- Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger
July 30, 1947 (age 73)
- Actor, Bodybuilder, Politician, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Investor, Film Producer, Television Di
- Maria Shriver
- Aurelia Jadrny Schwarzenegger, Gustav Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian American former professional bodybuilder, actor, producer, director, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011.
Schwarzenegger began weight training at the age of 15. He won the Mr. Universe title at age 20 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent presence in bodybuilding and has written many books and articles on the sport. Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. He was nicknamed the "Austrian Oak" and the "Styrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, "Arnie" during his acting career and more recently "The Governator" (a portmanteau of "Governor" and "The Terminator" – one of his best-known movie roles).
As a Republican, he was first elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger was sworn in on November 17, 2003, to serve the remainder of Davis's term. Schwarzenegger was then re-elected on November 7, 2006, in California's 2006 gubernatorial election, to serve a full term as governor, defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, who was California State Treasurer at the time. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for his second term on January 5, 2007. In 2011, Schwarzenegger completed his second term as governor, and it was announced that he had separated from Maria Shriver, his wife for the last 25 years, and a member of the influential Kennedy family, as a niece of the late Democrat US President John F. Kennedy.
Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, a small village bordering the Styrian capital Graz, and was christened Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger. His parents were the local police chief, Gustav Schwarzenegger (1907–1972), and Aurelia (née Jadrny; 1922–1998). Gustav served in World War II, after he voluntarily applied to join the Nazi Party in 1938. Gustav served with the German Army as a Hauptfeldwebel of the Feldgendarmerie and was discharged in 1943 after contracting malaria. They were married on October 20, 1945 – Gustav was 38, and Aurelia was 23-years-old. 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." He grew up in a Roman Catholic family who attended Mass every Sunday.
Gustav had a preference for his older son, Meinhard, over Arnold. His favoritism was "strong and blatant," which stemmed from unfounded suspicion that Arnold was not his biological child. Schwarzenegger has said his father had "no patience for listening or understanding your problems." Schwarzenegger had a good relationship with his mother and kept in touch with her until her death. 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 Gustav's membership in the Nazi Party and SA. Schwarzenegger's father's background received wide press attention during the 2003 California recall campaign. At school, Schwarzenegger was apparently in the middle but stood out for his "cheerful, good-humored and exuberant" character. Money was a problem in their household; Schwarzenegger recalled that one of the highlights of his youth was when the family bought a refrigerator.
As a boy, Schwarzenegger played several sports, heavily influenced by his father. He picked up his first barbell in 1960, when his football (soccer) coach took his team to a local gym. At the age of 14, he chose bodybuilding over football as a career. 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." However, his official website biography claims: "At 14, he started an intensive training program with Dan Farmer, studied psychology at 15 (to learn more about the power of mind over body) and at 17, officially started his competitive career." 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." 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. When Reeves died in 2000, Schwarzenegger fondly remembered him: "As a teenager, I grew up with Steve Reeves. His remarkable accomplishments allowed me a sense of what was possible, when others around me didn't always understand my dreams. Steve Reeves has been part of everything I've ever been fortunate enough to achieve." In 1961, Schwarzenegger met former Mr. Austria Kurt Marnul, who invited him to train at the gym in Graz. 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." 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."
In 1971, his brother, Meinhard, died in a car accident. Meinhard had been drinking and was killed instantly. Schwarzenegger did not attend his funeral. 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 immigrate to the United States. 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. 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. 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.
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.'"
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. He went AWOL during basic training so he could take part in the competition and spent a week in military prison: "Participating in the competition meant so much to me that I didn't carefully think through the consequences." He won another bodybuilding contest in Graz, at Steirer Hof Hotel (where he had placed second). He was voted best built man of Europe, which made him famous. "The Mr. Universe title was my ticket to America – the land of opportunity, where I could become a star and get rich." Schwarzenegger made his first plane trip in 1966, attending the NABBA Mr. Universe competition in London. He would come in second in the Mr. Universe competition, not having the muscle definition of American winner Chester Yorton.
