.

Guns 'n' Roses, "You Could Be Mine," 1991.

AC/DC, "Big Gun," 1993.

Video Games:

The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Midway Manufacturing Corporation, 1991.

Harry Tasker, True Lies, Nintendo of America, 1995.

The Terminator, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (also known as Terminator 3: War of the Machines), Atari, 2003.

The Terminator, Terminator 3: Redemption, Atari, 2004.



Arnold: Building the Legs of an Oak, Schwarzenegger, 1974.

Arnold: Developing Maximum Muscularity and Ultimate Definition, Schwarzenegger, 1975.

Building a Chest Like a Fortress, Schwarzenegger, 1975.

Arnold: Building Jumbo-Wide Shoulders, Schwarzenegger, 1976.

Arnold: The Art of Physical Display, Schwarzenegger, 1977.

(With Douglas Kent Hall) Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, Simon & Schuster, 1977.

(With Hall) Arnold's Bodyshaping for Women, photographs by Hall, Simon & Schuster, 1979.

ARNOLD CAL 80, Fireside Books, 1979.

(With Bill Dobbins) Arnold's Bodybuilding for Men, Simon & Schuster, 1981.

ARNOLD CAL 82, Fireside Books, 1981.

ARNOLD CAL 83, Fireside Books, 1982.

(With Dobbins and Bruce Algra) Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding (also known as Arnold's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding), Simon & Schuster, 1984, revised edition published as The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revised (also known as The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding), Simon & Schuster, 1998.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Educational Bodybuilding, Holiday House, 1985.

(With Chris Silkwood and Nancy Levicki) Awesome Teen: Smart Choices for the 90s, Master Media, 1992.

(With Charles Gaines) Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages Birth-5: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, Doubleday, 1993.

(With Gaines) Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages 6-10: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, Double-day, 1993.

(With Gaines) Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages 11-14: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, Double-day, 1993.

Culturismo, Roca Ediciones, 2004.

Nonfiction; Contributor to Books:

Tom Platz and Bill Reynolds, Pro-Style Bodybuilding, Sterling, 1985.

Mandy Tanny, The Muscular Gourmet, HarperCollins, 1988.

(Author of foreword) Hiro Yamagata, Yamagata, Yamagata Center, 1989.

Paul Reese with Joe Henderson, Ten Million Steps: The Incredible Journey of Paul Reese, Who Ran across America—A Marathon a Day for 124 Days—at Age 73, WRS, 1993.

Pat Roach, The Pat Roach Story, Brewin Books, 2002.

American College of Sports Medicine, ACSM Fitness Book, third edition, Human Kinetics Publishers, 2003.

(Author of foreword) Salome Thomas-El with Cecil Murphey, I Choose to Stay: A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner City, Dafina Books, 2003.

Author of a magazine fitness column, "Ask Arnold." Contributor to periodicals, including Muscle and Fitness, Newsweek, and Woman's World.

Scripts for Videos:

Shape Up with Arnold, c. 1982.



Andrews, Nigel, True Myths: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carol Publishing Group, 1996, revised edition published as True Myths: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, from Pumping Iron to Governor of California, Blooms-bury, 2003.

Blitz, Michael, and Louise Krasniewicz, Why Arnold Matters, Basic Books, 2004.

Butler, George, Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Portrait, Simon & Schuster, 1990.

Conklin, Thomas, Meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, Random House, 1994.

Flynn, John L, The Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carol Publishing Group, 1995.

Gaines, Charles and George Butler, Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding, Simon & Schuster, 1974.

Green, Tom, Arnold!, St. Martin's Press, 1987.

Leamer, Laurence, Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger, St. Martin's Press, 2005.

Leigh, Wendy, Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography, Congdon and Weed, 1990.

Lipsyte, Robert, Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hercules in America, HarperCollins, 1993.


Cable Guide, September, 1985.

Contra Costa Times, December 23, 2004.

Economist, November 5, 2005, p. 26.

Education, winter, 1993, pp. 294-96.

Empire, October, 1997, p. 191.

Entertainment Weekly, June 11, 1993; fall, 1996, p. 97; April 23, 1999, p. 72.

Family Circle, May 16, 1995, p. 26.

Film Comment, May, 2005, pp. 28-34.

Film Quarterly, fall, 1990, p. 2.

Film Review, January, 2000, pp. 52-56.

GQ, June, 1993, pp. 158-63.

InStyle, May, 2000, p. 544.

Interview, October, 1985, pp. 40-48; July, 1991, p. 85.

Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2004.

McCall's, January, 1997, p. 42.

Moving Pictures, February 3, 2006, p. 33.

Muscle and Fitness, September, 1994, p. 134; August, 2003.

Oui, June, 1982, pp. 90-95, 106.

Parade, June 22, 2003, pp. 4-6.

People Weekly, October 14, 1985, p. 126; May 12, 1986, p. 53; May 19, 1997, p. 61; February 16, 1998, p. 181; September 21, 1998; February 18, 2002.

Playboy, January, 1988, p. 55.

Premiere, July, 1988; March, 2001, pp. 88-92, 119; March, 2002, p. 77.

Prevue, March, 1991, p. 24.

Radio Times, June 23, 1990, p. 22; September 3, 1994, p. 44.

Rolling Stone, January 17, 1985, p. 12; August 22, 1991, p. 38.

