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On July 30th 1947, in the Austrian village of Thal (just 7km from Graz), Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born. The second son of Aurelia and Gustav Schwarzenegger, Arnold and brother Meinhard were brought up in a very strict environment. Raised by their mother, they lived above a Police Station where his Father, a former military officer, was the police chief.

Gustav was a former ice curling champion, and always encouraged his sons to participate in sports. When Arnold met Kurt Marnul, a former Mr. Austria, in 1961, he made an impression and was asked to train in the Union in Graz. Much to his fathers disappointment he became dedicated to it, training seven days a week, even breaking into the Gym on Sundays when it was closed. Fascinated by his idol Reg Park, star of the Hercules films, Arnold decided he wanted to be the best built man in the world. He told his parents this, and they dismissed it, questioning what he would do once he had muscles. He answered that he would move to America and be a movie star.

In 1965, at the age of 18, he joined the Army for mandatory service. His parents hoped that this would cure his obsession with bodybuilding, and make him what they considered to be normal again. Arnold, however had different ideas, going AWOL to compete in the Junior Mr. Europe contest in nearby Stuttgart. He won, totalling a perfect score of 300 points, becoming the first ever person to achieve this number. His absence from the Army did not go unnoticed though, and he was caught sneaking back into the camp, and was thrown into military jail for seven days. Despite having gone AWOL, he became the Company hero for his determination and accomplishment and was ordered to carry on training.

After failing to win a Mr. Universe contest in London, he moved in with one of the judges, Wag Bennet, who helped him train and taught him how to pose properly. This was a huge part of Arnold's success, and the next year he won the Mr. Universe Professional title. After being invited to America by Joe Weider, his career sky rocketed, winning the Mr. World contest and the Mr. Universe contest again. He even landed his first motion picture role, playing Hercules in the 1970 movie 'Hercules in New York', billed as Arnold Strong.

From the mid 80's, Arnold exploded upon the world with many successful blockbusters such as Commando, Predator, and Total Recall and in 1986 he marred Maria Shriver, a journalist from the Kennedy family. 1989 saw the arrival of their first child, Katherine Schwarzenegger. They've since had 3 more - Christina (12), Patrick (10) and Christopher (6). Arnold teamed up with other Hollywood heavyweights Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis to open Planet Hollywood in 1989, an American style restaurant, which sold merchandise such as t-shirts, hats and key rings. To this day there are now over 30 Planet Hollywood restaurants across the globe.

1991 saw the return of the Terminator in Arnold's most successful movie to date - Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It was the first movie ever to gross over $200 million, and was a worldwide success. Arnold made his movie directorial debut in 1992 with the TV movie 'Christmas in Connecticut'. He'd previously directed an episode of the TV series 'Tales From the Crypt' in 1989, entitled 'The Switch'. The rest of the 90's saw more successful Arnold movies, as well as a move into Politics, and in 1992 he opened 'Schatzi on Main', a restaurant which served Austrian favourites along with a variety of other dishes.

In 1997, Arnold suffered a congenital heart condition, and had a valve inside his heart operated on, after experiencing pains in his chest. Doctors would not allow him to train for some months, and when he did get back into training, he wasn't allowed to lift the heavier weights. He then devised a new training routine where he would lift half of the weight, but do twice the number of reps and so therefore would be getting the same work out.

2002 brought about the long awaited and much anticipated Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. James Cameron was absent from this project, and so Jonathan Mostow filled the boots of director. Arnold underwent shoulder surgery after sustaining an injury he picked up when filming some of the films stunts (his second, after breaking some ribs in late 2001 whilst practicing a motorcycle stunt for T3). Fans were also delighted to see Arnold in great shape for his own arrival scene, proving that his training methods had paid off, looking the exact same to what he did in 1984 for the first movie and 1991 for T2.

In August 2003, Arnold announced that he would be running for Governor of California. Californians voted for weeks in what was dubbed as the 'Total Recall' and finally on October 7th the election took place. Arnold won by a massive amount, and replaced Gray Davis as the 'Governator'. This meant that he would make no more movies - at least not until he was done being Governor.
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