Charles "Wag" Bennett, one of the judges at the 1966 competition, was impressed with Schwarzenegger and he offered to coach him. As Schwarzenegger had little money, Bennett invited him to stay in his crowded family home above one of his two gyms in Forest Gate, London, England. Yorton's leg definition had been judged superior, and Schwarzenegger, under a training program devised by Bennett, concentrated on improving the muscle definition and power in his legs. Staying in the East End of London helped Schwarzenegger improve his rudimentary grasp of the English language. Also in 1966, Schwarzenegger had the opportunity to meet childhood idol Reg Park, who became his friend and mentor. The training paid off and, in 1967, Schwarzenegger won the title for the first time, becoming the youngest ever Mr. Universe at the age of 20. He would go on to win the title a further three times. Schwarzenegger then flew back to Munich, training for four to six hours daily, attending business school and working in a health club (Rolf Putzinger's gym where he worked and trained from 1966–1968), returning in 1968 to London to win his next Mr. Universe title. He frequently told Roger C. Field, his English coach and friend in Munich at that time, "I'm going to become the greatest actor!"
Move to the U.S.
Schwarzenegger, who dreamed of moving to the U.S. since the age of 10, and saw bodybuilding as the avenue through which to do so, realized his dream by moving to the United States in September 1968 at the age of 21, speaking little English. There he trained at Gold's Gym in Venice, Los Angeles, California, under Joe Weider. From 1970 to 1974, one of Schwarzenegger's weight training partners was Ric Drasin, a professional wrestler who designed the original Gold's Gym logo in 1973. Schwarzenegger also became good friends with professional wrestler "Superstar" Billy Graham. In 1970, at age 23, he captured his first Mr. Olympia title in New York, and would go on to win the title a total of seven times.
In 1977, Schwarzenegger's autobiography/weight-training guide Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder was published and became a huge success. After taking English classes at Santa Monica College in California, he earned a BA by correspondence from the University of Wisconsin–Superior, where he graduated with a degree in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979.
Schwarzenegger is considered among the most important figures in the history of bodybuilding, and his legacy is commemorated in the Arnold Classic annual bodybuilding competition. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent face in the bodybuilding sport long after his retirement, in part because of his ownership of gyms and fitness magazines. He has presided over numerous contests and awards shows.
One of the first competitions he won was the Junior Mr. Europe contest in 1965. He won Mr. Europe the following year, at age 19. He would go on to compete in, and win, many bodybuilding contests. His bodybuilding victories included five Mr. Universe (4 –NABBA [England], 1 – IFBB [USA]) wins, and seven Mr. Olympia wins, a record which would stand until Lee Haney won his eighth consecutive Mr. Olympia title in 1991.
Schwarzenegger's goal was to become the greatest bodybuilder in the world, which meant becoming Mr. Olympia. His first attempt was in 1969, when he lost to three-time champion Sergio Oliva. However, Schwarzenegger came back in 1970 and won the competition, making him the youngest ever Mr. Olympia at the age of 23, a record he still holds to this day.
He continued his winning streak in the 1971–74 competitions. In 1975, Schwarzenegger was once again in top form, and won the title for the sixth consecutive time, beating Franco Columbu. After the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, Schwarzenegger announced his retirement from professional bodybuilding.
Months before the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, filmmakers George Butler and Robert Fiore persuaded Schwarzenegger to compete, in order to film his training in the bodybuilding documentary called Pumping Iron. Schwarzenegger had only three months to prepare for the competition, after losing significant weight to appear in the film Stay Hungry with Jeff Bridges. Lou Ferrigno proved not to be a threat, and a lighter-than-usual Schwarzenegger convincingly won the 1975 Mr. Olympia.
