The weightlifter-turned actor-turned politician-turned actor again was born in Thal, Austria, to a pair of devout, Catholic parents. They weren’t exactly rich: According to Wendy Leigh’s book Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography, one of the highlights of his childhood was the family’s purchase of a refrigerator. But you can’t keep a future Hollywood star down. Gregarious and funny, Schwarzenegger was good at several sports and might’ve been an Austrian soccer star. But at the age of 14, he chose body building instead.
For him, body building was a conduit to get to the United States, a country he dreamed of living in from the time he was 10 years old. He moved to America in 1968 at age 21. Two years later, Schwarzenegger won his first Mr. Olympia title — the first of seven he would claim. That same year, he would play the title role in Hercules, where his voice was dubbed and he was credited, simply, as “Arnold Strong.” That moniker (and the voice dubbing) would go by the wayside as Schwarzenegger’s star rose and he became one of Hollywood’s most bankable action stars. He officially became a U.S. citizen in 1983.