Starlog, July, 1990, p. 50; August, 1991; August, 1993.

Time, January 16, 2006, p. 46.

TV Guide, May 31, 2003, pp. 22-26.

Washington Post, August 17, 2003, pp. N1, N4-N5; September 7, 2003, pp. D1, D3; September 28, 2003, p. A7; November 18, 2003, pp. A1, A6; August 13, 2005.

Schwarzenegger, Arnold

views updated May 14 2018

Schwarzenegger, Arnold

July 30, 1947 Graz, Austria

Actor, politician, bodybuilder

Most people successfully pursue one or two careers throughout their lives. By the age of fifty-six, Arnold Schwarzenegger had tackled at least threebodybuilding, acting, and politics. It is difficult to break into any one of these professions, yet Schwarzenegger managed to excel in each and every one. He earned thirteen world bodybuilding championships, is considered one of the most influential actors in Hollywood, and, in 2003, without ever running for political office before, he became the governor of California. If Schwarzenegger had listened to his many critics along the way, he never would have succeeded. However, with discipline, determination, and drive, he proved that an Austrian-born immigrant can achieve the American dream.

The need to succeed

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947, the second son of Gustav and Aurelia Schwarzenegger. He was raised, along with older brother Meinhard, in the tiny village of Thal, just outside of Graz, Austria. Schwarzenegger's father, Gustav, was the local police chief, and the family lived above the police station where Gustav worked. The Schwarzenegger home was a humble one. In fact, they did not have indoor plumbing until Arnold was a teenager. This was not uncommon at the time, however, since families all over Europe were just beginning to recover from the effects of World War II (193945).

Before joining the police force, Gustav Schwarzenegger was a military officer, and he ran his household in strict military fashion. Both Arnold and Meinhard were required to get up before sunrise to tend to their chores. After chores came a rigorous exercise routine, followed by breakfast. Gustav also instilled a love of sports in his sons. Meinhard, who died when he was twenty-three years old in a car accident, was a boxing champion. Arnold showed promise as a soccer player. It was while performing exercises to strengthen his legs for soccer that Schwarzenegger turned to the sport that would eventually make him famous: bodybuilding.

Arnold Schwarzenegger pursued weightlifting and bodybuilding with a passion. He trained for hours a day, both at a local gym and at home where he set up a training area in a room that had no heat. He also studied anatomy and nutrition to understand how to become physically fit. His parents worried that he was obsessed with training, but Schwarzenegger had his eyes on a goal; that goal was to leave his little village behind and become a success in America.

"I learned something from all these years of lifting and training hard.... What I learned was that we are always stronger than we know."

Mr. Universe

In 1965, after he graduated from high school, Schwarzenegger joined the Austrian army. Just one month after enlisting, he won his first bodybuilding title, Mr. Junior Europe. The competition was held in Germany, and Schwarzenegger had left his army base without permission to compete. As a result, he spent the next year in the brig, which is a holding area for people in the military who have committed offenses. After he was released, Schwarzenegger resumed his training with gusto, often spending up to five hours a day in the gym.

The Ronald Reagan Comparison

Arnold Schwarzenegger was not the first celebrity to hold public office. For example, professional wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura (1951) was governor of Minnesota from 1998 until 2002, and from 1986 to 1988 actor/director Clint Eastwood (1930) was mayor of Carmel, California. The best-known celebrity-turned-politician, however, may be Ronald Reagan (19112004), former governor of California (19671975) and president of the United States (19811989). Throughout his run for governor, Schwarzenegger was constantly compared to Reagan for some obvious reasons: both were actors, both were very charismatic speakers, and both were new to politics when they ran for office. But, are there other similarities?

  • Age: Schwarzenegger and Reagan were both fifty-six years old when they became governor of California.
  • Nicknames: Reagan was known as "The Great Communicator" while Schwarzenegger was dubbed "The Oak" because of his strength and concentration.
  • Sports: Both men shared a love of sports and got their start in the world of athletics. Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilder; Reagan played football and was a swimmer. Reagan also got his first break into show business as an announcer for football and baseball games in Iowa.

His grueling schedule paid off in 1967, when, at the age of twenty, Schwarzenegger won his first Mr. Universe title. The Mr. Universe competition is an annual event sponsored by the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA). Competitors are judged on such things as size and definition of muscles, balance and proportion of body parts, and overall presentation. The youngest person to ever win the competition, Schwarzenegger was confident that he would keep his title the following year. He was also excited because his dream of traveling to the United States was about to come true since the 1968 Mr. Universe competition was to be held in Miami, Florida.

Although he did not win the 1968 title in Miami, Schwarzenegger was noticed by fitness pioneer Joe Weider (1922). Weider was so impressed by the young bodybuilder that he invited him to stay in the United States and live and train with him in Los Angeles, California. Schwarzenegger jumped at the chance. Weider became Schwarzenegger's mentor, and from the late 1960s through the 1970s, Schwarzenegger devoted himself to training and competing. He reclaimed his Mr. Universe crown in 1969, and went on to dominate every major bodybuilding competition, including Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and Mr. Olympia.

In addition to being a star bodybuilder, Schwarzenegger helped popularize the sport. He wrote articles about his unique training methods for Weider's fitness magazines; he also was featured in a 1977 documentary about bodybuilding competitions, called Pumping Iron. The documentary was quite popular and gave Schwarzenegger his first taste of Hollywood celebrity. In 1980, at the age of thirty-three, he officially retired from bodybuilding to devote himself to a new career: acting.

Box-office gold

Schwarzenegger made a few low-budget movies in the 1970s, cast mostly in small roles that required big muscles, not big talent. In 1982 he was tapped to play the lead in Conan the Barbarian, based on the comic-book hero of the same name. Again, Schwarzenegger's strength was in his biceps, not his acting skills. Critics panned his performance, claiming that it was nearly impossible to understand his German-accented English. Audiences, however, loved the movie, which turned out to be a box-office hit. Two years later, in 1984, Schwarzenegger cemented his box-office appeal when he appeared in the movie The Terminator.

In The Terminator, Schwarzenegger played a violent cyborg (part robot, part human) who is sent from the future to exterminate the mother of humankind's future leader. He spoke seventy-four words in the movie, all delivered in a monotone, robotic voice. Audiences did not mind the lack of acting ability, and they flocked to see Schwarzenegger in the sci-fi thriller. The movie was so popular that Schwarzenegger became known for his character's famous one-liner: "I'll be back," or as Schwarzenegger pronounced it, "Awl be buck."

Action movies like The Terminator proved to be wildly popular with people of all ages, and Schwarzenegger proved to be the perfect action hero. He followed The Terminator with a string of movies, including Commando (1985), Predator (1987), Total Recall (1990), and True Lies (1994). He also continued the Terminator movies, starring in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), which produced the famous line, "Hasta la vista, baby," and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003). For his role in Terminator 3, Schwarzenegger was paid $30 million.

In addition to playing the tough-as-nails hero, Schwarzenegger starred in a number of comedies, including three movies made by director Ivan Reitman (1946): Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990), and Junior (1994). Moviegoers embraced the "lighter side of Arnold," and critics admitted that Schwarzenegger was growing as an actor. Everyone agreed that he was box-office gold. In fact, in 1993, he was recognized as the International Box Office Star of the Decade.

By 2004 Schwarzenegger had appeared in nearly thirty movies, and he brought his unique style to each role. One thing he never lost was his accent. Comedians and critics made countless jokes about the way "Ah-nuld" talked, but Schwarzenegger seemed to take it in stride. He also explained in a 1991 interview with Pat Broeske that he did not want to get rid of his accent completely because it had become, Broeske noted, "his trademark, his signature."

The family man

Schwarzenegger's trademark made him a very wealthy actor, and he used his money wisely, investing in real estate and several businesses, including the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood. He was also a devoted family man. Schwarzenegger met his wife, television journalist Maria Shriver (1955), in 1977. The couple married in 1986; they have four children, two boys and two girls. Shriver was no stranger to celebrity, considering she is part of one of the most famous families in the United States. Her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921), is the sister of U.S. president John F. Kennedy (19171963).

Most people thought that the couple made a very odd pair. He was a brawny bodybuilder turned actor. She was a "brain" who graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and was coanchor of CBS Morning News. He was a well-known supporter of the Republican Party. The Republican Party is considered to be the more conservative of the two major political parties in the United States. Shriver, as part of the Kennedy clan, was a Democrat to the core. Members of the Democratic Party are traditionally considered to be more liberal. Those closest to the couple, however, say they are a perfect match. Both have competitive drives; both are committed to their family; and both share a wacky sense of humor.

The Schwarzeneggers also share a commitment to politics and to social causes. Since 1979 they have been devoted to the Special Olympics, helping to raise funds and awareness. Established by Eunice Shriver in 1968, Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and sponsors annual athletic competitions for children and adults with mental retardation. There are Special Olympics programs in almost 150 countries; Arnold serves as the Special Olympics International Weight Training Coach.

In 1990 Schwarzenegger was given an incredible opportunity to spread his message about the importance of fitness when President George H. W. Bush (1924) appointed him chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS). According to the PCPFS Web site, the goal of the council is to "promote, encourage and motivate Americans of all ages to become physically active and participate in sports." Schwarzenegger was the perfect spokesman. With high energy and unlimited enthusiasm, he traveled across the country spreading the word that it was "hip to be fit." When Democrat Bill Clinton (1946) took over the presidency in 1993, Schwarzenegger resigned from the council.

The "Collectionator"

Schwarzenegger had been such a dynamic public figure in the Bush administration that people wondered if he was heading for a future in politics. Schwarzenegger denied the rumors for years, claiming he was too busy being a businessman and family man. In 2002, however, he spent a good deal of time campaigning in California for state grant money to fund after-school programs for children. And, in 2003, when California governor Gray Davis (1942) was threatened by a recall, the buzz was strong that Schwarzenegger would throw his hat in the ring.

The year 2003 was a strange one in California politics. Democrat Gray Davis, who had over twenty years of experience in politics, was governor, and had been since 1998. Throughout his first term in office, however, Davis faced a number of problems, including an outof-control budget, a sagging state economy, and electricity blackouts that left most of the state without power for some time during 2001. Californians were not happy, and they blamed Davis for the sad state of affairs. In 2002, just months into his second term of office, citizens started a campaign to recall Davis as governor. This meant that Davis, through a special election, would possibly be replaced.

