From Terminator to Governator! Arnold Schwarzenegger played many roles throughout his impressive career.
The Jingle All the Way star was born in Thal, Austria in July 1947 as the son of a police officer. As a teenager, Schwarzenegger developed an interest in weight training when his football coach brought him to a local gym. After finding his passion for bodybuilding, he chose to give up football as a potential career path.
While doing his required military service in 1965, the athlete went AWOL during basic training so he could participate in the Junior Mr. Europe contest — which he won. The following year, he went on to place second in the Mr. Universe competition. In 1968, Schwarzenegger accomplished his dream of moving to the United States to train at Gold’s Gym in Los Angeles. Throughout his impressive bodybuilding career, he won seven first-place titles at the Mr. Olympia competition.
As the Austria native grew more prominent in the athletic community, he felt the desire to transition into acting. He booked his first movie role as the titular character in the 1970 film Hercules in New York. The True Lies star later snagged roles in more flicks including 1973’s The Long Goodbye and 1976’s Stay Hungry, which earned him his first Golden Globe win.
After gaining critical acclaim, Schwarzenegger cemented himself as a movie superstar, especially in the action genre. In the 1980s, he starred in blockbuster flicks including Conan the Barbarian (1982), Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), The Running Man (1987), Predator (1987), Red Heat (1988) and his most noteworthy role as the titular character in James Cameron’s Terminator franchise.
As the Batman & Robin actor continued to achieve box office success, he found love with Maria Shriver. The pair tied the knot in 1986 after meeting at a tennis event nine years prior. They welcomed four children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1997, respectively.
In addition to his budding film career and growing family, Schwarzenegger decided to pursue another passion: politics. In 2003, Schwarzenegger was elected as Governor of California to replace Gray Davis after he was recalled and removed from office. The actor, who was dubbed “The Governator,” served two terms.
Following his time in office, the Total Recall star and Shriver called it quits after nearly 25 years of marriage in 2011. The I’ve Been Thinking author filed for divorce from Schwarzenegger after she learned he had an affair with their family’s former housekeeper, Mildred “Patty” Baena, in 1997 and fathered a child, son Joseph Baena.
“I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family,” the Commando actor said in a statement at the time. “There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.”
A decade after filing, Us Weekly confirmed that the former couple were officially divorced in 2021. Two years later, Schwarzenegger opened up about the infamous split and how he and Shriver deserve “Oscars” for how they managed to coparent throughout the difficult period.
“We are very proud of the way we raised our kids,” he explained to The Hollywood Reporter in May 2023. “Even though we had this drama, we did Easter together, Mother’s Day together, the Christmases together, all birthdays — everything together.”
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Keep scrolling to see Schwarzenegger throughout the years: