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Encyclopedia > Steve Reeves

Stephen L. Reeves (January 21, 1926May 5, 2000), was a bodybuilder, actor, and author. January 21 is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (126th in leap years). ... This article is about the year 2000. ... Swedish bodybuilder Anders Graneheim. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Shmexxy Reeves
Shmexxy Reeves


Image File history File links Sreeves. ... Image File history File links Sreeves. ...


Born in Glasgow, Montana in the USA, Steve Reeves moved to California at the age of 10 with his mother Goldie, after his father Lester Dell Reeves died in a farming accident. Reeves developed an interest in bodybuilding while in high school and trained at Ed Yarick's gym in Oakland. By the time he was 17 he had developed a Herculean build, long before the rise in general interest in bodybuilding. After he was graduated from high school, he entered the Army during the latter part of World War II and served in the Pacific. Glasgow is a city located in Valley County, Montana. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Swedish bodybuilder Anders Graneheim. ... Oakland, founded in 1852, is a major American city on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in Northern California in the United States. ... Combatants Allies: Soviet Union, United Kingdom, France/Free France, United States, China, Canada, India, Australia, Poland, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Burma, Slovakia Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8...


Reeves won the following bodybuilding titles:

  • 1946 - Mr. Pacific Coast
  • 1947 - Mr. Western America
  • 1947 - Mr. America
  • 1948 - Mr. World
  • 1950 - Mr. Universe

By his own account, his best cold (unpumped) measurements at the peak of his bodybuilding activity were:

  • Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
  • Weight: 216
  • Neck: 18 1/2"
  • Chest: 52"
  • Waist: 29"
  • Biceps: 18 1/4"
  • Thighs: 26"
  • Calves: 18 1/4"

Reeves was known for his "V-taper" and for the great width of his shoulders, which Armand Tanny once measured at 23 1/2" using outside calipers. A caliper is a device used in the metalworking field of mechanical engineering, to measure the distance between two symmetrically opposing sides. ...

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding states: Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor and Republican politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of California. ...

By [the 1940s] the distinction between lifting weights purely for strength and training with weights to shape and proportion the body had been clearly made. ... However, bodybuilding still remained an obscure sport. No champion was known to the general public--that is, until Steve Reeves came along. Reeves was the right man in the right place at the right time. He was handsome, personable, and had a magnificent physique. Survivors from the Muscle Beach era recall how crowds used to follow Reeves when he walked along the beach, and how people who knew nothing about him would simply stop and stare, awestruck. Muscle Beach, Venice Muscle Beach, in the United States is an area in Venice, California on Ocean Front Walk two blocks north of Venice Boulevard, that is set up by the city as an outdoors weightlifting gym. ...

Army photo of Steve Reeves
Army photo of Steve Reeves

Image File history File links SReevesArmy. ... Image File history File links SReevesArmy. ...


After his WWII military service, Reeves decided to try his hand at acting, having been told endlessly that he had the rugged good looks of a Hollywood star. After some intensive actor training, he came to the attention of film director Cecil B. De Mille, who considered him for the part of Samson in Samson and Delilah (1949). After a dispute over his physique in which De Mille and the studio wanted Reeves to lose 15 pounds of muscle, the part finally went to Victor Mature. ... Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 - January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ... Samson or Shimshon (שִׁמְשׁוֹן Of the sun (perhaps proclaiming he was radiant and mighty) or [One who] Serves [God], Standard Hebrew Šimšon, Tiberian Hebrew Šimšôn) is the third to last of the Judges of the ancient Children of Israel mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. ... Movie poster for Samson and Delilah Samson and Delilah is a 1949 film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr as the title characters. ... Mature in Cry of the City (1948) Victor Mature (born in Louisville, Kentucky; 29 January 1913–4 August 1999) was an Italian-American film actor. ...

