Franco Columbu - Doctor, Actor and Bodybuilder
Bodybuilding History

Franco Columbu – Doctor, Actor and Bodybuilder

Franco Columbu was born in Sardinia, Italy in 1941.  He immigrated to the United States in 1969, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1987. Columbu has earned numerous bodybuilding titles, including Mr. Olympia, Mr. International, Mr. World, Mr. Universe, Mr. Europe, and Mr. Italy, despite his slight stature, usually reported as 5 foot 5 inches, well under that of most […]

Ken Waller - The Charming Villain of Pumping Iron
Bodybuilding History

Ken Waller – The Charming Villain of Pumping Iron

The movie, Pumping Iron is a documentary about bodybuilding that erupted a huge national interest in the sport.  The dozen or so “stars” of the movie were in actually the best of the best of the bodybuilding sport of that time. Obviously, certain names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno are always associated with Pumping Iron because these are the bodybuilders who […]

Danny Padilla - The "Little" Bodybuilder Who Just Wanted to Win
Bodybuilding History

Danny Padilla – The “Little” Bodybuilder Who Just Wanted to Win

The sport of bodybuilding is a tall man’s game.  But there is one minor character in the breakthrough bodybuilding movie Pumping Iron that deserved a better role than he got in the film and in that competition.  That bodybuilder’s name is Danny Padilla.  Danny stood out among the other competitors in the Mr. Universe competition that was the backdrop for Pumping Iron […]

Mike Katz - A Pumping Iron Star with a Big Chest and a Big Heart
Bodybuilding History

Mike Katz – A Pumping Iron Star with a Big Chest and a Big Heart

The movie Pumping Iron made the careers of a number of body builders.  The most notable household names that became huge stars from the Pumping Iron movie are the previous governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the man who went on be become the name we most associate with The Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno. Next to Ferrigno, probably the […]

Lou Ferrigno - How Pumping Iron Gave Birth to the Incredible Hulk
Bodybuilding History

Lou Ferrigno – How Pumping Iron Gave Birth to the Incredible Hulk

The name Lou Ferrigno had never been heard by most people outside the bodybuilding world until the movie Pumping Iron was released and became a surprise success in 1977.  The documentary tells the story of a group of bodybuilding competitors preparing for the 1975 Mr. Olympia competition. Lou was at that time working in obscurity as a steel worker, training under […]

George Butler - The Man Who Made Pumping Iron Come To Life
Bodybuilding History

George Butler – The Man Who Made Pumping Iron Come to Life

In 1977, a movie called Pumping Iron exploded into the public consciousness and turned the sport of bodybuilding into something that everybody was aware of.  Pumping Iron also transformed several bodybuilders into international superstars including Arnold Schwarzenegger and the man who went on be become the name we most associate with The Incredible Hulk, Lou […]

Pumping Iron - The Film that Launched a National Bodybuilding Craze
Bodybuilding History

Pumping Iron – The Film that Launched a National Bodybuilding Craze

In 1975, the first multi-racial sporting event ever held in South Africa, the Mr. Olympia contest, was filmed by photographer and documentary filmmaker George Butler.  That movie was Pumping Iron.  In that over a century of Apartheid was beginning to weaken, the event held historic significance. Pumping Iron was an independent film that was made […]