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Arnold Schwarzenegger

An actor and Governor of California

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The Greatest Celebrity Ever?

  • Jan 13, 2011
For any doubters of the active pulse of The American Dream, I give you Ahhhnold. Forget the wooden acting and quite frankly bizarre voice, and you've got someone who's so iconic that we'd probably lose a stripe on the flag if he wasn't around.

I think it's fair to say that winning Mr Universe is not easy, but it looks like winning the Wii Bodyfit Challenge compared with the fact that Schwarzenegger single-handedly moved bodybuilding into mainstream cinema. It's hard to imagine now, but the 1980s was dominated by how many muscles your hero had, and he inspired many imitators from Sylvester Stallone to Bruce Willis and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Ruthless Reviews has a very informative and amusing piece on the, ahem, hidden meanings of all these films.

James Cameron, of course, made the lucky and brilliant casting decision to bring in Schwarzenegger for The Terminator. Originally slated for the role of Kyle Reese, Arnold was switched at some point (depending on whom you believe) to play the bad guy, and in one stroke a legend was born and so was one of the biggest film franchises in history. If you thought Coca Cola was globally famous, just go to the furthest reaches of Timbuctoo and see the reaction when you say "I'll be back".

That single line became so huge of course that screenwriters were tripping over themselves to find the next big Arnold tagline. There were many classics, but none ever surpassed the three little words that came to define a decade of action films.

Much like Stallone, however, playing dumb belied the truth that Arnold was one intelligent guy. As the movie career wound down and the action genre shifted gears, the political career started to take over. Interestingly enough, the movie Demolition Man predicted he'd be President in 2012, which seemed crazy in 1993 and quite astute by 2003.

"Girlie men".

In his time of being Governor of California, the state's voters once again showed their bipolar nature and even one of the most calculating and driven celebrities couldn't use his considerable charisma to leave a positive impression. Governing California is much like trying to manage a mental asylum where the inmates not only choose their warden but get to smoke as much weed as they can shoehorn into their pockets, so Schwarzenegger went pretty much the way of every other Governor who's not bowed the staggeringly f---ed-up political system that exists here.

There were mistakes, but whether you agree with his politics or not, it will likely be a long time before a person like Arnold Schwarzenegger rises from overseas obscurity and dominates every business he chooses to enter. He remains a larger-than-life caricature that reminds us of the possibilities available in the United States when you combine hard work, ruthless determinism and a little luck.

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More Arnold Schwarzenegger reviews
Quick Tip by . July 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This is an action star the way action stars were meant to be - brimming with movie star immunity! He turns awesome catch phrases, and you really do get the impression - even in his lightest roles - that he's capable of killing you.
review by . May 22, 2008
Don't let the accent fool you, this guy is the American Dream.
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James Beswick ()
Ranked #19's "token Brit".
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About this actor


Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, Golden Globe-winning actor, businessman and politician, as well as the 38th Governor of the U.S. state of California.

As a young man, Schwarzenegger gained widespread attention as a highly successful bodybuilder, winning an impressive seven Mr. Olympia titles. He later gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon, with roles in such blockbusters as The Terminator and Total Recall. Schwarzenegger is married to Maria Shriver and has four children.

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 reelected 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 a second term on January 5, 2007. In May 2004 and 2007, he was named as one of the Time 100 people who help shape the world.

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