The election led to media frenzy since it was the first time in California's history that a governor faced a recall. In addition, people came out of the woodwork to campaign for Davis's job. On August 6, 2003, Schwarzenegger fueled the frenzy by announcing that he, too, was going to run for governor. He made his announcement during an interview on the late-night television program The Tonight Show.

Schwarzenegger spent the next several months campaigning in rather untraditional ways. For example, he chatted with Oprah Winfrey (1954) on her afternoon talk show, and he was interviewed by disc jockey Howard Stern (1954), who is known for his outrageous radio antics. Schwarzenegger peppered his interviews with references to his movies, promising to say "Hasta la vista" to new taxes and calling himself the "Collectionator," since one of his goals was to ask the federal government for funds to bail California out of its economic crisis.

Arnold to the rescue

All of the media attention prompted voters to turn out in droves, and on October 8, 2003, the citizens of California elected Arnold Schwarzenegger governor with 48.6 percent of the vote. On November 17, during his swearing-in ceremony, Schwarzenegger commented, "It is no secret that I'm a newcomer to politics. I realize I was elected on faith and hope. And I feel a great responsibility not to let the people down."

The public may have felt they needed an action hero to come to their aid, but political commentators had their doubts. Schwarzenegger was able to campaign on catchy phrases, but what would he do once in office? According to political consultant David Axelrod in a 2003 Time article, "This isn't the movies. No one is going to throw him a ray gun so he can blow up the deficit."

Schwarzenegger's first days in office were watched closely. He made good on several of his campaign promises, including lowering car taxes. He was also applauded for trying to get California Democrats and Republicans to work together to help solve the state's budget problems. Schwarzenegger, however, was just beginning to flex his political muscles. His state still faced a staggering amount of debt, and he tried to figure a way out without hurting social programs like education and health care.

In March 2004, voters passed Schwarzenegger's Proposition 57, which would allow the state to use bonds (low-interest, long-term loans) to slash $15 billion from the ever-growing debt. Politicians considered the proposition to be a daring move, but Schwarzenegger was used to taking chances, and he had faith that the voters would believe in him. In a rally held just after the vote, and reported on CNN, he reassured the public that his borrowing plan would "make California the golden state that it once was."

Just months into office, people began to speculate once again what was next for Arnold Schwarzenegger, family man, businessman, actor, and now governor. When he appeared on the television program Meet the Press, in February 2004, host Tim Russert wondered if perhaps Schwarzenegger had his eye on the White House. Schwarzenegger shooed away the question, commenting that he had been too busy tackling California's problems to think about his next move. "I have no idea," he commented, "I haven't thought about that at all."

But, can we believe him, since that is exactly what Schwarzenegger said when asked if he would ever run for political office? He faces one big obstacle, however. According to the U.S. Constitution, only citizens who were born in the United States are eligible to be president. Although Schwarzenegger became a citizen in 1983, he was born in Austria. A change, or amendment, to the constitution has been proposed that would make it possible for anyone who has been a U.S. citizen for at least twenty years to seek the presidency. And, as Ah-nuld has proven time and again, anything is possible.

For More Information


Boss, Suzie. "Hey, Kids, Get Physical!" Newsweek (August 27, 1990): pp. 6264.

Broeske, Pat H. "Arnold Schwarzenegger." Interview (July 1991): p. 85.

Streisand, Betsy. "Reality Check: Effect of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Government." U.S. News & World Report (January 12, 2004): p. 26.

Tresniowski, Alex, et al. "What Makes Them Run?" People Weekly (August 25, 2003): pp. 5058.

Tumulty, Karen, and Terry McCarthy. "All That's Missing Is the Popcorn." Time (August 18, 2003): pp. 2230.

Web Sites

Russert, Tim. "Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ralph Nader." NBC News'Meet the Press (February 22, 2004). (accessed on May 30, 2004). The Official Web site. (accessed on May 30, 2004).

"Schwarzenegger's Inauguration Speech." Inside Politics. (accessed on May 31, 2004).

"Schwarzenegger Wins Budget Test." Inside Politics (March 3, 2004). (accessed on May 30, 2004).

Schwarzenegger, Arnold

views updated Jun 11 2018

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Born July 30, 1947

Graz, Austria

Governor of California, movie star, and champion bodybuilder

"For the people to win, politics as usual must lose."

"D o we want philosophy or action? I want action."Arnold Schwarzenegger made that statement in reply to a question posed by a journalist about whether an after-school program he championed would put the government in the position of replacing moms. The statement reflects Schwarzenegger's style: He sets a goal and works tirelessly and aggressively toward it, adding charm and a knack for self-promotion as he undertakes quests for ultimate titles: he has been Mr. Universe, King of the Box Office, Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, and Governor of California. Schwarzenegger has been an action hero in movies and in real life.

Working out

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947, in Graz, Austria, and raised in the nearby village of Thal. His father, Gustav, was a police officer. Austria at the time was still recovering from the effects of World War II (1939–45) and having been occupied by Nazi Germany, a regime, led by Adolf Hitler (1889–1945), known primarily for its brutal policies of racism. The Schwarzenegger family, which included mother Aurelia and older brother Meinhard, struggled to survive a time of scarcity and slow rebuilding. The family lacked indoor plumbing and a refrigerator until Arnold was a teenager. Schwarzenegger's father was a strict disciplinarian. He woke his sons shortly after sunrise to begin their morning chores. After chores, the boys performed an exercise routine before eating a breakfast meal planned by their father.

