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51 Facts About Dolph Lundgren - Russian boxer Ivan Drago From ‘Rocky IV’

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Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, screenwriter, film producer, martial artist, and chemical engineer, from the generation of actors who epitomize the action hero stereotype. Here are 50 interesting facts about the actor -

Actor Dolph Lundgren attends National Geographic Channel's 'Breakthrough' world premiere event at The Pacific Design Center on October 26, 2015 in West Hollywood, California.
(Photo : Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for National Geographic Channels) Actor Dolph Lundgren attends National Geographic Channel's 'Breakthrough' world premiere event at The Pacific Design Center on October 26, 2015 in West Hollywood, California.
  1. Lundgren is a 6 feet 5 inch tall and muscular Swedish giant who weighs around 200-250 pounds.
  2. He was born as Hans Lundgren on November 3, 1957 in Stockholm.
  3. His mother Sigrid Birgitta was a language teacher and his father Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren was an engineer for Swedish Government.
  4. He moved with his grandparents to Nyland, Ångermanland, after living in Stockholm till the age of 13.
  5. His father was physically abusive and during the tirades he would beat Lundgren’s mother and elder brother.
  6. He completed degree in Chemistry from Washington State University and graduated with Chemical Engineering from Royal Institute of Technology.
    Dolph Lundgren attends Day 6 of the 61st Taormina Film Fest on June 18, 2015 in Taormina, Italy.
    (Photo : Venturelli/Getty Images) Dolph Lundgren attends Day 6 of the 61st Taormina Film Fest on June 18, 2015 in Taormina, Italy.
  7. He also served is mandatory one year in Swedish Marine Corps at the Amphibious Ranger School.
  8. He has attained a 2nd grade black belt in Kyokushin Karate in 1978. He took up Karate at the age of 10. He cites a troubled relationship with his father being the main reason for choosing contact sports.
  9. He won European Championship in Karate in 1980 and 1981, and Australian Heavyweight tournament in 1982. He was considered a formidable challenger at 1979 World Open Tournament when he was only a green belt holder.
  10. He upgraded to 3rd Dan in 1998 when he trained intensely after leaving his tournament career. The grading ceremony took place in Stockholms Kyokushin Karate gym.
  11. He is a keen football fan and supported Everton F.C during his time in Europe.
  12. He completed his Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Sydney.
  13. He also worked as a bouncer in a night club in the King’s cross area during his time at Sydney.
  14. He was hired by the singer Grace Jones as her personal bodyguard. Eventually they fell in love and both moved to New York City.
    Actor Dolph Lundgren and singer Grace Jones attending 'Grace Jones Concert Party' on January 1, 1984 at the Kamikaze Club in New York City, New York.
    (Photo : Ron Galella/WireImage) Actor Dolph Lundgren and singer Grace Jones attending 'Grace Jones Concert Party' on January 1, 1984 at the Kamikaze Club in New York City, New York.
  15. He tried modeling at Zoli Agency but was rejected due to his tall frame and muscular body.
  16. He once said, “My time in New York City opened up my adolescent Swedish eyes to a multitude of different people and life styles, mostly in arts.”
  17. He was encouraged by friends to pursue acting based on his physical structure. He quit his study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology within just 2 weeks of pursuing acting.
  18. He made his acting debut with the bond movie “View to a Kill” playing as a KGB henchman Venz.
  19. Roger Moore during his performance of Bond for the last time said “Dolph is larger than Denmark.”
  20. His breakthrough came in 1985 when he was cast in the movie Rocky IV as the Russian boxer Ivan Drago. He was initially turned down due to his height.
  21. Stallone decided that in order to make the boxing scene look real, both the fighters should hit each other hard for real. Lundgren hit Stallone so hard on the rubs that he was hospitalized in intensive care for 8 days with swollen heart and high blood pressure.
  22. Stallone’s Insurance Company did not believe his injuries and suspected that it was due to a car accident and impact on the steering wheel. Stallone replied “Have you seen Dolph Lundgren? That’s a truck. That’s a steering wheel. That’s a head on collision.”
  23. Lundgren trained in bodybuilding and boxing for five months before the shoot. Stallone had asked him to increase his muscle mass and he weighed 245 pounds during the film.
  24. Lundgren took part in a real boxing match later in his life, against former UFC fighter Oleg Taktarov and lost by decision.
  25. He won Marshall Trophy for best actor for his performance in Rocky IV.
  26. He got his first leading role in 1987 in the movie “Masters of Universe,” playing the famous He-Man. He weighed 250 pounds, his heaviest during filming.
  27. His co-actor Anthony de Longis, who plays the character Blade trained Lundgren with the sword and even choreographed all the sword fight scenes.
