biographyBorn in Montana on January 21, 1926, actor and bodybuilder Steve Reeves moved to California at the age of ten with his widowed mother. He cultivated an interest in bodybuilding while in his teens; by the time he was 17 years old, Reeves had developed quite a Herculean build. After graduating high school, Reeves entered the Army during the latter days of World War II. Upon his release, Reeves decided to enter bodybuilding contests and soon blew his competitors away, winning the titles "Mr. Pacific Coast," "Mr. Western America," and "Mr. America" in 1947. He won the "Mr. World" contest the following year, and in 1950 he became Mr. Universe, beating Reg Park. While a success in the sport of bodybuilding, luck with Reeves' other interest, acting, seemed elusive. He enrolled in acting classes and nearly landed the role of Samson in Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949), a part that was eventually won by Victor Mature. Reeves would have to wait nearly ten years before his second shot at stardom.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Steve Reeves made a number of local and national television appearances. His TV career first started in 1949, when he starred in a 15-minute pilot titled Kindar, but the show was never picked up and did not go to series. Reeves then took guest roles on established TV shows, such as Topper, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.
It seems odd that Reeves' first film appearance came in Ed Wood's Jailbait. Jailbait (1954) finds Steve Reeves playing cops and robbers with Dolores Fuller and Lyle Talbot. In fact, since so many of Reeves' movies are dubbed, Jailbait is one of the few opportunities to actually hear the voice of the future Hercules star. Incidentally, Reeves had only good things to say about his first film director, Ed Wood: It was a pleasure to work with a director like Ed Wood. He was patient and understood how to make new and inexperienced actors feel at ease and get the best performance out of them. (from Nightmare of Ecstasy by Rudolph Grey, 1992, p. 50). Reeves' second film, the 1954 MGM musical Athena, was a box-office disappointment. Starring in Athena were Debbie Reynolds, Linda Christian, and Jane Powell. Also, Mr. America 1954 Dick DuBois was cast in the film, billed as Richard Sabre. Quick eyes can also spot Ed Fury, Bert Goodrich, Joe Gold, and Irvin 'Zabo' Koszewski.
Reeves in a 1952 appearance on Burns and Allen. See The Steve Reeves Gallery for bodybuilding photos of Steve Reeves
the films of steve reeves
LEFT: Debbie Reynolds is suspended in mid-air by Dick Dubois and Steve Reeves during a publicity stunt. CENTER: With Debbie Reynolds. RIGHT: With Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds
LEFT: Steve Reeves watches his new film at the premier for Hercules. RIGHT: Scene from the film. As rumor has it, the daughter of Italian director Pietro Francisci saw Reeves in Athena; she urged her father to hire the actor for the starring role in his new picture, Hercules.
Behind the scenes on the set of Hercules. The picture on the far right includes co-star Sylva Koscina
Images from Hercules Unchained. LEFT: Reeves wrestles with Primo Carnera. CENTER A: With Sylva Koscina. CENTER B, C, and LEFT: Reeves as Hercules. Given the wild success of the original Hercules, producers decided to cash in again with the sequel, Hercules Unchained. In a feat which is rare in films, the sequel is actually more entertaining than the original
From the adventure Goliath and the Barbarians. LEFT and CENTER A: Reeves as Goliath. CENTER B and RIGHT: With Chelo Alonso
LEFT and CENTER A: From the MGM release The Giant of Marathon with Reeves as Phillipides. CENTER B and RIGHT: With Mylene Demongeot
The Thief of Baghdad (1960)
From The Thief of Baghdad, the second remake of the classic 1924 version starring Douglas Fairbanks and Anna May Wong. Reeves even sported a Fairbanks-like moustache for the role
Duel of the Titans (1961)
LEFT: Gordon Scott as Remus and Steve Reeves as Romulus in Duel of the Titans. CENTER: With with Virna Lisi and an unidentified crew member. RIGHT: Shot of Reeves from the film
Morgan the Pirate (1961)
LEFT and CENTER: Reeves as the title character Henry Morgan in the adventure Morgan the Pirate. RIGHT: With Chelo Alonso
From the adventure The Slave, aka Son of Spartacus. LEFT: As Randus, the title character. CENTER: Reeves duels with Jacques Sernas. RIGHT: With his fellow slaves
A Long Ride from Hell (1968)
From the spaghetti western A Long Ride from Hell, Reeves' final film. Reeves starred and also wrote the screenplay (thanks to Dennis McHaney for images)
later yearsInterestingly, Reeves turned down a number of roles that made the careers of other actors. For example, Reeves said no to Albert Broccoli's offer of $100,000 to star in Dr. No (1962; with Sean Connery and Ursula Andress) as James Bond because he was earning $250,000 per picture in Italy. In addition, he also refused the role that eventually went to Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Due to shoulder injuries suffered while making several of his films, Reeves went into retirement in 1964. However, Reeves longed to make a western, which he did in A Long Ride from Hell, his final film which was released in 1968.