The Schwarzeneggers enjoyed sports. Schwarzenegger's father often pitted his two sons in competitions. Arnold was younger and often lost these competitions, which contributed to the psychological drive that led to his achievements as an adult. Schwarzenegger's father excelled at curling, an ice sport where players take turns directing their curling stones to a target area. Meinhard was a champion boxer; he died in an automobile accident at the age of twenty-three. Arnold played soccer as a child and advanced at age twelve to a senior level team, the Graz Athletic Club.

When his soccer coach took the team to a gym to work out with weights to improve their strength and stamina, Schwarzenegger discovered he enjoyed the workouts. Around that time, he met Kurt Marnul, a professional bodybuilder who invited Schwarzenegger to train at the Athletic Union in Graz. By the age of fifteen, Schwarzenegger was studying anatomy and developing training routines to maximize the results of his hard work. Worried about his son's obsession with weightlifting (Schwarzenegger's father called it "Austria's least favorite sport"), his father limited Schwarzenegger's trips to the athletic club. Schwarzenegger responded by building a makeshift gym at home that would allow him to continue his training.

After graduating from high school in 1965, Schwarzenegger enlisted in the Austrian army. The regimentation of army life was not new to him, having lived under the strict discipline enforced by his father. When he was free from duty, which included driving a tank, Schwarzenegger continued the strenuous training regimen he had devised. Meanwhile, the army diet—emphasizing meat and foods rich in protein—helped Schwarzenegger bulk up his physique. His exercise routine transformed bulk into thick muscle. After just one month of military service, Schwarzenegger entered and won his first bodybuilding title, Mr. Junior Europe, in Stuttgart, Germany. A bit too eager to compete, Schwarzenegger had left his military base without permission to compete in Stuttgart. Upon his return, he was sentenced to a military jail for having been absent without leave.

Upon his release from military jail, Schwarzenegger initiated his new plan that concentrated on powerlifting, a quicker, and more strenuous type of weightlifting. He won the Austrian Junior Olympic Powerlifting championship, but in the process he realized that the stress of powerlifting would eventually wear him out rather than build up his body. He returned to a bodybuilding program with daily sessions running for several hours.

Mr. Universe

In 1967, Schwarzenegger won the first of his five titles in the Mr. Universe competition. Playing off his dominating performance that earned him the top bodybuilding prize, Schwarzenegger founded a business through which he could operate in a variety of functions, from investing in real estate to supplying gyms with equipment and developing diet products. In 1968, Schwarzenegger made his first visit to the United States to attend the Mr. Universe competition in Miami, Florida. Schwarzenegger lost his title, but finished second. Nevertheless, fitness pioneer Joe Weider (1922–) was impressed by Schwarzenegger and invited him to Los Angeles to train under his sponsorship.

Schwarzenegger's Early Experiences with Bodybuilding

In an excerpt from Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger recalls his early love of bodybuilding:

During the early years I didn't care how I felt about anything except bodybuilding. It consumed every minute of my days and all my best effort…. When I was ten years old I got this thing that I wanted to be the best in swimming, so I started swimming. I won championships, but I felt I couldn't be the best. I tried it in skiing, but there I felt that I didn't have the potential. I played soccer, but I didn't like that too well because there I didn't get the credit alone if I did something special. Then I started weight lifting through other sports…. I won the Austrian championship in 1964 but I found out I was just too tall. So I quit that and went into bodybuilding. Two years later I found out that that's it—that's what I can be best in.

Weider provided Schwarzenegger with an apartment, a car, and a weekly salary. In exchange, Schwarzenegger contributed articles on the training methods he developed to Weider's bodybuilding magazines, including Muscle and Fitness. In Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger devoted himself almost exclusively to training, intent on recapturing the Mr. Universe crown. Schwarzenegger proceeded to dominate the sport. He won six consecutive Mr. Olympia contests in addition to winning back the Mr. Universe title and adding three more to his total. He retired from bodybuilding competitions in 1975, except for a brief comeback in 1980 to take his seventh and final Mr. Olympia title. By then, he had created many other opportunities to pursue.

"I'll be back"

Living in Los Angeles and accustomed to performing before audiences and cameras, Schwarzenegger began to pursue an acting career. As early as 1970, when Schwarzenegger was twenty-two, his physique made him ideal for the title role in a low-budget Italian television production, Hercules Goes to New York. Schwarzenegger had a small role in The Long Goodbye, a 1973 film by acclaimed director Robert Altman (1925–). In 1975, Schwarzenegger played bodybuilder Joe Santos in the film Stay Hungry, for which he won a Golden Globe award for best new actor. Pumping Iron (1977), his next film, is a documentary on body building, following several world-class bodybuilders as they prepare for competition—from working out in gyms to participation in a contest. Pumping Iron is an "extraordinary documentary of Schwarzenegger's rise in the nascent [emerging] bodybuilding culture of the time," wrote Andrew Sullivan in Time magazine more than twenty-five years after the film was released. "He took a minor and largely derided [ridiculed] sport and made it a world-wide sensation," Sullivan added.

