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How Arnold Schwarzenegger went from being poor to one of the most famous people on Earth

How Arnold Schwarzenegger went from being poor to one of the most famous people on Earth

Arnold Schwarzenegger had humble beginnings but soon made it big

Although he is now known all over the world for his work in film, bodybuilding and politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger had a very humble start in life.

When asked in a 1999 interview with Johnny Vaughn about how he rose to the heights of success, the Austrian born star had one word.

The Hollywood star came from humble beginnings.
The Johnny Vaughan Film Show/Channel 4


Schwarzenegger explained: "I was poor, because I didn't have anything.

"I had no money, I had no things, we had no TV, we had no refrigerator. We had nothing as kids.

"But I was rich because I had a dream.

"I had a dream of becoming the greatest bodybuilder, and I had a dream to use bodybuilding as a means to get into films.

"But I had no idea it would go as far as it did."

Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in Thal, a small village near Graz, in Austria but moved to the US in 1968.

Already having the 'Mr Universe' title under his belt - twice, to be exact - he tried his hand at acting.

Schwarzenegger first broke into the film industry when he appeared in the 1970 movie Hercules In New York.

He didn't score a lot of big roles in the 1970s, missing out on the chance to play the Incredible Hulk in the TV series, but soon made it big when he landed the title role in the 1982 fantasy epic Conan The Barbarian.

Schwarzenegger played the titular role in The Terminator franchise.
Orion Pictures

From there, Schwarzenegger made his mark in the action movie genre, as he appeared in films such as Terminator (1984), Commando (1985), The Running Man (1987) and Predator (1987).

Before long, he would transfer his talents over to comedy films, where he starred alongside Danny DeVito in flicks such as Twins (1988) and Junior (1994).

Although he was riding high in the 1980s and 1990s, his film career went into decline when he appeared as the wisecracking Mr Freeze in the much panned Batman and Robin in 1997.

The role earned him a Golden Raspberry Nomination for Worst Supporting Actor - one of eleven given out for the comic book movie.

Schwarzenegger made his dreams come true.
The Johnny Vaughan Film Show/Channel 4

In 2003, Schwarzenegger went into politics when he ran for election to become Governor of California.

The bodybuilder turned politician won 48 percent of the vote and remained in office until 2011 when he reached his term limit.

During his time in office, Schwarzenegger did not receive the governor's salary of $175,000 per year due to the wealth he accumulated during his time in Hollywood.

He has since returned to the world of acting, appearing in The Expendables series and two additional entries to the Terminator franchise - Terminator Genisys (2015) and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).

Not bad for a 'small boy from Austria', huh?

Featured Image Credit: The Johnny Vaughan Film Show/Channel 4/Fremantle Media/Shutterstock

Topics: Arnold Schwarzenegger, TV and Film, Celebrity