Arnold Schwarzenegger has paid a heartfelt tribute to the late bodybuilding legend Dave Draper, who he credited with inspiring his career saying his ‘heart was as big as his pecs’
Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger has shared an emotional post thanking his ‘idol’ Dave Draper, who has died aged 79.
The actor-turned-politician credited the bodybuilding legend with helping him to realise his dreams were possible.
Writing on Facebook he said: “Dave Draper was an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, including me. He was one of my idols.
“In Austria, I kept his cover of Muscle Builder magazine on the wall above my bed for motivation, and when I saw him starring in Don’t Make Waves, I thought, ‘My dreams are possible.’”
Arnold said that when he arrived in America he learnt Dave’s “heart was as big as his pecs” saying he was “in heaven” after becoming his training partner.
“He couldn’t have been more welcoming, and he was a fantastic training partner who always pushed everyone around him in the gym to be better,” he wrote.
“He was an amazing writer and a great family man. I will miss the Blond Bomber, but his memory will always be with me.
“My thoughts are with Laree and the whole family.”
Dave’s wife Laree posted on Facebook yesterday: “Hi, friends, as the word’s getting out, I wanted to let you know so there’s no confusion.
“Dave died early this morning. I was with him and it was calm and peaceful. It, as his doctor told me a little while ago, was a good death.”
After winning the Mr. Universe title aged 20, Arnold forged a successful as a Hollywood actor making his name in smash-hit films including the Terminator franchise, the Running Man and True Lies.
In 2003, he became the 38th governor of California – a post he held from 2003 to 2011.
The star was married to Maria Shriver, however the journalist, who hails from the Kennedy dynasty filed for divorce in 2011 after 25 years of marriage following the revelation Arnold had fathered a child with the family’s maid.
Speaking at the time the actor said: “After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago.
“I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family.
“I have apologised to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.”
Arnold’s son Joseph Baena, who was born in 1997, has launched his own career in real estate. He’s also into bodybuilding, just like his dad.