|Born||in Glasgow, Montana, USA|
|Died||in Escondido, California, USA (complications from lymphoma)|
|Birth Name||Stephen Lester Reeves|
|Height||6' 1" (1.85 m)|
Mini Bio (2)
Though he did not possess a Herculean acting talent by any stretch, handsome bodybuilder Steve Reeves certainly had an enviable Herculean physique, and made plenty good use of it in Europe during the late 1950s and early 1960s portraying some of filmdom's most famous bronzed gods. Reeves was originally a Montana boy born on a cattle ranch in 1926. His destiny was revealed early in the game when, at the age of six months, he won his first fitness title as "Healthiest Baby of Valley County." His father Lester died in a farming accident when Steve was just a boy, and his family moved to Oakland (California). He first developed an interest in bodybuilding while in high school.
Steve joined the Army in his late teens where his job was loading boxcars and trucks. He also worked out loyally at the gym during his free time and the combination helped develop his body quite rapidly. Following Army service (he served for a time in the Pacific), he decided to pursue bodybuilding professionally. In 1946, at the age of 20, he won "Mr. Pacific Coast" in Oregon, which led to his titles of "Mr. Western America" (1947), Mr. America" (1947), "Mr. World" (1948) and, ultimately, "Mr. Universe" (1950).
With all the body-worshiping publicity he garnered, he decided to travel to New York to study and pursue acting. He subsequently returned to California...and Hollywood. There were not huge opportunities for a muscleman in Tinseltown other than providing pectoral background. Steve was, however, considered for the lead role in Cecil B. DeMille's biblical costumer Samson and Delilah (1949), but refused when told by the legendary director he would have to lose some of his musculature (about 15 lbs.). The part instead went to Victor Mature. Steve did manage to snag the role of a detective in infamous director Edward D. Wood Jr.'s Jail Bait (1954). Small parts on TV also came his way, but they too were mostly posing bits or walk-ons. To the Hollywood power players, Steve was just a body. Whether he could act or not was not a concern or selling point. Fans just wanted to see him take his shirt off.
Down on his luck, Steve's fortunes change when Italian film director Pietro Francisci saw him play Jane Powell's boyfriend in the feature film Athena (1954) and persuaded him to go overseas to star in Hercules (1958) (US title: "Hercules"). Though critics dismissed the film as "muddled mythology" while denigrating its cheapjack production values (including a poorly-dubbed sound track), the public went crazy over the sword-and-sandal epic and, in particular, Steve's marvelous beefcake heroics. He became an "overnight" star. Sequels followed, none any better or worse, with him going through the paces as a number absurdly-muscled biblical and mythological figures. An able horseman, he also performed many of his own stunts. Moreover, he paved the way for other pumped-up acting hopefuls (Ed Fury, Mark Forest, Reg Park) to seek their fame and fortune in Italy as a feature-length Samson, Ursus or Colossus. Nobody, however, came close to topping Steve in popularity.
A shoulder injury forced Steve's retirement, spending the remainder of his life promoting steroid-free bodybuilding while living on a ranch and breeding horses. The more recent bodybuilders of fame such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, both Hercules impersonators of yore, have given Steve significant credit for their respective acting successes. Married twice, Steve died in Southern California of lymphoma on May 1, 2000, at age 74.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Reeves is regarded by many as the greatest bodybuilder of all time for his legendary symmetrical physique, visionary bodybuilding techniques, dedication and love for the sport through which he won five bodybuilding titles between 1946 and 1950. His peak measurements were: 6'1" at 216 lbs. with 18½" arms, 52" chest, and a 29" waist, partly depicting his creation: "The Classic Physique."
Steve Reeves was born in Montana in 1926, yet by age 10 moved to Oakland, California where he first became captivated with the art of bodybuilding at age 16, placing pioneer John Grimek as his top role model. After two years of bodybuilding Steve's body weight reached 203 lbs by high school graduation, but was he then inducted into the Army. He was assigned to Company A of the 25th Division and was sent to the front lines in the Philippines where he endured to continue his bodybuilding training, becoming known as "The Shape" among his fellow GIs. After WWII had ended he was part of the occupational forces sent to Japan and was stationed there from September 1945 to September 1946. After his service ended, he entered and won several bodybuilding championships becoming: "Mr. Pacific Coast" (1946), "Mr. Western America" (1947), "Mr. America" (1947), "Mr. World" (1948) and "Mr. Universe" (1950) announcing his retirement from bodybuilding competition that very night after he won.
From that point onward Reeves set his sights on the silver screen as well as the small screen. He made several appearances on variety shows of the early-to-mid 1950s and non-starring roles during 1954 in two films: Athena (1954) starring Debbie Reynolds and Ed Wood's Jail Bait (1954). In 1957, he had been called to Italy to play the lead role Hercules in "Le Fatiche di Ercole" which was filmed during the summer and autumn of 1957 with a USA premiere in 1959. The tremendous worldwide success of "Hercules," (the USA title), led to a sequel and many other Italian epic films many based on heroes played by Reeves. These roles included Romulus, Phillipides, Captain Henry Morgan, Glaucus, and Sandokan. With 20 film/TV acting credits to his name by 1968, Steve Reeves retired from film and returned to California to live on his ranch, remaining committed to his lifelong belief in natural, drug-free bodybuilding through his writings and personal appearances. Steve Reeves has served as a great inspiration to many bodybuilders such as Sylvester Stallone and Lou Ferrigno, and millions of others the world over for all that he was: a genuine hero, a true man, an authentic gentleman, the first (and to many fans the only true) Hercules, and nothing less than the greatest bodybuilder of all time.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: CL Candela
(24 June 1963 -
24 July 1989) (her death)
Sandra Smith (31 January 1955 - 4 September 1956) (divorced)
Lester Dell Reeves
Trade Mark (3)
Personal Quotes (1)
|Le fatiche di Ercole (1958)||$12,000|