  28. Due to his imposing physic Lundgren was cast first for the movie, while the main villain Skeleton played by Frank Langella was cast last.
  29. He was cast in the movie “Red Scorpion” in 1989 in which he played as Nikolai, a KGB agent sent to eliminate rebel leader in Africa. The movie was poorly received.
  30. It was reported that Grace Jones joined the unit in Namibia and insisted on staying in a $3000 per month villa, even though his new girlfriend at that time was Paula Barbieri.
    Actor Dolph Lundgren and girlfriend Model Paula Barbieri attend the Jun Chong Tae Kwon Do Karate Tournament to Benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation on April 26, 1987 at Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California.
    (Photo : Ron Galella, Ltd/WireImage) Actor Dolph Lundgren and girlfriend Model Paula Barbieri attend the Jun Chong Tae Kwon Do Karate Tournament to Benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation on April 26, 1987 at Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California.
  31. In the movie “The Punisher” actress Kim Miyori’s expression on touching the bare muscular torso of Lundgren were so real, as she was really fascinated by his physic.
  32. For the movie he started training in the similar way he trained for his Karate championship years ago. He was 220 pounds during the shoot.
  33. He was not comfortable with the monologues of his character Frank Castle in “The Punisher” and hence revised them himself.
  34. During a scene in the movie “Cover-up” in 1991 Lundgren runs through the mass of people during Easter celebration which was a real footage. Hidden cameras were used to take the shot. He was brought down by real soldiers who were not informed of the film production.
  35. In the movie “Showdown in Little Tokyo” in 1991 the swords used were replicas except one used by Lundgren to slice through bamboos. It was an original Samurai sword.
  36. The film received many negative reviews with New York Times describing it as “Violent, but Spiritless.”
  37. He was cast alongside Jean Claude Van Damne in the 1992 movie “Universal Soldier.” It turned out to be his first blockbuster hit amasin $102 million worldwide.
  38. During the screening in Cannes Film Festival he got into a verbal altercation with Van Damne which almost turned physical. However it was believed to be a publicity stunt.
    Dolph Lundgren attends Day 6 of the 61st Taormina Film Fest on June 18, 2015 in Taormina, Italy.
    (Photo : Venturelli/Getty Images) Dolph Lundgren attends Day 6 of the 61st Taormina Film Fest on June 18, 2015 in Taormina, Italy.
  39. He stared in 1994 sports movie “Pentathlon” as an East German Olympic Gold Medalist pentathlete who runs away from his abusive coach. For the role he trained with real pentathlon team in US.
  40. He served as the team leader of the 1996 U.S Olympic modern Pentathlon team during Atlanta Games to promote sports.
  41. The only time he played as a Swede in a movie was in 1994’s “Men of War.” The main character’s name was Nick Riley, but was changed to Nick Gunnar to make him Swedish.
  42. He made his directorial debut with “The Defender” in which he also played the character Lance Rockford.
  43. He directed his second movie in 2005 titled “The Mechanik” which was also released as “The Russian Specialist.” He played the lead character Nikolai Cherenkov, a Russian Special Forces hit man.
  44. He reunites with Sylvester Stallone after Rocky IV in “Expendables” in 2010 alongside other mega stars. He reprised his role as Gunnar Jenson in the Expendables Sequals.
  45. He gives Stallone the credit for getting him into serious bodybuilding in 1980’s, even though he started lifting weights in his teen.
  46. He has released his own fitness book titled “Fit Forever” in 2011.
  47. He married Jewellery designer Anette Qviberg in 1994. They bought a new family home and settled in Marbella.
    Actor Dolph Lundgren and wife Anette Qviberg attend the 'Johnny Mnemonic' New York City Premiere on May 22, 1995 at Sony 19th Street Theater in New York City, New York.
    (Photo : Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage) Actor Dolph Lundgren and wife Anette Qviberg attend the 'Johnny Mnemonic' New York City Premiere on May 22, 1995 at Sony 19th Street Theater in New York City, New York.
  48. He has two daughters Ida Sigrid Lundgren and Greta Eveline Lundgren.
  49. To provide a normal childhood to his daughters, Lundgren stayed away from movies. He came back to acting in 2010 after a gap of 15 years.
  50. Lundgren and Qviberg got divorced in 2011. It may be due to a break inn in his home by three robbers who tied and threatened Qviberg. Later on realizing from a family photo whose house they were in, the robbers fled.
  51. He has moved back to Los Angeles with his new girlfriend Jenny Sanderson.
    Dolph Lundgren and Jenny Sandersson attend the Vanity Fair and Pommery Gala Dinner - 61st Taormina Film Fest on June 18, 2015 in Taormina, Italy.
    (Photo : Venturelli/Getty Images) Dolph Lundgren and Jenny Sandersson attend the Vanity Fair and Pommery Gala Dinner - 61st Taormina Film Fest on June 18, 2015 in Taormina, Italy.

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