RISE OF THE MACHINES
There was no way of knowing it at the time, but a baby boy
born in Graz, Austria, was pre-destined for greatness. His father strongly
encouraged him to become involved in athletics in order to develop a strong
sense of determinationâ€¦a trait that evolved into nothing short of a dogged
pursuit of excellence in every aspect of his life. He participated in the sport
of soccer and competed in track and field events before discovering his true
passion for weight lifting at the age of 15. Three years later, he trained as a
professional bodybuilder and by the age of 20, he became none other than Mr.
Universe. That baby boy grew up to be ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (Terminator).
Schwarzenegger would of course go on to become one of the
most successful entertainers in box office history, but before the Austrian
bodybuilder immersed himself in his lifelong ambition to act, he moved to the
United States and received a business degree from the University of Wisconsin.
His humanitarian contributions subsequently garnered him an honorary doctorate
from the same university. While attending the University of Wisconsin, he
continued to compete in bodybuilding, packing an unprecedented thirteen world
titles under his belt, including Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia and Mr. World. With
an international fan base, charisma, growing popularity and natural talent in
front of media and cameras, his goal of launching a motion picture career was
the next logical and inevitable transition.
In 1970, he landed a small role in the aptly titled Hercules
in New York. Another minor break followed when director Bob Rafelson cast
him in a key role opposite Sally Field and Jeff Bridges in Stay Hungry.
His performance not only earned him winning reviews, but even a Golden Globe
Award for Best Newcomer that year. But it would be the critically acclaimed 1977
film Pumping Iron that really captured his engaging, natural presence in
front of the camera. The feature-length documentary about the Mr. Olympia
competitions would ironically allow him to put his own Mr. Universe moniker
aside and pursue acting full-time.
A romantic action-comedy western called The Villain
was released next, pairing Schwarzenegger with Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margret.
That same year, Arnold agreed to play the part of Mickey Hargitay opposite Loni
Anderson in The Jayne Mansfield Story. But it wasn't until 1982 that
the former bodybuilder really made his mark on the Hollywood scene in director
John Milius' interpretation of Conan the Barbarian, in which Arnold
portrayed the overblown comic-book hero of the mystical Dark Ages. The film
grossed over $100 million worldwide, spawning a popular sequel called Conan
the Destroyer and securing Schwarzenegger a devoted following around the
Soon after becoming a naturalized citizen of the United
States in 1983, Schwarzenegger took a chance on a low-budget independent film by
an unknown director named James Cameron. A futuristic thriller that featured
Arnold as one of the most terrifying villains in movie history, The
Terminator was a runaway box-office hit. Cited by Time magazine as
one of the year's Ten Best Films, the success of The Terminator
immediately thrust its star into the forefront of Hollywood's elite. Over the
next few years, his name would become virtually synonymous with the term
"action hero" due to a phenomenal string of crowd-pleasing and
money-making adventure films including: Commando, Raw Deal, Predator,
The Running Man, Red Heat and Total Recall.
Schwarzenegger was determined to realize yet another one of
his goals by tapping his previously unknown talents as a comedic actor. The
result was the 1988 movie Twins in which Arnold starred alongside
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