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Dolph Lundgren (born Hans Lundgren on 3 November 1957) is a Swedish actor, director, model, and karateka.

Well known for his tall stature and level of fitness, at peak, Lundgren stands at 6 ft 5 in (196 cm) and weighs over 240 lb (109 kg). He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, some of whom he has worked with in his career.

Lundgren's breakthrough came when he starred in Rocky IV in 1985 as the imposing Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Since then, he has starred in more than 40 pictures, all of them in the action film genre. He portrayed He-Man in the 1987 film Masters of the Universe, and in the early 1990s, appeared in films such as Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991), opposite Brandon Lee, Universal Soldier (1992), opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme, Joshua Tree (1993) opposite Kristian Alfonso and George Segal, and Johnny Mnemonic (1995) alongside Keanu Reeves.

The Defender in 2004 marked Lundgren's directorial debut, following up with films such as The Mechanik (2005), Missionary Man (2007), Command Performance and Icarus in which he also starred.

Biography

Lundgren was born in Stockholmmarker, Swedenmarker. He has two sisters and a younger brother named Johan who resides in Sweden.

Lundgren holds a 3rd Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt) in Kyokushin karate. He won the European championships in 1980 and 1981 as well as a heavyweight tournament in Australia in 1982. He was also captain of the Swedish Kyokushin Karate team, and was a formidable challenger at the 1979 World Open Tournament (arranged by the Kyokushin Karate Organization) when he was only a green belt. In addition to Kyokushin karate, Lundgren has also studied fencing, boxing, judo, goju-ryu, and taekwondo.

He graduated from the Royal Institute of Technologymarker. He has a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney (1982). He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker in 1983, but quit after two weeks to pursue acting. He speaks over five languages: Swedish, English, German, French, Spanish, some Japanese, and some Italian.

Lundgren completed his mandatory military service in Sweden at the Amphibious Ranger School. During his service at the elite marine unit (Kustjägarna), he suffered an injury which had him reassigned and separated from his unit.

Lundgren was selected to serve as the Team Leader of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Modern Pentathlon Team during the Atlanta Games, where he coordinated planning and other details between the team and the United States Olympic Committee. He is actively involved in promoting the image of the sport. "Over the past few years, my involvement with modern pentathlon has grown from pure interest to an opportunity to raise the visibility of the sport, increase recruitment of young talent and make sure that this event, originated by the founder of the Olympics, Baron de Coubertin, will remain in the Games," Lundgren has said.

He reportedly has a genius-level IQ of 160, but he himself denies it.

Film career

In 1985, Lundgren made his feature film debut in the James Bond film A View to a Kill with a very minor role as a suited KGBmarker henchman named Venz. The role was suggested to the producers of the Bond film by his girlfriend at the time, Grace Jones. Then he beat 5,000 other hopefuls to land the breakthrough role of Ivan Drago, Sylvester Stallone's opponent in Rocky IV (1985). As he stated himself, he was initially turned down for the role because he was too tall.In order to improve his physique and athletic abilities for the role of Drago, he trained intensely in bodybuilding and boxing shortly before the film was shot and weighed at his heaviest. In an interview with his co-star, Sylvester Stallone said of Lundgren: "During [the filming of] Rocky IV, Dolph had hit me so hard I had swelling around the heart and had to stay in intensive care at St. John’s Hospital for four days."Lundgren later fought in a real boxing match against former UFC fighter Oleg Taktarov although he did not win the fight.

Lundgren in 1990


Dolph received his first lead role as the mighty He-Man in Masters of the Universe (1987), based on the popular children's Mattel toys. He starred as a reformed Spetsnaz in Red Scorpion, and then as Marvel Comics character Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher, in the 1989 film The Punisher. In the 1990s he starred in action films such as Showdown in Little Tokyo (co-starring Brandon Lee), Universal Soldier (co-starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and directed by Roland Emmerich), Joshua Tree (directed by stunt legend Vic Armstrong), Men of War (scripted by John Sayles), Johnny Mnemonic (co-starring Keanu Reeves and directed by artist Robert Longo), Silent Trigger (directed by Russell Mulcahy) and the TV pilot Blackjack (directed by John Woo).

In 2004 he made his directorial debut with the films The Defender also co-starring Jerry Springer, and The Mechanik (with Ben Cross). Dolph has three new DVDs available: a historical/biblical film, The Inquiry, which debuted on DVD (February 19 2008) from Fox Home Entertainment; a Mongoliamarker-based action adventure, Diamond Dogs; and a modern western, Missionary Man, which Lundgren wrote and directed, released on DVD (January 22 2008) from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Missionary Man was specially screened at the 2008 AFI Dallas Film Festival.

Lundgren's latest releases were the direct to video action flick Direct Contact, and Command Performance (released November 3, 2009 in the US) in which he plays a drummer in a rock band forced to face terrorists at a concert. This action thriller, which he also directed, showcases Dolph’s longtime musical talents.

Lundgren then wrapped his on-screen reunion with Jean-Claude Van Damme in Universal Soldier: Regeneration (to be released February 2, 2010) where he plays Andrew Scott's clone.

Lundgren returned to the director's chair with the thriller Icarus, a neo film noir between Luc Besson's Leon / The Professional and David Cronenberg's History of Violence with a pinch of Johnnie To.

Returning to the big screen

While he is now editing a new directorial/starring effort, the thriller Icarus, Lundgren just co-starred alongside Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, and many others in the action film The Expendables which will be released on August 20, 2010. "The Expendables has a seventy million-dollar budget", says Lundgren, "and it's an old-school, kick-ass action movie where people are fighting with knives and shooting at each other". This will be his first theatrically released film in fifteen years since Johnny Mnemonic in 1995 also starring Keanu Reeves.