In 1978, Schwarzenegger met television journalist Maria Shriver (1955–). They were married in 1986 and would have four children. Shriver is the daughter of R. Sargent Shriver (1915–), former director of the Peace Corps and the running mate of 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern (1922–), and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of the late U.S. president John F. Kennedy (1917–1963; served 1961–63). Schwarzenegger's extended family, the Kennedy clan, had produced many prominent politicians. Schwarzenegger would later become a politician himself, and he shared some of the Kennedy family's activism for social programs to assist those in need. But Schwarzenegger would be elected as a Republican, not as a Democrat, of which the Kennedys are powerful symbols.

In addition to politics, Shriver also introduced Schwarzenegger to one of her favorite causes, the Special Olympics. This organization provides opportunities for physically challenged children to play and compete in sports. Schwarzenegger eagerly joined the group and brought increasingly greater attention to it as he himself became an increasingly famous public figure.

During the 1980s, Schwarzenegger emerged as one of the most popular and bankable of movie stars. He was an obvious choice to play the lead in the film versions of Conan, a muscular sword-and-sorcery hero whose adventures were related in a series of books. What Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984) lacked in artistry and acting was more than made up for in box-office success. More significant was Schwarzenegger's role as a violent cyborg (a bionic, or electromechanical, human) sent from the future to eliminate the mother of mankind's future leader in The Terminator (1984). In this film, Schwarzenegger created a screen persona that minimized his need for acting skills; his characters became larger-than-life, caught up in fast-paced life and death situations. They also maintained a disarming charm, spouting tough one-liners that fans enjoyed repeating. Schwarzenegger himself enjoys repeating his trademark line from The Terminator: "I'll be back."

A series of highly popular action films followed—Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), The Running Man (1987), and Predator (1987). In 1988, Schwarzenegger expanded into comic roles, which also met with box-office success. In Twins (1988), the tall, muscular Schwarzenegger played the unlikely fraternal twin of the short, chubby actor Danny DeVito (1944–). Kindergarten Cop (1990) had Schwarzenegger struggling to keep peace among a group of lively kids while chasing a criminal.

Chairman of President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

Just as Schwarzenegger had been successful expanding from a career in bodybuilding to one as an actor, and from a powerful action-hero to more comic roles, he used his Hollywood popularity to bring attention to important causes. In 1990, President George Bush (1924–; served 1989–93) named Schwarzenegger chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Schwarzenegger campaigned across the fifty states to change American attitudes about fitness. He contributed an essay to Newsweek magazine in which he called poor physical fitness among children "America's secret tragedy."

Schwarzenegger continued to be involved with the Special Olympics and added roles as a promoter of the Inner City Games and diverse charities devoted to caring for sick children. Schwarzenegger coauthored Arnold's Fitness for Kids: A Guide to Health, Nutrition and Exercise, three books each directed toward a specific age group. The guides provide advice on good eating habits and emphasize play over competition.

Throughout the 1990s, Schwarzenegger continued his activism on behalf of fitness and health and continued to make popular action movies while mixing in occasional comedies. His action-hero films of the 1990s included The Terminator, T2 (1991), Last Action Hero (1993), True Lies (1994), and Eraser (1996). Meanwhile, in Junior (1994), he played a pregnant man. Schwarzenegger became Hollywood's best-paid villain with the role of Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin (1997), for which he reaped $25 million. Schwarzenegger seemed to be losing his box-office clout by 2000 with End of Days (2000) and Collateral Damage (2002). By then, however, he was transforming himself into a new role: that of politician.

Governor Arnold

Schwarzenegger's popularity as a film star made politicians want to seek him out for support. But just as he had been a self-made man in business, bodybuilding, and even in film as an action hero, Schwarzenegger took it upon himself to become a viable political force. That was most apparent in his tireless work in support of Proposition 49, an initiative to increase California state funds for before- and after-school programs that provide tutoring, homework assistance, and educational enrichment. (A proposition is a proposed law, expenditure, or other government action that is put before voters, not elected officials, to decide.)

Schwarzenegger personally delivered to the Los Angeles county clerk's office petitions bearing 750,000 signatures in support of the ballot initiative to fund California after-school programs. "Half of all California kids are now in single working-parent homes or homes with two working parents," he told Karen Kornbluh of Washington Monthly magazine. "One million kids under the age of 15 are home alone after school. These are kids that do not have anyone to do homework with them, take them to the sports field, or hug them," Schwarzenegger added. "Sixty percent of Californians support Schwarzenegger's proposal, which is backed by 100 mayors and a broad array of groups from the right and the left, including the California Teachers

Association, the California State Sheriffs' Association, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association," noted Kornbluh. "The real mystery, then," she wondered, "isn't why Arnold is on the case. It's why more politicians aren't."

The proposition passed in a 2002 statewide election. Schwarzenegger's tireless promotion helped win the vote. Some commentators noted that self-promotion for Schwarzenegger was part of the deal. When Schwarzenegger eagerly embraced a recall vote against California governor Gray Davis (1942–) in 2003, those commentators seemed accurate. California had huge financial problems, and Davis, who was reelected in 2002, was a popular target of blame. When the initiative to recall Davis received enough petition signatures, the recall option was put to California voters in 2003. They could vote to recall Davis, and also select someone to replace him.

Schwarzenegger had been particularly aggressive in criticizing Davis. Once the recall election was official, Schwarzenegger used his muscle as a celebrity to find a widely visible forum to announce his candidacy—The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In a remarkably quick rise, Schwarzenegger helped convince California voters to recall Davis, and at the same time elect himself as the new governor.

