Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor, producer, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, and former professional bodybuilder and politician. He served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about him!
1. Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born July 30, 1947 in Thal, Styria, Austria.
2. He was christened Arnold Alois.
3. His parents were Gustav Schwarzenegger and Aurelia Schwarzenegger.
4. Gustav was the local chief of police, and had served in World War II as a Hauptfeldwebel after voluntarily joining the Nazi Party in 1938, though he was discharged in 1943 following a bout of malaria.
5. He married Schwarzenegger’s mother on October 20, 1945.He was 38, and she was 23.
6. According to Schwarzenegger, both of his parents were very strict: “Back then in Austria it was a very different world, if we did something bad or we disobeyed our parents, the rod was not spared.”
7. Schwarzenegger grew up in a Roman Catholic family who attended Mass every Sunday.
8. Gustav had a preference for his elder son, Meinhard, over Arnold.
9. His favoritism was “strong and blatant”, which stemmed from unfounded suspicion that Arnold was not his biological child.
10. Schwarzenegger has said his father had “no patience for listening or understanding your problems”.
11. He had a good relationship with his mother and kept in touch with her until her death.
12. In later life, Schwarzenegger commissioned the Simon Wiesenthal Center to research his father’s wartime record, which came up with no evidence of Gustav’s being involved in atrocities, despite his membership in the Nazi Party and SA.
13. Gustav’s background received wide press attention during the 2003 California recall campaign.
14. At school, Schwarzenegger was apparently in the middle but stood out for his “cheerful, good-humored, and exuberant” character.
15. Money was a problem in their household. Schwarzenegger recalled that one of the highlights of his youth was when the family bought a refrigerator.
16. As a boy, Schwarzenegger played several sports, heavily influenced by his father.
17. He picked up his first barbell in 1960, when his soccer coach took his team to a local gym.
18. At the age of 14, he chose bodybuilding over soccer as a career.
19. Schwarzenegger has responded to a question asking if he was 13 when he started weightlifting: “I actually started weight training when I was 15, but I’d been participating in sports, like soccer, for years, so I felt that although I was slim, I was well-developed, at least enough so that I could start going to the gym and start Olympic lifting.”
20. During a speech in 2001, he said, “My own plan formed when I was 14 years old. My father had wanted me to be a police officer like he was. My mother wanted me to go to trade school.”
21. Schwarzenegger took to visiting a gym in Graz, where he also frequented the local movie theaters to see bodybuilding idols such as Reg Park, Steve Reeves, and Johnny Weissmuller on the big screen.
23. In 1961, Schwarzenegger met former Mr. Austria Kurt Marnul, who invited him to train at the gym in Graz.
24. He was so dedicated as a youngster that he broke into the local gym on weekends, when it was usually closed, so that he could train. “It would make me sick to miss a workout… I knew I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror the next morning if I didn’t do it.”
25. When Schwarzenegger was asked about his first movie experience as a boy, he replied: “I was very young, but I remember my father taking me to the Austrian theaters and seeing some newsreels. The first real movie I saw, that I distinctly remember, was a John Wayne movie.”
26. On May 20, 1971, his brother, Meinhard, died in a car accident. Meinhard had been drinking and was killed instantly. Schwarzenegger did not attend his funeral.
27. Meinhard was due to marry Erika Knapp, and the couple had a three-year-old son, Patrick. Schwarzenegger would pay for Patrick’s education and help him to emigrate to the United States.
28. Gustav died the following year from a stroke. In Pumping Iron, Schwarzenegger claimed that he did not attend his father’s funeral because he was training for a bodybuilding contest.
29. Later, he and the film’s producer said this story was taken from another bodybuilder for the purpose of showing the extremes that some would go to for their sport and to make Schwarzenegger’s image more cold and machine-like in order to fan controversy for the film.
30. Barbara Baker, his first serious girlfriend, has said he informed her of his father’s death without emotion and that he never spoke of his brother. Over time, he has given at least three versions of why he was absent from his father’s funeral.
31. In an interview with Fortune in 2004, Schwarzenegger told how he suffered what “would now be called child abuse” at the hands of his father: “My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door. It was just the way it was. Many of the children I’ve seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. They didn’t want to create an individual. It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform, and whose will could not be broken. Therefore, I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, ‘You can’t do this,’ I said, ‘This is not going to be for much longer, because I’m going to move out of here. I want to be rich. I want to be somebody.'”
32. Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian Army in 1965 to fulfill the one year of service required at the time of all 18-year-old Austrian males. During his army service, he won the Junior Mr. Europe contest.
33. In the year 1967, Arnold won the Mr. Universe title for the first time. He became the youngest ever to claim the title at the age of 20. He went on to win the title a further three times.
34. Austrian bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger pretends to drink from his trophy while wearing its lid as a crown after winning the Mr. Universe contest, London, England, September 1967.
35. He moved to America in the year 1968 a dream he had since he was 10. He trained in Gold’s Gym under Joe Weider. He won his first Mr. Olympia title in New York in 1970 at the age of 23. He went on to win the title a further seven times.
36. In 1968, he along with fellow bodybuilder Franco Columbu started bricklaying business. It flourished due to their market knowledge and also due to an earthquake in 1971.
37. They then started to sell bodybuilding and fitness related equipments from the profit gained by bricklaying business.
