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Steve Reeves

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January 21, 1926 in Glasgow, Montana, U.S.A.
Died:  May 1, 2000 in Escondido, California, U.S.A.
Cause of Death:  Complications From Lymphoma.

Spouse #1:  Sandra Smith (January 31, 1955-September 4, 1956) (divorced)
Spouse #2:  Aline Czartjarwicz (June 24, 1963-July 24, 1989) (her death)

Height:  6' 1"
Measurements (Biceps):  17.5 inches (at age 23)
Measurements (Chest):  48 inches (at age 23)
Measurements (Waist):  29 inches (at age 23)
Weight:  200 pounds (at age 23)


BiographySteve Reeves was born on a cattle ranch in Montana.  Of Welsh, Irish, English, and German descent.  His father died in a farming accident.  At six months of age, Steve won his first fitness title as "Healthiest Baby of Valley County".  Later that year his family moved to California.

    Reeves joined the Army.  He served in the Philippines during WWII.  At one point he contracted malaria.  His remaining time was served under General MacArthur during the occupation of Japan.  His job was loading boxcars and trucks.  When free time was available, he made good use of the gym.  Steve's body developed rapidly and he decided to pursue bodybuilding professionally.  Following Army service, he won "Mr. Pacific Coast" in Oregon in 1947 and eventually "Mr. America", "Mr. World", and in 1950 "Mr. Universe".  His entire bodybuilding career consisted of 6 contests, but he made such an impression that countless bodybuilder-turned-actors have credited him as their role model including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and David Prowse.

    His travels took him to New York, where he studied acting.  He soon made his way to Hollywood.  His parts were limited mostly to eye candy roles where he flexed his muscles.  He did, however, snag a role as a detective in director Ed Wood Jr.'s "Jail Bait" in 1954.  Small TV parts came and went.  It was a 1954 role in the movie "Athena" as actress Jane Powell's boyfriend that caught the attention of Italian film director Pietro Francisci.  Pietro was looking for someone to play Hercules in a feature film and Steve Reeves seemed perfect for the role.  Reeves was persuaded overseas and film history was made.

    Reeves loved horses and was a great horse rider.  This was an advantage for Reeves in later work as Italian film producers found out that they did not have to hire a horse-riding double for him.

    Critics dismissed the "Hercules" film as "muddled mythology" (which it was, but not in a bad way) and worse (which was uncalled for), but the public loved it and Reeves became an instant star.  The film was so well received that Reeves would play Hercules again.  But even better than that, Reeves started the whole craze of musclebound actors playing mythological characters such as Samson, Ursus, and Colossus.  But no one became more popular for this than Steve Reeves as Hercules.

    Steve was happy with his work in the Hercules movies, but was disappointed that his other movies didn't get much attention.  It's reported that he once remarked:  "I only did two Hercules films, but everyone seems to think I did ten."

    After becoming popular in the late 1950s, all sorts of roles opened up for Reeves, which he refused.  Among those roles are James Bond in "Dr. No" from 1962 and the Man With No Name in "A Fistful of Dollars" from 1964.  Reeves' voice was dubbed in all of his Italian films.  The only films where Reeves' voice is not dubbed are "Jailbait" and "Athena".

    A shoulder injury on the set of a movie forced Reeves' retirement from the industry, but he kept busy off the set with a number of projects for the remainder of his life.  Steve Reeves was a big promoter of drug-free bodybuilding.  Also, he lived on a ranch where he bred horses.  Lymphoma caught up with him, though, and he died at age 74.

Filmography: In progress.