In 1954 he had a co-starring role in his first major motion picture, the musical Athena playing Debbie Reynolds' boyfriend. The same year Reeves had a small role as a cop in the Ed Wood film Jail Bait. This is one of the few opportunities to hear Reeves' voice as most of his later films were dubbed. Reeves' appearance in Athena prompted Italian director Pietro Francisci's daughter to suggest him for the role of Hercules in her father's upcoming movie. In 1957, Reeves went to Italy and played the title character in Francisci's Hercules, which was released in Italy in February of 1959 and in the U.S. in July of 1959. Following the U.S. release, the film was an enormous hit and created a new sub-genre of the sword and sandal film (also known as the peplum film): the 'Hercules' or 'strong man' movie. The film is now in public domain and can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Athena was released on November 4, 1954 by M-G-M. The film stars Jane Powell as Athena Mulvain and Debbie Reynolds as Minerva Mulvane, two sisters who live with their weight-lifting grandfather Ulysses (Louis Calhern) and star-gazing grandmother Salome (Evelyn Varden) - along with their other five beautiful... Portrait of Debbie Reynolds by Philippe Halsman on cover of Life magazine, 1951 Debbie Reynolds (born April 1, 1932) is an American actress and singer. ... Ed Wood can refer to: The movie director Ed Wood, Jr. ... Jail Bait DVD cover. ... Italian director, best remembered for the film Hercules (1957) which inspired the sword & sandal boom of the late 50s and early 60s. ... Hercules is the Latin name used in Roman mythology for a hero corresponding to the Greek mythological hero Heracles (or Herakles). ... Steve Reeves as Hercules Hercules was the name of the English release of the 1958 Italian film Le Fatiche di Ercole starring the bodybuilder Steve Reeves. ... D. W. Griffith set out to depict the splendor of ancient Babylon in Intolerance. ... So, do you like movies about gladiators? — Peter Graves, in Airplane! (1980) D. W. Griffith set out to depict the splendor of ancient Babylon in Intolerance. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... Internet Archive headquarters. ...

From 1959 through 1964, Reeves went on to appear in a string of sword and sandal movies, and although he is best known for his portrayal of the Greek hero Hercules, he played the character only twice - in Hercules and the sequel Hercules Unchained (released in the U.S. in 1960). He played a number of other characters on screen, including Sir Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's Glaucus of Pompeii; Goliath (also called Emiliano); Tatar hero Hadji Murad; Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome (opposite Gordon Scott as his twin brother Remus); the famous Olympian and war-time messenger of the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides (The Giant of Marathon); pirate and self-proclaimed governor of Jamaica Captain Henry Morgan; and Karim, the Thief of Bagdad. Twice he played Aeneas of Troy and twice he played Emilio Salgari's Malaysian hero, Sandokan. Hercules Unchained is the sequel to the 1950s block buster Hercules that inspired the popularity of the 1960s sword and sandal craze. ... Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (May 25, 1803 - January 18, 1873) was an English novelist, playwright, and politician. ... Historically, the term Tatar (or Tartar) has been ambiguously used by Europeans to refer to many different peoples of Inner Asia and Northern Asia. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Romulus may refer to any of these articles: Romulus is a mythical founder of Rome, brother of Remus. ... Gordon Scott (with Rickie Sorenson) in Tarzan and the Trappers (1958) Gordon Scott was an American actor best known for his portrayal of Tarzan in the 1950s. ... Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome in Roman mythology, were the supposed sons of the god Mars and the priestess Rhea Silvia. ... The marathon is a long-distance road running event of 42. ... Pheidippides (Greek: Φειδιππιδης, sometimes given as Phidippides or Philippides), hero of Ancient Greece, is the central figure in a myth which was the inspiration for the modern sporting event, the marathon. ... The Giant of Marathon was a 1959 Sword and Sandal film. ... Sir Henry Morgan, in a popular woodcut, 18th century Sir Henry Morgan (c. ... Emilio Salgari (August 21, 1862 - April 25, 1911) was an Italian writer of action adventure swashbucklers and a pioneer of science fiction. ...

Paramount considered Reeves for the title role of their film version of the Broadway musical Li'l Abner in 1958, but the part eventually went to Peter Palmer. After the box-office success of Hercules, Reeves turned down a number of parts that subsequently made the careers of other actors. He was asked to star as 'James Bond' in Dr. No (1962), which he turned down. He also declined the role that finally went to Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars (1964). The Paramount Pictures logo used since 2003. ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theater combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... Lil Abner was a comic strip in United States newspapers, featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the town of Dogpatch. ... Peter Palmer (born Igor Shouisky in Kenosha, Wisconsin) was a bandleader, tenor saxophonist and composer who recorded several albums for Mercury Records including A Swingin Love Affair, A Swingin Dance Date, and Moonlight on the Campus, with a small singing group which included Ann Trendler, whom he would later marry. ... The James Bond 007 gun logo James Bond, also known as 007 (pronounced double-oh seven), is a fictional British spy created by writer Ian Fleming in 1953. ... 2002 reissue of the original novel. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari in Italy, and officially on-screen in the U.S. as simply Fistful of Dollars) is a 1964 film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood. ...

