"I would rather be Governor of California than own Austria." Arnold Schwarzenegger
Austria born body-builder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, nicknamed Austrian Oak, was widely recognized as five-time winner Mr. Universe (won his first title at age 20), seven-time Mr. Olympia and one-time Mr. Junior Western Europe. An actor who first appeared in the documentary Pumping Iron (1977) and had a Golden Globe winning role in his debut movie Stay Hungry (1976), Schwarzenegger was tossed toward stardom for portraying The Terminator (1984) in the action movie with the same name and its sequels. He continued to star in such box office hits as Red Sonja (1985), Predator (1987), Conan movies (1982 and 1984), Total Recall (1990), Kindergarten Cop (1990), and True Lies (1994). He recently played a cameo in an adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days (2004, starring Jackie Chan) and will soon appear in the upcoming comedy The Kid & I. Green eyed, 6' 2" tall cigar smoking Schwarzenegger was listed as one of Empire (UK) magazine's "Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" (October 1997), Star TV's "Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s" (2003) and Entertainment Weekly's " Greatest Movie Star of All Time." Guinness Book of World Records also called him "the most perfectly developed man in the history of the world." On a more personal note, he was once engaged to actress Brigitte Nielsen and is currently the husband of late President John F. Kennedy's niece, Maria Shriver (TV journalist).
"It's something that I'm still interested in (for) the future. I think that the greatest thing you can do is serve the people. It gives me the greatest satisfaction -- much more than going down another red carpet to do a movie premiere -- to go and create after-school programs, help special Olympians, inspire kids to stay away from drugs and gangs." Arnold Schwarzenegger (about his role in politics).
Schwarzenegger became a US citizen in 1983 and is a loyal public supporter of the US Republican Party. In 2003, he successfully ran for governor of California, replacing Gray Davis as governor of California in the widely lauded, highly controversial recall election of 2003. Recently, he was rumored to have had a seven-year extramarital affair with former TV actress Gigi Goyette, who reportedly was paid $20,000 to keep silent about the issue.
Childhood and Family:
"Everything I have - my career, my success, my family - I owe to America." Arnold Schwarzenegger
In Thal, Styria, Austria, Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947. He is the son of Nazi party member Gustav Schwarzenegger (former Gendarmerie-Kommandant policeman, 1907-1972) and Aurelia Jadrny (1922-1998), who raised him with strict rules and morals. He also has one elder brother Meinherd (1946-1971), a champion boxer who was killed in a car accident.
Schwarzenegger, which means "Black Ploughman" in German, attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a major in international marketing of fitness and business administration and graduated with a B.A in 1979. Moreover, he received two Honorary Doctorates, one from his alma mater the University of Wisconsin Superior (1996, in recognition of his charitable works) and another one from Chapman University in Orange, California (2002).
On April 26, 1986, Arnold Schwarzenegger, nicknamed Arnie, tied the knot with TV journalist Maria Shriver (born on November 6, 1955, the niece of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy) in Hyannis, Massachusetts. They currently have four children: daughters Katherine Eunice (born December 13, 1989) and Christina Maria Aurelia (born July 23, 1991), and sons Patrick (born September 18, 1993) and Christopher Sargent Shriver (born September 27, 1997). The family lives in a home in the Kennedy Compound.
"There's so little time to do all the things I want to do that I can't see any reason to get bogged down in sequels." Arnold Schwarzenegger
Initially persuaded by his father to join the soccer team, Arnold Schwarzenegger began physical training and later signed up with the Austrian army (in 1965) in order to follow his strict diet. However, he sneaked off the camp to compete in the Mr. Junior Western Europe and eventually won the contest. He subsequently joined and won similar competitions, including Mr. World, IFBB Mr. Universe, NABBA Mr. Universe (four times), and Mr. Olympia (seven times, in 1970-1975 and 1980), the latter of which was a record set in 1980 and bolstered him as a sport legend.
After winning the International Powerlifting Championship, Schwarzenegger moved to the US in 1968 to pursue an acting career.
Under the name of Arnold Strong, Schwarzenegger made his film debut as the Greek mythological hero Hercules in Arthur Allan Seidelman's comedy Hercules Goes to New York (1970). Following his appearances in The Long Goodbye (1973) and CBS' sitcom pilot Happy Anniversary and Goodbye (1974, starring Lucille Ball and Art Carney), Schwarzenegger was featured in both Charles Gaines' best-selling book "Pumping Iron" and its documentary film version with the same title in 1977.
The portrayal of Joe Santo, a bodybuilder who is training for the Mr. Universe title, in Bob Rafelson's film based on the novel by Charles Gaines, Stay Hungry (1976), handed Arnold a Golden Globe for Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture. He then was spotted as a guest in such series as "The Streets of San Francisco," "Dinah!," "V.I.P.-Schaukel" and "The San Pedro Beach Bums." His autobiography, "Arnold: The Education of a Body-Builder," was published in 1977.
On the wide screen, Arnold costarred with Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margret, playing cowboy Handsome Stranger, in Hal Needham's western comedy The Villain and appeared in Michael Schultz's comedy Scavenger Hunt (both in 1979). Then he was cast as bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay in Dick Lowry's biopic The Jayne Mansfield Story (1980, TV, opposite Loni Anderson) Conan, about a man who seeks revenge against the warlord who slaughtered his tribe, was Schwarzenegger's breakthrough role. He played the role in an adaptation of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian (1982, directed by John Milius) and its 1984 installment, Conan the Destroyer (helmed by Richard Fleischer).