LEFT: A 1964 photo of Reeves walking in Kalambaka, Greece. CENTER A: A 1994 photo of Gordon Scott and Steve Reeves in Knoxville, Tennessee (Copyright 1998 Dennis McHaney. Used by permission). CENTER B: Reeves in a 1996 photo. RIGHT: Reeves on his ranch in the early 1980s
steve reeves films available from movies unlimited
Athena [DVD](1954) DVD
Unusual MGM musical extravaganza follows the romantic adventures of seven daughters of a health-conscious family who are named for heroines of Greek myth. Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Virginia Gibson, Edmund Purdom, Vic Damone, and Louis Calhern star; songs include "Love Can Change the Stars," "I Never Felt Better," and "The Girl Next Door." 96 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; outtakes; theatrical trailer.
Jail Bait [DVD](1954) DVD
A hard-as-nails gangster film, Ed Wood-style. A hood on the lam shoots his partner, then forces the guy's surgeon-father to change his face. The stars include Lyle Talbot, Dolores Fuller, Timothy Farrell and a young Steve Reeves; don't miss the "hilarious" blackface minstrel sequence! 75 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; theatrical trailer.
Hercules [DVD](1959) DVD
The original "swords, sandals and sweat" spectacle stars Steve Reeves as the muscular Greek demigod who asks to be made mortal so he can share in the adventures of humans. Herc's earthly exploits include falling in love with a beautiful princess (Sylva Koscina) and going on a perilous journey with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece. 107 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed) Dolby Digital mono.
Hercules Collection [DVD] DVD
Four-disc set includes "Hercules" (1958), "Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules," "Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops," "Giants of Rome," "Hercules and the Captive Women," "Hercules, Prisoner of Evil," "Hercules and the Black Pirate," "Hercules the Avenger," and "Hercules and the Princess of Troy."
Goliath And The Barbarians (1959)/Goliath And The Vampires [DVD](1963) DVD
He's colossal! He's stupendous! He looks an awful lot like Hercules! But this time, Steve Reeves plays strongman Emeliano (Americanized to "Goliath") in "Goliath and the Barbarians," and proves a worthy adversary to the brutes responsible for razing his village and killing his father. Bruce Cabot, Giulia Rubini co-star. AKA: "Terror of the Barbarians." Next, former Tarzan Gordon Scott plays daring gladiator hero Maciste (again, changed to "Goliath") in the Italian-made spectacle "Goliath and the Vampires," in which he battles a bloodsucking mastermind who turns slaves into zombies. With Gianna Maria Canale. AKA: "The Vampires." Widescreen; Soundtrack: English (dubbed); photo gallery; theatrical trailers. Dubbed in English.
Terror Of The Barbarians (Goliath And The Barbarians) [DVD](1959) DVD
There's swords and sandals aplenty in this classic actioner starring Steve Reeves as a man bent on getting revenge against the evil barbarians who were responsible for his father's murder. Enlisting the help of his followers, he embarks on a stunning mission of vengeance. With Chelo Alonso, Bruce Cabot, Giulia Rubini. 82 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English (dubbed); theatrical trailer. Dubbed in English.
Hercules (1959)/Hercules Unchained [DVD](1960) DVD
Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed) mono; biographies; photo gallery; poster gallery; trailers.
The Giant Of Marathon [DVD](1959) DVD
Steve "Hercules" Reeves plays the musclebound hero who defends Athens from Persian forces. A horse with incredible stamina, a double-crossing siren, epic land and sea battles and Reeves' amazing physique highlight this sword-and-sandal winner directed by Jacques Tourneur ("Cat People"). 85 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English. Plays All Regions.
The Film Crew: The Giant Of Marathon [DVD](1959) DVD
90 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; audio commentary; featurette.