As foray into the acting arena, Arnold starred in 1970’s Hercules in New York, playing the role of Hercules. Later in the year 1973, he made his second appearance as a deaf mute hit-man for the mob in The Long Goodbye movie.
38. His next movie – Stay Hungry (1976) was the one which earned him his first award – Golden Globe for New Male Star of the Year.
39. In the early stages of his acting career, Arnold was told that he had no chance. Casting people have even said that his body is “too weird,” his accent is funny, and his name was too long, which they insisted on changing.
40. In the sets of the movie “Conan The Barbarian,” his breakthrough movie in the year 1982, he suffered a severe back injury. He is chased by dogs and he climbs a rock to escape. But the dogs jump on his back resulting in him falling down on the rocks.
41. His life mirrors the life of fictional character “Conan the Barbarian.” Conan who was born in a small village and due to years of slavery grows into a physically powerful man. After becoming famous as a gladiator he indulges in women and wine. Later he rejects that lifestyle and performs great feats and eventually is crowned King.
42. He has performed many of the stunts in his movies himself, as it was difficult to find someone of his built. Eventually Billy Lucas, Joel Kramer and Peter Kent became his stunt double and very good friends.
43. Arnold married Maria Shriver a Journalist and a niece of President John F. Kennedy on April 26 1986. They have four children namely Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher.
44. Has stated that the fight scene in “The Predator” (1987), was difficult as Kevin Peter Hall who played the “Predator” in the movie, was unable to see through the mask.
45. In the sets of “True Lies” (1994) he has to ride a horse and come to a standstill on the edge of the building. They had built a ramp to help the horse get some distance to stop. However during the shoot the horse went crazy and started to spin and jump. He slid of the animal in time and a stunt man grabbed him.
46. In a scene in “The 6th Day” (2000) he was to stay underwater when there is a big explosion above. During rehearsal he had no trouble but, during the shoot the water got too milky. He couldn’t see properly and ran out of air. When he swam up, got trapped in between the flames. Eventually his stunt double Billy Lucas saved him with a tank and goggles.
47. The most famous dialogue of his “I will be back” was originally written as “I will come back.”
48. Director James Cameron originally wanted him to play the role of Kyle Reese. But after going through the script he asked the director for role of The Machine. When the director was hesitating he asked him to just “trust me.”
49. In 1987, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
50. US actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger poses next to his star at Almeria’s Walk of Fame during a visit on September 28, 2014. Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to Almeria, 33 years after filming ‘Conan the Barbarian’, to receive the honorific award ‘Almeria Land Of Film’. Schwarzenegger was accompanied by Fredrik Malmberg, producer of the sequel of the film, ‘Legend of Conan’, due to be filmed next year.
51. In 1992, he along with his wife Maria Shriver opened a restaurant in Santa Monica named as “Schatzi On Main”. Schatzi in Germani means darling. He sold it in 1998.
52. He is the second actor to be elected as the Governor of California. The first was Ronald Reagan.
53. On becoming the governor of California he refused to take the salary of governor and travelled around in private jets on his own expense.
54. When he was the governor of California a poster for Burger King stated “It’s so big and beefy, it might run for governor.”
55. In December 2001, he broke 6 ribs in a motorcycle crash in Los Angeles. “It was very painful, much more painful than the heart surgery,” he said at the time, referring to an operation he had in 1997 to replace a heart valve.
56. In 2005, when he was riding a Harley Davidson with his son Patrick met with an accident near their Brentwood home. He received 15 stitches to his lips. He got his two-wheeler license in 2006.
57. He had once saved a drowning man while on vacation in Hawaii in 2004 by swimming into the sea.
58. He was one of the initial investors in the “Planet Hollywood” along with fellow actors Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. He eventually withdrew from it in 2000 stating a success well below than what he expected.
59. He was considered for the role of Robert Neville in “I Am Legend” back in the year 1996. It came out in 2007 with Will Smith in the lead.
60. His “Conan The Destroyer” was a failure and this prompted him to reject all the sequels of his later movies such as “Commando”, “Predator”, “Total Recall”, and “True Lies”. The Only exception he made was “The Terminator Series” and “The Expendables Series.”
61. He considers “The Kindergarten Cop” as his personal favorite among his own movies.
62. He has rejected many leading roles and has regretted for missing them. “The Rock”, “The Saint” and “Face Off” being a few among them.
63. He is the first private citizen in United States to own a Humvee. It was so large that it was classified as a large truck. He spent a huge amount on converting it to burn hydrogen.
64. He holds dual citizenship of U.S.A and Austria. He became a U.S citizen on September 17, 1973. He had asked the Austrian government to retain his Austrian citizen too, to which they agreed.
65. His net worth is estimated to be around $100 to $200 million. Sometimes even around $800 million according to Tax return he filed in 2006. He has invested in stocks, bonds and real estate over the years from his bodybuilding and movie earning.
66. In the year 2011 his alleged relationship with his maid Mildred Patricia Baena for more than 14 years was revealed. The same year, Maria Shriver divorced him and bought a new house nearby to stay in touch with the kids.
67. Arnold has stated that he came to know about him fathering a son with Mildred only when the kid grew up and started to look like him. After the divorce he has taken full responsibility of the kid.