Other

Dolph did a Japanese television commercial for Swatch watches. He played opposite famous small man Danny DeVito. The popular commercial ran on Japanese television for 18 months.

At a student-interview in Lund, Sweden in July 2007, Dolph claims to have turned down a part in Gladiator a couple of years before it was eventually made. During an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in May 2008, Gladiator director Ridley Scott disputed this. He revealed that Dolph had been considered for the part of undefeated fighter Tigris of Gaul, but was eventually rejected because "as an actor, he just didn't fit in with what we were trying to achieve".

Despite being regarded as a direct-to-video star , none of Dolph Lundgren's movies have been primarily made for video (apart from Blackjack, which was a TV pilot); instead, they have been released theatrically in various parts of the world.

He shot TV commercials for South African online casino SilverSands (2009).

Personal life

During the early 1980s he dated singer Grace Jones. He has been married to Anette Qviberg, a jewelry designer and fashion stylist, since 1994. The couple live in Marbellamarker, Spainmarker. They have two daughters: Ida Sigrid Lundgren (born April 1996) and Greta Eveline Lundgren (born November 2001). In January 2009, Lundgren's home was reportedly broken into by three masked burglars who tied up and threatened Qviberg, but fled when they spotted a family photo and realized that the house was owned by Lundgren.

Filmography

Actor

Year Title Role Director
1985 A View to a Kill Venz John Glen
Rocky IV Ivan Drago Sylvester Stallone
1987 Masters of the Universe He-Man Gary Goddard
1988 Red Scorpion Lt. Nikolai Rachenko Joseph Zito
1989 The Punisher Frank Castle/The Punisher Mark Goldblatt
I Come in Peace (Dark Angel) Jack Caine Craig R. Baxley
1990 Cover-Up Mike Anderson Manny Coto
1991 Showdown in Little Tokyo Chris Kenner Mark L. Lester
1992 Universal Soldier Sgt. Andrew Scott/GR13 Roland Emmerich
1993 Joshua Tree (Army Of One) Wellman Anthony Santee Vic Armstrong
1994 Sunny Side Up Himself Bettina Speer
Pentathlon Eric Brogar Bruce Malmuth
Men of War Nick Gunar Perry Lang
1995 Johnny Mnemonic Karl Honig (Street Preacher) Robert Longo
The Shooter (Hidden Assassin) Michael Dane Ted Kotcheff
1996 Silent Trigger Waxman (Shooter) Russell Mulcahy
1997 The Peacekeeper Major Frank Cross Frédéric Forestier
1998 The Minion Lukas Sadorov Jean-Marc Piché
Sweepers Christian Erickson Keoni Waxman
Blackjack (TV) Jack Devlin John Woo
1999 Bridge of Dragons Warchild Isaac Florentine
Storm Catcher Jack Holloway Anthony Hickox
Jill Rips (Jill The Ripper) Matt Sorenson Anthony Hickox
2000 The Last Patrol Captain Nick Preston Sheldon Lettich
Agent Red Matt Hendricks Damian Lee
2001 Hidden Agenda Jason Price Marc S. Grenier
2003 Detention Sam Decker Sidney J. Furie
2004 Direct Action Frank Gannon Sidney J. Furie
Fat Slags Randy Ed Bye
Retrograde John Foster Christopher Kulikowski
The Defender Lance Rockford Dolph Lundgren
2005 The Mechanik (The Russian Specialist) Nikolai Cherenko Dolph Lundgren
2006 The Inquiry (The Final Inquiry) Brixos Giulio Base
2007 Diamond Dogs Xander Ronson Shimon Dotan / Dolph Lundgren
Missionary Man Ryder Dolph Lundgren
2008 Direct Contact Mike Riggins Danny Lerner
2009 Command Performance Joe Dolph Lundgren
Universal Soldier: Regeneration Andrew Scott John Hyams
Icarus Edward Genn Dolph Lundgren
2010 The Expendables Gunnar Jensen Sylvester Stallone


Director

Year Movie
2004 The Defender
2005 The Mechanik (The Russian Specialist)
2007 Diamond Dogs (replacement director)
2007 Missionary Man
2009 Command Performance
2009 Icarus


Cultural references

  • Dolph Lundgren was satirized in an article by The Onion in 2004, titled " Dolph Lundgren Wins Long, Courageous Battle Against Fame".
  • Metalcore band Will Haven released a song named "Dolph Lundgren" on their album Carpe Diem.
  • Dolph Lundgren was parodied in the August 2008 issue of ToyFare magazine's Twisted ToyFare Theater in which he, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis were members of the Hollwood Cafe's Manly Man of Action Club, which was then initiating new members. A running gag involved Dolph's lack of recent work such as when he attempted to recruit Gerard Butler and mistook the title of "300" to be the number of films Butler had starred in, causing him to gripe, "I've only done 75 and 50 of them were on Sci-Fi."
  • Larry the Cable Guy frequently refers to a supposed similarity between his buttocks and those of Dolph Lundgren as a part of his comedy routine.
  • In The Nanny, Niles refers to C.C. as Dolph Lundgren in the episode "Fashion Show".
  • Dolph Lundgren was inducted into the Badass of the Week hall of Badassitude.


References

  1. Sveriges befolkning 1970
  2. Questions and answers: Dolph Lundgren
  3. Fight Tips, 2008-09-27. Video of Dolph Lundgren and Oleg Taktarov Boxing Match.
  4. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, featuring Ridley Scott, May 2008
  5. http://www.badassoftheweek.com/drago.html


External links






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