Many bodybuilders of the mid-twentieth century tested themselves in the role of ancient Greek heroes and gods in the movies, but the most successful character rightfully can be considered “Hercules” by Steve Reeves. This talented actor and no less outstanding bodybuilder became the standard of courage and strength, both in cinema and in life. Thanks to the shooting, his image is still associated with a certain bronze titanium, which is always ready to protect people.
Steve Reeves was born on January 21, 1926 in Montana. His father was the owner of a large ranch and young Steve was accustomed to hard physical work from his childhood. An interesting fact is that while still a baby Steve won the contest “The Healthiest Child in the Valley of the County”, which already said that the fate of the boy will be associated with sports.
After the death of his father, Reeves, as a result of a car accident, his family moved to Oakland, where he stayed afterwards. Steve’s interest to bodybuilding manifested itself in high school, when he began to attend the gym. His studies in the gym continued until 1944 and during this time he achieved significant success in shaping the structure of his body. In the 44th he goes to serve in the army and even takes part in the fighting in the Philippine Islands. Years of service went smoothly and fruitfully for Steve: he gained not only experience, but also strength, as he spends his free time in training. Returning home, Reeves immediately decided to do bodybuilding on a professional level, i.e. with observance of all special programs for bodybuilders.
Literally, after six months, at the age of 20, he won his first tournament, “Mr. Pacific Coast” in Oregon. This first victory was the beginning of a series of more significant and significant victories, and also proved to be an excellent impetus for the development of the career of this young bodybuilder. A year later Steve Reeves became the youngest winner of the tournament Mr. America. In 1948, Reeves is already the World Champion in bodybuilding and, finally, in 1950 – he wins the title of Mr. Universe.
During these 5 years, Steve became a truly professional bodybuilder, he had hundreds of admirers, his forms amazed with his beauty and perfection and, of course, no less surprising his ability to work. Gaining fame, Reeves decided to move to New York to continue to perform, but already at a higher level. However, his fate has developed a little differently …
Staying in New York for about 2 months, Reeves realized that he was not only the idol of many novice athletes, but also a star of magazines on the covers of which he tried to get many photographers. Since childhood Steve has been attracted to cinema and he felt a burning desire to try himself not only as a model for photography, but also as an actor. To this end, he came to Hollywood, where he immediately became the object of research for dozens of filmmakers. Most of them had little to do with his acting talent, everything that they saw in him is a perfectly formed muscular body that could perfectly fit into any picture. But his first role (“Athens”), Reeves proved that he knows how to play not only with muscles, but also with his acting skills. He began to offer various roles: from small episodic to major.
But the real actor’s fame came to him after the film “Hercules” in which he played the main role. The film was so successful that it was withdrawn no less successful continuation. Steve Reeves not only on the screen, but also in life looked like an epic hero of Ancient Greece: tall, stately, muscular – he was a living embodiment of valor and courage. He became the first bodybuilder who achieved such successes in cinema, thus setting an example to such stars as Reg Park, Lou Ferrigno and, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Steve starred in dozens of pictures of adventure. He played heroes of antiquity, modernity, famous rulers and even pirates. But one thing was unchanged-he was always with a sword in his hand, which became his inalienable actor’s attribute. It’s also worth mentioning that Reeves performed all the tricks in his paintings on his own.
Having finished his acting career due to a shoulder injury and age, Steve bought a ranch and started breeding horses. He did not forget about bodybuilding and more than once participated in companies promoting healthy sports, without steroids.
On May 1, 2000, the idol of millions, once the world champion in bodybuilding, the screen star Steve Reeves died at home at the age of 74 from lymphoma. The most striking fact about Reeves is that he was a participant of only 5 professional bodybuilding tournaments, but brought unprecedented fame to this sport, due to his charismatic nature and, undoubtedly, the ideal physical form.