During the filming of The Last Days of Pompeii, Reeves dislocated his shoulder when his chariot crashed into a tree. Reeves pulled the joint back into its socket by himself and chose to continue filming and performing his own stunts. Swimming in a subsequent underwater escape scene he reinjured his shoulder. The injury would be aggravated by his stunt work in each successive film, ultimately leading him to retire early. The Last Days of Pompeii was written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. ... Each year, shoulder problems account for about 1. ... Hittite chariot (drawing of an Egyptian relief) Approximate historical map of the spread of the chariot, 2000 –500 BC. A chariot is a two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle. ... A breaststroke swimmer Swimming is a technique that humans, and other animals, use to move through water using only movements of the body. ...

In 1968 Reeves appeared in his final film, a spaghetti western which he also co-wrote, titled A Long Ride From Hell, fulfilling his wish to make a Western before he retired. At the peak of his career, he was the highest-paid actor in Europe. His last screen appearance was in 2000 when he appeared as himself in the made-for-television A&E Biography: Arnold Schwarzenegger - Flex Appeal. 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Movie poster for Once Upon a Time in the West Spaghetti Westerns is a nickname for a broad sub-genre of Western film that emerged in the mid-1960s, so named because most of them were produced by Italian studios. ... In his final film before retiring, legendary body builder and Hercules star Steve Reeves plays cowboy Mike Sturges, who, along with his younger brother, Roy, are sentenced to Yuma Penitentiary on a trumped-up train robbery charge. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Sir Thomas Malory wrote the most famous fictional biography of the Middle Ages with Le Morte dArthur about the life of King Arthur. ...


  • Athena (1954) an American musical
  • The Avenger (1962) aka The Last Glory of Troy
  • Duel of the Titans (1961) aka Romulus and Remus
  • The Giant of Marathon (1959)
  • Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)
  • Hercules (1957)
  • Hercules Unchained (1959)
  • Jail Bait (1954) directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
  • The Last Days of Pompeii (1959)
  • A Long Ride From Hell (1967) Spaghetti western
  • Morgan, the Pirate (1960)
  • Pirates of the Seven Seas (1964) aka Pirates of Malaysia
  • The Great Sandokan (1964) directed by Umberto Lenzi
  • The Slave (1962) aka Son of Spartacus
  • The Thief of Baghdad (1960)
  • The Trojan Horse (1961)
  • The White Warrior (1959) directed by Riccardo Freda

Later life

Later in his life, Reeves promoted drug-free bodybuilding and bred horses. The last two decades of his life were spent in Valley Center (Escondido), California. He bought a ranch with his savings and lived there with his second wife Aline until her death in 1989. In May of 2000, Reeves died from complications of lymphoma. Valley Center is a census-designated place located in San Diego County, California. ... Lymphoma is a variety of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. ...


  • Chapman, David, "On The Cover: Steve Reeves", Hardgainer, November, 1992.

Hardgainer magazine was a weight-training magazine for hardgainers - people who find it difficult to add muscle mass. ...

External links

  • Steve Reeves' biographic sketch at Find A Grave
  • bio
  • IMDb
  • Feature Films: Hercules

  Results from FactBites:
HISTORY OF BODY BUILDING. BODYBUILDING HISTORY. bodybuilding training equipment, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl (614 words)
Yet it was trailblazers like Steve Reeves, Reg Park and Bill Pearl who took the raw clay of basic weight training and sculpted and refined it into much of what we use in the gym today.
It was Steve Reeve's physique that bridged the chasm between hardcore body building and pubic acceptance.
During the 1950's and 60's, Steve Reeve parlayed his physical attributes into a highly lucrative film career.
  More results at FactBites »



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