The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold was born on July 30th 1947, in the small Austrian village of Thal, just outside the town of Graz. Graz is located in the south-east portion of Austria. Arnold is the son of Gustav and Aurelia Schwarzenegger, and had an older brother Meinhard. Because their father was the chief of police in Thal and also an Austrian curling champion, the Schwarzenegger's had a strict and athletic upbringing.
Arnold was first introduced to weightlifting during a soccer team fieldtrip to a local gym in Graz. After watching the dedicated bodybuilders there, Arnold was fascinated with the sport, but his father was disappointed. Bodybuilding was the least popular sport in Austria, and he forbid his son to go to the gym to workout more than three times a week. Undaunted, Arnold made a gym at home so he could continue his sport there.
Right from the start, Arnold was very dedicated to bodybuilding. He broke a window at the gym to workout on a Sunday, and conditions there were so harsh that more than once his hands froze to the weight bars.
In 1965 when Arnold turned eighteen he joined the Austrian army for mandatory service. His parents hoped the time in the army would cure him of his bodybuilding obsession. However, Arnold had a different idea. While in basic training, he found out that the Junior Mr. Europe bodybuilding competition was going to be held in nearby Stuttgard. Arnold went a.w.o.l. from the army to compete and won with a perfect 300 point score, the first time anyone had ever had a perfect score. But his absence didn't go unnoticed and while trying to sneak back into camp he was caught, arrested and thrown in jail for 7 days. Despite going a.w.o.l. to compete, Arnold became the company hero because of his determination and accomplishment - and was even ordered to continue to workout, which he did until he was released from service in 1966.
In 1966, Arnold moved to Munich by invitation to train at the Putzingger gym. In September of that year, he placed second in the Mr. Universe competition held in London. One year later, Arnold bought Putzinger gym and returned to London to win his first Amature Mr. Universe title and became the youngest competitor to do so. As one of Arnold's dreams began to materialized, his brother Meinhard was killed in a tragic car acciedent. A year later Arnold's father died of a stroke not seeing the success his son was soon to achieve. Just after his father's death in 1968 Arnold won his first Professional Mr. Universe title and was invited by the American bodybuilding champion Joe Weilder to train in America. Despite having completed two years at the University of Munich studying marketing, Arnold moved across the ocean.
Two years after arriving in America, Arnold starred in his first movie Hercules in New York. This part in the movie was the first step to Arnold's longterm dream of staring in the movies like his boyhood idol Reg Park. Reg Park was not only an actor but also a bodybuilding champion. Arnold also won his first Mr. Olympia and Mr. World titles the same year. It would be another six years before Arnold starred in another movie. But he wasn't standing still during those six years, he won the Mr. Olympia title each year, eventually deciding to retire from bodybuilding in 1975.
Arnold retired from bodybuilding to realize his second boyhood dream of becoming a movie star. while working towards this dream Arnold with the help of Joe Lorimar helped legitimize and raise the prize money for the sport of Bodybuilding. This work eventually lead to the creation of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Competition. By the time he had retired from bodybuilding Arnold had written two books and many informative panphites about bodybuilding.
His second movie Stay Hungry came out in 1976 and won him compliments from the critics, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for "Best New-Comer", which he won. In 1980 Arnold returned to bodybuilding and stunned everyone involved by capturing his seventh Mr. Olympia title. Arnold then hit the big time when he starred as Conan in Conan the Barbarian. With this movie, the image of Arnold as the huge powerful hero, ready to help anyone, was set in place. Although not a blockbuster hit, Conan quickly became a cult classic and helped Arnold get the starring role in Terminator as an evil cyborg. He was an instant hit in this role and continued with a string of hit action movies which included Commando and Predator. In 1988, Arnold decided on a change, with the help of Ivan Reitman and costarr Danny DeVito, the comedy Twins was made. With its success and Arnold's expanded his fan base he went on to make another hit comedy, Kindergarten Cop, then two blockbuster action hits Total Recall and Terminator 2. Arnold was riding a huge wave of popularity and he branched out from acting to direct an episode of Tales from the Crypt and a made for TV movie Christmas in Conneticut. Yet, when Arnold starred in and executively produced Last Action Hero the wave he was riding seemed to crest. The movie was missunderstood and not taken for what it was, a spoof of the action movie genre. In North America it was a major box office disappointment. Arnold quickly squashed rumors in Hollywood that he was washed up with the action packed hit True Lies, quickly followed by another comdey with Danny DeVito, Junior, the smash Eraser and the Christmas comedy Jingle All the Way. His latest movie is Batman and Robin where Arnold will reprise his bad guy role as the evil Dr. Freeze.
Arnold met Maria Shriver at a New York tennis tournament in 1977 and soon after, she became his girlfriend. After proposing to her in a rowboat on Lake Tollersee in Austria, when they went to visit Arnold's mother, they married in 1986. Their love goes much deeper than their differing political views - Arnold is a Republican and Maria is a Democrate - and have had a sucessful marriage for the past eleven years. Maria and Arnold have three children Katherine, Christina, and Patrick, and now are expecting their fourth.
In 1989 Arnold was named Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness. While serving in this office, Arnold visited all fifty states at his own expense to promote physical fitness for children. Arnold is a major supporter of the Special Olympics, which was started by the Shriver family, and with Danny Hernandez, Arnold became a major sponsor and organizer of the Inner-City Games for youth to help keep them out of gangs, drugs and trouble.
On April 16 1997 Arnold underwent elective heart surgery to repair a defective aortic heart valve. The surgery had no complications and Arnold made a complete recovery. Shortly after being released from hospital Arnold and Maria were going to a gala event to promote his new movie Batman and Robin when they arrived a group of over eager photographers (paparatzy) trapped Arnold and Maria in their car and essentially held them hostage while they scrambled for the "first photos" of Arnold after his surgery.
While in Graz Austria promoting Batman and Robin, visiting friends and family, Arnold had the honour of opening the "Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium". The stadium named for the famous Austrian is an impressive site and a tribute to Arnold and all of his hard work.
In an interview with Access Hollywood Arnold expressed his desire to get back to making quality movies that people love now that his has completly recovered from his heart surgery. Arnold fans everywhere are eagerly awaiting his future projects and are flocking to video stores now to see him reprise his role as the villian.
Well Arnold fans have a new Arnie flick to look forward to in the near future, He is currently filming End of Days which is set for a Fall 1999 release. It's great to see Arnold back in such great health after his much understated heart surgery. His Heart surgery was not so complication free as The Austrian Oak let on after his release from the hospital. Look for Arnold to continue to make more great movies. He is very close to getting his Crusade film made after 5 years of waiting and false starts.