"I had to act like a cyborg, which meant I couldn't show any kind of human fear or reaction to the fire, explosions, or gunfire that was going off around me. That can be difficult when you're walking through a door with its frame on fire, trying to reload a gun, and at the same time thinking in the back of your mind that people have accidents doing these kinds of stunts and that it might be my turn." Arnold Schwarzenegger (on his role in Terminator).
Another prominent role arrived in 1984, as unstoppable killing machine The Terminator, in James Cameron's sci-fi action movie with the same name. The film was warmly received and Schwarzenegger later reprised his cyborg role in its next sequels, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003). Meanwhile, he formed his production company, Oak Productions, in 1985 and sponsored the first annual Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio for male and female bodybuilders, in 1989.
"I don't necessarily want to leave the magic of the Terminator movies behind, and who says we have to? According to what we know about the future, there were hundreds of Terminators built. The story of the Terminator could go on forever." Arnold Schwarzenegger Schwarzenegger teamed with then girlfriend Brigitte Nielsen in Richard Fleischer's semi-sequel to the Conan films, Red Sonja (1985), in which he played mysterious Kalidor. More starring roles followed: retired special agent John Matrix in Mark L. Lester's Commando (1985), ex-FBI agent Mark Kaminsky/Joseph P. Brenner in John Irvin's Raw Deal (1986) and United States Major Dutch Schaeffer in John McTiernan's summer box office smash thriller Predator (1987). The rest of the 1980s also watched Schwarzenegger in Paul Michael Glaser's futuristic film, adopted from a Stephen King novel, The Running Man (1987), as a highly disciplined Russian detective in Walter Hill's Red Heat (1988) and Danny DeVito's twin brother in Ivan Reitman's comedy Twins (1988).
In the early 1990s, Schwarzenegger had virtual vacation memories to Mars in Paul Verhoeven's futuristic movie Total Recall and reunited with director Ivan Reitman in his two comedies, Kindergarten Cop and the Oscar nominated Dave (1993, starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver). Behind the screen, Schwarzenegger made his directional debut in an episode of HBO's "Tales From the Crypt" entitled "The Switch," directed the cable-TV movie "Christmas in Connecticut" and wrote a weekly health column for "USA Today." He also opened the Planet Hollywood Restaurant in New York, with Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone.
The subsequent years saw Schwarzenegger rejoin filmmaker John McTiernan to star as crusader Jack Slater in the heart-racing thriller The Last Action Hero (1993, he also executive produced) and reuniting with director James Cameron to play a secret agent in True Lies (1994, opposite Jamie Lee Curtis). He also worked again with director Ivan Reitman who handed him the lead role of a male pregnant scientist in his 1994 movie Junior (with Danny DeVito and Emma Thompson) and appeared as Franco Columbu's old friend in Michael Preece's Beretta's Island (1994).
Muscle-bound, heavily accented Schwarzenegger was hired by the Witness Protection Program as an "Eraser" in Chuck Russell's 1996 film with the same name. Afterward, he became a father-turned-Turbo Man in Brian Levant's Christmas slapstick Jingle All the Way (1996), portrayed Mr. Freeze/Dr. Victor Fries in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin (1997) and played a beaten down ex-cop and the reluctant hero in Peter Hyams' chilling, horrific thriller End of Days (1999). In the new millennium, Schwarzenegger portrayed the dual role of a man and his clone in Roger Spottiswoode's futuristic action thriller The Sixth Day and starred as a family man and firefighter who tracks down the terrorist who killed his family in Sir Andrew Davis' Collateral Damage (2002, the release date was delayed due to the terrorist attack on 9/11).
First body builder, then actor, Schwarzenegger also branched out to politics. He was appointed Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in the administration of George H. W. Bush from 1990 to 1993 and later served as Chairman for the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson. He got his first real political accomplishment on November 5, 2002, when Californians agreed to his personally crafted and sponsored Proposition 49, the "After School Education and Safety Program Act of 2002."
"Yes, I would love to be governor of California. If the state needs me, and if there's no one I think is better, then I will run." Arnold Schwarzenegger
On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in August 2003, Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for Governor of California in a special October recall election. On October 7, 2003, he eventually won the election replacing Gray Davis as governor and was sworn into office on November 17, 2003. He gave a brief speech, "Today is a new day in California. I did not seek this office to do things the way they've always been done. What I care about is restoring your confidence in your government... This election was not about replacing one man. It was not replacing one party. It was about changing the entire political climate of our state."
In late June 2005, another non-partisan Field Poll found that 57% of California voters are not inclined to elect Schwarzenegger to a second term as Governor in 2006 and as of early August 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger had yet to announce whether he would be running for re-election in November 2006.
As for acting, Schwarzenegger recently played a cameo in Frank Coraci's film version of Jules Verne's novel, Around the World in 80 Days (starring Jackie Chan) and will appear in Penelope Spheeris' upcoming comedy The Kid & I.
"Everything I have ever done in my life has always stayed. I've just added to it. But I will not change because when you are successful and you change, you are an idiot." Arnold Schwarzenegger