Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Weird Early Years

Say what you like about Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man is Hollywood royalty. His acting skills might not be great, but he is, or at least was, one of the highest paid movie stars of all time. An icon of the cinema.

It was bloody hard work though for the Austrian Oak to get to the promised land of ‘Terminator’ and, umm ‘Jingle all the Way’, as he admitted himself: “It was very difficult for me in the beginning – I was told by agents and casting people that my body was ‘too weird’, that I had a funny accent, and that my name was too long. You name it, and they told me I had to change it. Basically, everywhere I turned, I was told that I had no chance.“

Such was his determination to make it big, Arnie did ANYTHING he could to become a star. Some of these jobs were humiliating. Most involved stripping down to his pants. They’re all invariably accompanied by hilarious photos.

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For example, the monstrosities below. Shortly after winning his first Mr. Universe title in 1967, Arnie posed for a shockingly shameless photo shoot in Munich. As well as terrorising Germans as they went about their daily shopping, the young Governator invited us into his home for a glimpse at, among other things, his love of eggs.

In 1968 a 21 year-old Arnold realised his life-long dream of moving to the US. Using his new found fame, Arnie then landed a part in laughable low-budget fantasy ‘Hercules In New York’ in 1969. The thing is, the young Austrian’s English wasn’t too hot, so producers had all but one of his lines dubbed for US audiences. Arnie has now said he regrets the film.

At this stage, our Arnie was still better known for his epic body building feats. He won ‘Mr. Olympia’ seven times, and spent much of the 1970s traveling the world promoting his fitness regime – like this slightly camp appearance on ITV kids show ‘Magpie’.

He also found time to appear on ‘Blind Date’ forerunner ‘The Dating Game’ (we love the music). In this hilarious clip, Arnie gives us his vital statistics, before clumsily hinting that he’s also well endowed.

By the late 70s, Arnold was doing just about anything to push the Schwarzenegger name. Whether it was liberating his loins in this disturbing photoshoot for Cosmo…

Or letting himself be filmed getting high for a scene in classic self-starring documentary ‘Pumping Iron’. We love that t-shirt!

Finally, in 1982 the hard work and humiliation paid off. ‘Conan the Barbarian’ galloped into cinemas and Arnie was now a movie star. Bafflingly though, he still found time to make car-crash travel show ‘Carnival In Rio’, in which Arnie unleashed his own brand of subtle sexuality upon the unwitting citizens of Brazil. He’s the chap in the photo ogling a pole dancer. You can check out part of the documentary here (you have been warned).

In many ways, Schwarzenegger’s early career was just as entertaining as the megastar years. Here’s a few more bizarre, but totally unforgettable snaps from the weird world of Arnie.

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Image credits: Rex