Schwarzenegger came out of retirement, however, to compete in the 1980 Mr. Olympia. Schwarzenegger was training for his role in Conan, and he got into such good shape because of the running, horseback riding and sword training, that he decided he wanted to win the Mr. Olympia contest one last time. He kept this plan a secret, in the event that a training accident would prevent his entry and cause him to lose face. Schwarzenegger had been hired to provide color commentary for network television, when he announced at the eleventh hour that while he was there: "Why not compete?" Schwarzenegger ended up winning the event with only seven weeks of preparation. After being declared Mr. Olympia for a seventh time, Schwarzenegger then officially retired from competition.
Schwarzenegger wanted to move from bodybuilding into acting, finally achieving it when he was chosen to play the role of Hercules in 1970's Hercules in New York. Credited under the name "Arnold Strong," his accent in the film was so thick that his lines were dubbed after production. His second film appearance was as a deaf mute hit-man for the mob in director Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973), which was followed by a much more significant part in the film Stay Hungry (1976), for which he was awarded a Golden Globe for New Male Star of the Year. Schwarzenegger has discussed his early struggles in developing his acting career. "It was very difficult for me in the beginning – I was told by agents and casting people that my body was 'too weird', that I had a funny accent, and that my name was too long. You name it, and they told me I had to change it. Basically, everywhere I turned, I was told that I had no chance."
Schwarzenegger drew attention and boosted his profile in the bodybuilding film Pumping Iron (1977), elements of which were dramatized. In 1991, Schwarzenegger purchased the rights to the film, its outtakes, and associated still photography. Schwarzenegger auditioned for the title role of The Incredible Hulk, but did not win the role because of his height. Later, Lou Ferrigno got the part of Dr. David Banner's alter ego. Schwarzenegger appeared with Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margret in the 1979 comedy The Villain. In 1980 he starred in a biographical film of the 1950s actress Jayne Mansfield as Mansfield's husband, Mickey Hargitay.
Schwarzenegger's breakthrough film was the sword-and-sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian in 1982, which was a box-office hit. This was followed by a sequel, Conan the Destroyer, in 1984, although it was not as successful as its predecessor. In 1983, Schwarzenegger starred in the promotional video, Carnival in Rio. In 1984, he made his first appearance as the eponymous character, and what some would say was his acting career's signature role, in James Cameron's science fiction thriller film The Terminator. Following this, Schwarzenegger made Red Sonja in 1985.
Schwarzenegger's commercial peak was his return as the title character in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which was the highest-grossing film of 1991. In 1993, the National Association of Theatre Owners named him the "International Star of the Decade".
In 1969, Schwarzenegger met Barbara Outland (later Barbara Outland Baker), an English teacher he lived with until 1974. Schwarzenegger talked about Barbara in his memoir in 1977: "Basically it came down to this: she was a well-balanced woman who wanted an ordinary, solid life, and I was not a well-balanced man, and hated the very idea of ordinary life." Baker has described Schwarzenegger as "[a] joyful personality, totally charismatic, adventurous, and athletic" but claims towards the end of the relationship he became "insufferable – classically conceited – the world revolved around him". Baker published her memoir in 2006, entitled Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak. Although Baker, at times, painted an unflattering portrait of her former lover, Schwarzenegger actually contributed to the tell-all book with a foreword, and also met with Baker for three hours. Baker claims, for example, that she only learned of his being unfaithful after they split, and talks of a turbulent and passionate love life. Schwarzenegger has made it clear that their respective recollection of events can differ. The couple first met six to eight months after his arrival in the U.S—their first date was watching the first Apollo Moon landing on television. They shared an apartment in Santa Monica for three and a half years, and having little money, would visit the beach all day, or have barbecues in the back yard. Although Baker claims that when she first met him, he had "little understanding of polite society" and she found him a turn-off, she says, "He's as much a self-made man as it's possible to be—he never got encouragement from his parents, his family, his brother. He just had this huge determination to prove himself, and that was very attractive ... I'll go to my grave knowing Arnold loved me."