Even as he celebrated another remarkable success in another field, Schwarzenegger understood the challenge had just begun. He had promised voters that he would not participate in politics as usual, and politicians are rarely compared with action heroes. As he told the voters, concerned about California's financial mess, "For the people to win, politics as usual must lose." Defeating "politics as usual" will indeed require heroic action. As Schwarzenegger noted, "This is a new political environment. This is the first time California has had an Austrian-born Mr. Universe as governor."

—Roger Matuz

For More Information


Andrews, Nigel. True Myths: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, from Pumping Iron to Governor of California. Rev. ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2004.

Flynn, John. The Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger. New York: Citadel Press, 1996.

Lipsyte, Robert. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Hercules in America. New York: Harpercollins Juvenile Books, 1993.


"Arnie! Arnie! California Politics." The Economist (October 11, 2003): p. 30.

Kornbluh, Karen. "The Parent Gap: What Arnold Schwarzenegger Can Teach Politicians about Winning Swing Voters." Washington Monthly (October 2002): pp. 13–18.

Rohrer, Anneliese. "A Boy from Graz." New York Times (October 9, 2003):p. A37.

Schwarzenegger, Arnold, with Douglas Kent Hall. Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1977.

Sullivan, Andrew. "Pumping Irony: Despite the Caricatures, Arnold May Be the Model of a New Kind of Politician." Time (October 20, 2003):p. 88.

Web Sites

Arnold Schwarzenegger Official Site. (accessed on March 24, 2004).

"Arnold Schwarzenegger: The People's Governor." Welcome to California. (accessed on March 24, 2004).

Schwarzenegger, Arnold

views updated May 09 2018


Nationality: Austrian/American. Born: Graz, Austria, 30 July 1947; became U.S. citizen, 1983. Education: Studied at University of Wisconsin, Superior, B.A. in business and international economics.Family: Married Maria Schriver, 1986, three children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick. Career: From 1962—bodybuilder, in England, then in U.S. from late 1960s; 1976—retired from bodybuilding, film debut as Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Stay Hungry; 1980—appointed chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitnesss and Sports (resigned 1993); 1991—reputedly paid $15 million for his role in Terminator 2. Part-owner of Planet Hollywood and Schatzi restaurants. Awards: 13 world champion bodybuilding titles, 1965–80; Golden Globe for Best Newcomer, for Stay Hungry, 1976. Address: 3110 Main Street, #330, Santa Monica, CA 90405, U.S.A.

Films as Actor:

(as Arnold Strong)


Hercules in New York (Hercules Goes to New York; Hercules: The Movie; Hercules Goes Bananas) (Arthur Allan Seidelman) (title role)


The Long Goodbye (Altman) (as a hood)

(as Arnold Schwarzenegger)


Stay Hungry (Rafelson) (as Joe Santo)


Pumping Iron (George Butler—doc) (as himself)


Scavenger Hunt (Michael Schultz); The Villain (Cactus Jack) (Needham) (as handsome stranger)


The Jayne Mansfield Story (Jayne Mansfield: A Symbol of the 50's) (Lowry—for TV) (as Mickey Hargitay)


Conan the Barbarian (Milius) (title role)


Conan the Destroyer (Fleischer) (title role); The Terminator (Cameron) (title role)


Red Sonja (Fleischer) (as Kalidor); Commando (Lester) (as John Matrix)


Raw Deal (Irvin) (as Kaminski)


The Running Man (Glaser) (as Ben "Butcher of Bakersfield" Richards); Predator (McTiernan) (as Maj. Alan "Dutch" Schaefer)


Red Heat (Walter Hill) (as Capt. Ivan Danko); Twins (Reitman) (as Julius Benedict)


Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven) (as Douglas Quaid); Kindergarten Cop (Reitman) (as Detective John Kimble)


Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron) (as the Terminator)


Feed (Rafferty and Ridgeway—doc) (as himself); Lincoln (Kunhardt—doc) (as voice of John G. Nicolay)


Last Action Hero (McTiernan) (as Sergeant Jack Slater/himself, + exec pr); Dave (Reitman) (as himself)


True Lies (Cameron) (as Harry Tasker); Junior (Reitman) (as Dr. Alexander Hesse); Beretta's Island (as himself)


Eraser (Chuck Russell) (as John Kruger, the Eraser); Crusade (Verhoeven)


Batman & Robin (Schumacher) (as Mr. Freeze/Dr. Victor Fries)


The Magic Hour (Dimitch—series for TV) (as himself)


End of Days (Hyams) (as Jericho Cane)


The 6th Day (Spottiswoode) (as Adam Gibson)

Films as Director:


Christmas in Connecticut (for TV)



Arnold's Bodyshaping for Women, New York, 1979.

Arnold's Bodybuilding for Men, New York, 1981.

Arnold's Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding, New York, 1984.

Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, with Douglas Kent Hall, New York, 1986.

Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages Birth-5: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, with Charles Gaines, New York, 1993.

Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages 6–10: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, with Charles Gaines, New York, 1993.

Arnold's Fitness for Kids Ages 11–14: A Guide to Health, Exercise, and Nutrition, with Charles Gaines, New York, 1993.

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, with Bill Dobbins, 1999.


Interview with K. Honeycutt, in American Film (Washington, D.C.), May 1982.

