The Legendary Bodybuilder Of All Time: The Story And Photos Of Steve Reeves From his Acting And Bodybuilding Career

Stephen Lester Reeves was the handsome professional bodybuilder with an enviable Herculean physique and actor. At the peak of his career during the late 1950s and early 1960s, he was the highest-paid actor in Europe. Steve won his first fitness title as “Healthiest Baby of Valley County” at the age of six. He joined the army at the age of 18, where his job was loading boxcars and trucks. During the free time, he worked out at the gym, and soon he left the army and switched his career to bodybuilding. Steve won several titles and awards during his bodybuilding career, including, ‘Mr. Pacific Coast’, ‘Mr. Western America’ (1947), ‘Mr. America’ (1947), ‘Mr. World (1948)’ and ‘Mr. Universe’ in 1950.

Steve Reeves Acting Career

In the 1950s, Steve decided to pursue acting and initially, but there were not huge opportunities for a muscleman in Hollywood. Filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille offered him a lead role in Samson and Delilah (1949) on the condition that he would have to lose some of his musculatures, but Steve refused. Eventually, Italian film director Pietro Francisci made his superstar with the role of Hercules, and he became a superstar. He also appeared on a variety of TV shows and talent shows. In 1968, Reeves was appeared in “I Live For Your Death,” and this was his final film.

Steve Reeves wives

Steve Reeves married Sandra Smith in 1955, but the marriage lasted just one year and ended with a divorce. In 1963, he married Aline Czartjarwicz, and they remained married for 26 years until Aline, died from a stroke in 1989. Five years later, Steve married Deborah Ann Engelhorn in 1994 and remained married until his death.

Steve Reeves Death

In the 1970s, Steve Reeves decided to retire from acting and bodybuilding and returned to California to live on his ranch and bred horses. He loved horses and was a great rider himself. During his career, he also faced several body injuries, while filming The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) the chariot he was driving struck a tree, and he dislocated his shoulder. This injury limited his intense exercise and later forced him to retire from bodybuilding. Steve committed his life to promote drug-free bodybuilding and served a great inspiration to many renowned bodybuilders such as Sylvester Stallone and Lou Ferrigno, and millions of other followers worldwide. On May 1, 2000, Reeves died from a blood clot in California ate the age of 74, after having had surgery two days earlier. He was reportedly diagnosed with lymphoma only six weeks before this death. Steve Reeves’s body was cremated, and his ashes were scattered explicitly in Montana, the state where he was born.

#1 Steve Reeves in Los Angeles Preparing for the Mr. America contest with Gwen Caldwell, George Eiferman and Sara Hirch

#3 Steve Reeves with Jane Powell during the filming of Athena, 1954

#4 Steve Reeves with Sylva Koscina in a scene from the film ‘Hercules, 1958

#8 Steve Reeves posing after winning the Mr. America contest, 1947

#9 Steve Reeves as Mr. America in Ship’s Makeshift Gym, 1947

#10 Steve Reeves with his girlfriend, Lillian Lanier, 1952

#11 Steve Reeves holding Debbie Reynolds and Jane Powell, 1950s

#12 Steve Reeves in make-up room before his appearance on the ‘Edward Allen Show’, circa 1955

#13 Steve Reeves carrying unidentified men in a scene from the film ‘Hercules Unchained’, 1959

#14 Steve Reeves with Sylva Koscina in ‘Hercules Unchained’, 1959

#15 Steve Reeves holding Daniela Rocca in a scene from the film ‘Giant Of Marathon’, 1959

#20 Steve Reeves with an unknown woman on the beach, 1950s

#21 Steve Reeves bending metal in a scene from the film ‘Hercules Unchained’, 1959

#22 Steve Reeves Posing with Beauty Contestant Winners on Shore, 1950s

#23 Steve Reeves as Phillipides in the film ‘The Giant of Marathon’, 1959

#24 Steve Reeves with Valérie Lagrange in ‘Morgan The Pirate’, 1960

#25 Steve Reeves as Henry Morgan in the film ‘Morgan, the Pirate’, 1960

#26 Steve Reeves, wearing a grey jacket, white shirt and dark blue tie, posing in front of foliage, circa 1960

#27 Steve Reeves with Virna Lisi in a scene from the film ‘Duel Of The Titans’, 1961

#29 Steve Reeves with Edy Vessel in ‘The Trojan Horse’, 1961

#30 Steve Reeves laying in the sand in a scene from the film ‘The Thief Of Baghdad’, 1961

#31 Steve Reeves with talian actress Virna Lisi acting on horse, 1961

#34 Steve Reeves with Debbie Reynolds and several other bodybuilders, 1954

#36 Sylva Koscina and Steve Reeves in Le fatiche di Ercole, 1958

#37 Steve Reeves with Geneviève Grad in Sandokan, la tigre di Mompracem, 1963

#38 Steve Reeves in Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei, 1959

#40 Steve Reeves shackled to bars in a scene from the film ‘Morgan The Pirate’, 1960

Steve Reeves shackled to bars in a scene from the film 'Morgan The Pirate', 1960

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Written by Benjamin Grayson

Former Bouquet seller now making a go with blogging and graphic designing. I love creating & composing history articles and lists.

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