Schwarzenegger met his next paramour, Sue Moray, a Beverly Hills hairdresser's assistant, on Venice Beach in July 1977. According to Moray, the couple led an open relationship: "We were faithful when we were both in LA ... but when he was out of town, we were free to do whatever we wanted." Schwarzenegger met Maria Shriver at the Robert F. Kennedy Tennis Tournament in August 1977, and went on to have a relationship with both women until August 1978, when Moray (who knew of his relationship with Shriver) issued an ultimatum.
Marriage and family
Schwarzenegger married television journalist Maria Shriver, niece of President John F. Kennedy, in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The Rev. John Baptist Riordan performed the ceremony at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. They have four children: Katherine Eunice Schwarzenegger (born December 13, 1989 in Los Angeles); Christina Maria Aurelia Schwarzenegger (born July 23, 1991 in Los Angeles); Patrick Arnold Shriver Schwarzenegger (born September 18, 1993 in Los Angeles); and Christopher Sargent Shriver Schwarzenegger (born September 27, 1997 in Los Angeles). Schwarzenegger lives in a 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) home in Brentwood. The divorcing couple currently own vacation homes in Sun Valley, Idaho and Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. They attended St. Monica's Catholic Church.
On May 9, 2011, Shriver and Schwarzenegger separated after 25 years of marriage, with Shriver moving out of the couple's Brentwood mansion. On May 16, 2011, theLos Angeles Times revealed that Schwarzenegger had fathered a son more than fourteen years earlier with an employee in their household, Mildred Patricia 'Patty' Baena. "After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said in a statement issued to The Times. In the statement, Schwarzenegger did not mention that he had confessed to his wife only after Shriver had confronted him with the information, which she had done after confirming with the housekeeper what she had suspected about the child.
Fifty-year-old Baena, of Guatemalan origin, was employed by the family for 20 years and retired in January 2011. The pregnant Baena was working in the home while Shriver was pregnant with the youngest of the couple’s four children. Baena's son with Schwarzenegger, Joseph, was born on October 2, 1997; Shriver gave birth to Christopher on September 27, 1997. Schwarzenegger found ways to spend time with this child: in one instance, in 1998, Shriver and Schwarzenegger's children unexpectedly accompanied Schwarzenegger to the lovechild's baptism; and he was photographed teaching the boy how to play golf and swinging him playfully above his head. Despite Schwarzenegger's interactions with the child, the boy was never told that Schwarzenegger was his father, and he was unaware of the fact until it was revealed by the press. Schwarzenegger has taken financial responsibility for the child "from the start and continued to provide support." KNX 1070 radio reported that he bought a new, four-bedroom house, with a pool, in Bakersfield, about 112 miles (180 km) north of Los Angeles, in 2010 for Baena and their son. Baena separated from her husband, Rogelio, in 1997, a few months after Joseph's birth, and filed for divorce in 2008. Baena's ex-husband says that the child's birth certificate was falsified and that he plans to sue Schwarzenegger for engaging in conspiracy to falsify a public document, a serious crime in California.
Schwarzenegger has consulted an attorney, Bob Kaufman. Kaufman has earlier handled divorce cases for celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Schwarzenegger will keep the Brentwood home as part of their divorce settlement and Shriver has purchased a new home nearby so that the children may travel easily between their parents' homes. They will share custody of the two minor children. Schwarzenegger came under fire after the initial petition did not include spousal support and a reimbursement of attorney's fees. However, he claims this was not intentional and that he signed the initial documents without having properly read them. Schwarzenegger has filed amended divorce papers remedying this.
After the scandal, actress Brigitte Nielsen came forward and stated that she too had an affair with Schwarzenegger while he was in a relationship with Shriver, saying, "Maybe I wouldn't have got into it if he said 'I'm going to marry Maria' and this is dead serious, but he didn't, and our affair carried on." When asked in 2014 "Of all the things you are famous for ... which are you least proud of?", Schwarzengger replied "I'm least proud of the mistakes I made that caused my family pain and split us up"