"Schwarzenegger on Predator," interview with Dann Gire, in Cinefantastique (Oak Park, Illinois), vol. 18, no. 1, 1987.

"Mr. Big," interview with Mike Bygrave, in Radio Times (London), 23 February 1991.

Interview with Pat H. Broeske and Herb Ritts, in Interview (New York), July 1991.

Interview with Jenny Cooney, in Empire (London), September 1991.

"Big Bang Theory," interview with Susan Goldman, in Time Out (London), 3 August 1994.


Green, Tom, Arnold!, New York, 1987.

Butler, George, Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Portrait, New York, 1990.

Dorsey, Charles B., Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paris, 1990.

Leigh, Wendy, Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography, London, 1990.

Flynn, John L., The Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1993; rev. ed., 1995.

Conklin, Thomas, Meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York, 1994.

McCabe, Bob, Arnold Schwarzenegger, London, 1994.

Wright, Adrian, Arnold Schwarzenegger: A Life on Film, London, 1994.


McGillivray, David, in Films and Filming (London), June 1986.

Brauerhoch, A., "Glanz und Elend der Muskelmänner," in Frauen und Film (Frankfurt), August 1986.

Thompson, Anne, and Tom Soter, "Total Recall, Total Arnie," in Empire (London), August 1990.

Current Biography 1991, New York, 1991.

Desanglois, L., "Arnold Schwarzenegger," in Revue du Cinéma (Paris), October 1991.

Briggs, Joe Bob, "Whatever You Say, Arnold," in Playboy (Chicago), January 1992.

Svetkey, Benjamin, "What, Me Worry?," in Entertainment Weekly (New York), 11 June 1993.

James, C., "Film View: Arnold as Icon: From Hulk to Hero," in New York Times, 27 June 1993.

Young, Toby, "Soapbox: Arnold Schwarzenegger," in Modern Review, August-September 1994.

Stars (Mariembourg), Winter 1995.

Szebin, F.C., "Schwarzenegger, Mr. Freeze," in Cinefantastique (Forest Park), vol. 29, no. 1, 1997.

* * *

Considering he has made a mere 20-odd movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger's career has gone through numerous distinct and bizarre phases. His evolution, from a bodybuilder who appeared in such consciously silly entries as Hercules in New York and Conan the Barbarian to sci-fi death machine in the Terminator movies to comic actor in such films as Twins and Junior, has been strange, to say the least. His films have shown consistency, however, in that Schwarzenegger's performance style has always exhibited the basic hallmarks of postmodernity: pastiche and parody. First gaining notoriety as a professional bodybuilder, he recognized opportunities to appear in such outrageously over-the-top films as the Conan series, for example, which were little more than pumped-up B movies (with big budgets), films Schwarzenegger clearly (and quite rightly) did not take entirely seriously. His constant mugging to the camera in the documentary Pumping Iron did more than win him the Mr. Universe title: it proved his innate theatrical sensibility and his canny comic abilities.

But Schwarzenegger's first real breakthrough came with The Terminator, in which he cleverly turned down the offer to play the hero and opted instead for the role of evil robot. The film, a characteristically action-packed entry from director James Cameron, had an entertaining but intelligent Oedipal time-warp sci-fi concept, some excusably cheesy special effects, and a, well, perfectly robotic performance by Schwarzenegger. The subsequent huge box-office success of the film secured Schwarzenegger's place in the American cultural Zeitgeist.

Schwarzenegger's deadpan performance immediately drew comparisons to Clint Eastwood, an actor famous for his minimalist style. This performance style would carry on in other films, including Commando, Raw Deal, The Running Man, Predator, Total Recall, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, among others. Schwarzenegger also appropriated Eastwood's stinging penchant for the one-liner (e.g., "Make my day"), many of which became popular catchphrases and Schwarzenegger trademarks ("I'll be back" in particular). Eastwood would acknowledge the debt Schwarzenegger owed him when he referred to the former bodybuilder as "my son" during the 1995 Academy Award ceremonies.

Schwarzenegger's career took a disastrous turn in 1993 with The Last Action Hero, an ultra-self-reflexive take on the action movie. The film has its entertaining moments, but fans appeared uncomfortable with the artifices of the action film being laid quite so bare—thus the film flopped despite one of the most expensive publicity campaigns in Hollywood history (including an ad posted on the space shuttle, the first of its kind). Schwarzenegger has also been far less successful when trying his hand at out-and-outright comedies (Twins and Junior), where he is simply uncontrolled as a performer. Junior was a brave and interesting gender-challenging role for Schwarzenegger; the film's premise had him the first man ever to become pregnant. Again, audiences seemed uncomfortable with this wall of muscles in a maternal position, and the film did mediocre box office.

Schwarzenegger's last major success was True Lies, a film which divided critics with its misogynist and racist overtones, resurrecting speculation that the actor had far-right leaning politics. Schwarzenegger has become something of an anti-Jane Fonda, notorious for his support of conservative causes and politicians, including Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Like Fonda, Schwarzenegger's persona is also not without contradictions (he is married to Maria Schriver, a member of America's most famous liberal clan the Kennedys, for example). Like his politics and personal life, Schwarzenegger's appearances on-screen can be read as perfect open texts: the audience can choose to see his machismo as role-model material to be emulated and adored, or as astute post-modern parody of the ludicrous masculine male ideal.

—Matthew Hays

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