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Muscle Men Of Peplum

Steve Reeves
Victor Mature
Reg Park
Kirk Morris
Mark Forest
Brad Harris
Dan Vadis
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Ed Fury
Mickey Hargitay

Steve Reeves
After brief appearances in “Athena” & “Jail Bait” this champion bodybuilder won the role of “Hercules”.  For the next ten years Italian peplum’s thrived & Steve became an internationally acclaimed movie star with hit films  such as “Goliath And The Barbarians” & “Giant Of Marathon” .

Victor Mature:
The original Hollywood beefcake, nicknamed “The Hunk”, had been appearing in films for nearly 10 years before starring in the Cecil B. DeMille epic “Samson And Deliah” .  More sword flicks followed, “Androcles & The Lion”, “The Robe”, “The Egyptian”, “Hannibal” & “The Tartars” .

Reg Park:
The bodybuilder whose Hercules films inspired Arnold Schwarzenegger to start pumping iron, starred in 5 popular strongman epics in the 1960’s, his most famous films being, “Hercules & The Captive Women” “Hercules In The Haunted World” & “Samson In King Solomon’s Mines”.

Kirk Morris:
Former Italian gondolier, with pompadour hairdo & a slight resemblance to Elvis Presley was  considered by many to be the best looking of the peplum stars. Kirky’s most notable gladiator epics  include, “The Witch’s Curse”, “Hercules, Samson & Ulysses”, “Conqueror of Atlantis” & “Mighty Khan”.

Mark Forest:
It took this former Mr. Venice Beach of 1954 about half a decade and a name change to find fame and fortune in Italian peplums such as “Goliath & The Dragon”, “Son Of Samson”, “Hercules Against The Mongols”, “Goliath & The Sins Of Babylon” and “The Lion Of Thebes” (1964) .

Brad Harris:
American born muscleman who moved to Italy to star in peplums, spy films & spaghetti westerns, such as, “The Fury Of Hercules”, “Goliath Against The Giants”, “Pirates Of The Mississippi”, “Black Eagle Of Santa Fe”, “Kiss, Kiss, Kill, Kill, “Spy Today, Die Tomorrow” & “Supermen”. 

Dan Vadis:
Tall muscular beefcake who started out in the 1950’s as a member of the Mae West Muscleman Revue before going to Italy in the 60’s to star in a string of gladiator epics such as “The Rebel Gladiators”, “The Triumph Of Hercules”, “Spartacus & The 10 Gladiators” and “Hercules The Invincible”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger:
With an accent & a name almost impossible to write, Arnie, “The Austrian Oak”, defied the odds by going from bodybuilder to world’s most popular movie star. From Mr. “Olympia” to “Hercules” to “Conan” to “The Terminator” to bad guy, “Mr Freeze”, Arnie has certainly left his mark.

Ed Fury:
Tall, blonde physique model who made a number of uncredited Hollywood film appearances (Athena & South Pacific) in the 1950’s before moving to Europe in the 1960’s to star in Italian sword & sandal epics, his first being “Colossus & The Amazon Women” with Australian hunk Rod Taylor.

Mickey Hargitay:
Hungarian born bodybuilder who was part of the popular “Mae West Revue Show” together with other famous Herculean beefcake’s such as Reg Lewis, Brad Harris & Gordon Mitchell, before marrying blonde Hollywood Siren, Jayne Mansfield, & starring with her in “The Loves Of Hercules” (1960).

Gordon Scott
Lou Ferrigno
Richard Harrison
Samson Burke
Gordon Mitchell
Peter Lupus
Miles O'Keeffe
Reg Lewis
Georges Marchal

Gordon Scott:
After starring in 6 Tarzan movies Scott took Steve Reeve’s advice & moved to Italy to co-star with Steve in the gladiator epic “Duel Of The Titans”, other peplums followed including, “Samson & The 7 Miracles Of The World”, “Goliath & The Vampires” & “Hercules Vs The Sea Monster”.

Lou Ferrigno:
Big Louie went from professional bodybuilding to TV’s “Incredible Hulk” and later to international stardom in the 1980’s with starring roles in “Hercules I & II”, “The 7 Magnificent Gladiators” & “Sinbad Of The 7 Seas”. Lou’s films  marked a brief revival of the campy Italian peplums.

Alan Steel:
Italian actor Sergio Ciani, who become known as Alan Steel, appeared in 2 Steve Reeves peplums,  “Hercules Unchained” & “Giant Of Marathon” before starring in his own strongman flicks such as, “Hercules & The Moon Men”, “Samson & The Mighty Challenge”, Hercules & The Masked Rider”.

Richard Harrison:
After bit parts in Hollywood films such as “South Pacific” & “Master Of The World”, this American  muscleman left the US to star in Italian epics such as ”Gladiators 7” & “Medusa Vs The Son Of Hercules” before moving into 1960’s spaghetti westerns & Hong Kong ninja flicks in the 80’s.

Samson Burke:
This huge 6’ 4” wrestler & bodybuilder went from his local gym & muscle beach competitions to big screen stardom in both Hollywood & Italy with films such as “The Three Stooges Meet Hercules”, ”Vengeance Of Ursus”, “Toto Vs. Maciste” & the spaghetti adventure “Triumph Of Robin Hood”.

Gordon Mitchell:
After a string of bit parts in Hollywood films ( mostly uncredited), this US body builder found fame & fortune starring in Italian peplums throughout the 1960’s. Gordon’s most notable films include “Atlas Against The Cyclops”, “The Giant Of Metropolis”,  “Erik The Viking” & “Achilles”.

Peter Lupus:
This US muscleman (known in his early career as Rock Stevens) made his film debut as bodybuilder Flex Martian in the Frankie Avalon surf flick “Muscle Beach Party” before going to Italy to star in peplums such as “Challenge Of The Gladiator” & “Hercules & The Tyrants Of Babylon”.

Miles O’Keeffe:
Although, “Tarzan The Apeman” with Bo Derek was Miles’ first film & only appearance as Tarzan, the film did however, help to propel his movie career as an action star. His most notably action flicks being, “Sword Of The Valiant”, “Double Target”, “Cartel” & the “Ator” film series. 

Reg Lewis:
Professional bodybuilder (Mr Olympics, Mr Universe, Mr Hercules & Mr America) turned actor who starred in only one Peplum “Fire Monsters Against The Son Of Hercules” (62). Other notable film appearances include”The Brass Bottle”  (64),  “Don’t Make Waves”  (67) & “Sextette (1978).

Georges Marchal:
Popular French actor whose 1st appearance in a peplum was the 1948 French film version of “The Last Days Of Pompeii”. Other notable peplums include “Warrior & The Slave Girl” (58), “Sign Of The Gladiator” (1959), “Legions Of The Nile” (60), “Colossus Of Rhodes” (61) & “Hercules V Ulysses (61).

Hercules Unchained

Sword & Sandal Epics (Pre-1970)
Featuring: Samson & Delilah, Ulysses, Hercules, The Vikings, Ben-Hur, The Giant Of Marathon, Spartacus, Hercules & The Captive Women, The Giant Of Metropolis, Atlantis The Lost Continet, Hercules Unchained, Samson & The 7 Miracles Of The World, Hercules In New York & More

Sword & Sandal Epics (Post-1980)
Featuring: Clash Of The Titans, Conan The Barbarian, The Sword & The Sorcerer, The Beastmaster, Deathstalker, Flesh + Blood, Red Sonja, The Barbarians, Hercules Recycled, Braveheart, Young Hercules, Gladiator, The Scorpion King, Troy, Alexander & More

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