The Last Days Of Pompeii [DVD](1960) DVD
Steve Reeves flexes his pecs once more in this epic retelling of the sin and treachery that occurred in the ancient Roman city, under the shadow of the awakening volcano called Vesuvius. Christine Kaufmann, Barbara Carroll also star. This special edition also includes the silent 1913 version. Standard; Soundtrack: English mono.
Hercules Unchained [DVD](1960) DVD
Steve Reeves returns as the mighty Hercules in another saga of muscles, maidens and monsters. Robbed of his memory, Herc is a prisoner of the lovely Queen of Lidia and must compete in the Contest of Giants for his freedom. 101 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English dubbed mono.
The White Warrior [DVD](1961) DVD
Unusual casting finds strongman Steve Reeves in a story by Leo Tolstoy as Hadji Murad, who leads his mountain warriors against the army of Russian ruler Nicholas I while battling a rival for his girlfriend's hand. Georgia Moll, Renato Baldini also star; photography by Mario Bava. 88 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; theatrical trailers; scene access.
The Slave [DVD](1962) DVD
Promoted for his loyalty and field heroics, centurion Steve Reeves is tasked by Caesar (Ivo Garrani) to journey to Egypt and keep an eye on the machinations of Crassus (Claudio Gora). The expedition fatefully brings him to discover that he is the son of the slave revolutionary Spartacus. Will he renounce his allegiance to Rome to fight for his legacy? Sword-and-sandal stunner also stars Gianna Maria Canale, Jacques Sernas. 102 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English (dubbed) Dolby Digital mono. Dubbed in English.
The Avenger [DVD](1962) DVD
The majestically muscular Steve Reeves slings a lot of bull (literally) in this action-filled tale of a fight for freedom between Etruscan slavedrivers and oppressed Trojans. The bull stampede is not to be missed. AKA: "The Last Glory of Troy." 100 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Plays All Regions. Dubbed in English.
The Trojan Horse [DVD](1962) DVD
Muscles, mythology and history mix in this exciting epic starring Steve Reeves as Aeneas, a Greek warrior who battles leader Paris, tries to find his kidnapped, pregnant wife Creusa and joins fellow fighters in the famous Trojan Horse. With John Drew Barrymore, Juliette Mayniel and Mimmo Palmara. 105 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed).
Sandokan, The Tiger Of Mompracem [DVD](1963) DVD
Steve Reeves stars as the ferocious Sandokan in this riveting adventure. After his father, the Sultan of Muluder, is kidnapped, he embarks on a perilous mission to rescue him. Leading a band of warriors through a steamy jungle to locate and save his pop, Reeves faces an incredible challenge that will push him to his breaking point. With Genevieve Grad, Rik Battaglia. Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
Sandokan, Pirate Of Malaysia (Sandokan And The Pirates Of Malasia) [DVD](1964) DVD
In this rarely seen sequel to his title turn in 1963's "Sandokan the Great," Steve Reeves returns as the heroic East Asian privateer, helping a deposed rajah regain his throne from a greedy British officer. With Jacqueline Sassard, Mimmo Palmara; directed by "Sandokan the Great" helmer Umberto Lenzi. AKA: "Pirates of Malasia." 97 min. Soundtrack: English (dubbed).
Sandokan, Pirate Of Malaysia (Widescreen Version) [DVD](1964) DVD
In this rarely seen sequel to his title turn in 1963's "Sandokan the Great," Steve Reeves returns as the heroic East Asian privateer, helping a deposed rajah regain his throne from a greedy British officer. With Jacqueline Sassard, Mimmo Palmara; directed by "Sandokan the Great" helmer Umberto Lenzi. AKA: "Sandokan and the Pirates of Malaysia," "Pirates of Malaysia." 106 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
steve reeves dvds available from amazon.com
steve reeves vhs available from amazon.comPlease note: As of this writing, these titles have not been released to DVD:
steve reeves books available from amazon.com
steve reeves photos and posters available
A Long Ride from Hell (1968) with Wayde Preston and Rosalba Neri
Sandokan And The Pirates Of Malasia (1964)
Sandokan the Great (1964) with Rik Battaglia
The Slave (1963) (aka The Son of Spartacus) with Jacques Sernas
The Shortest Day (1963)
The Trojan Horse (1962) with John Drew Barrymore
The Avenger (1962) with Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Morgan the Pirate (1961) with Chelo Alonso
Duel of the Titans (1961) with Gordon Scott and Virna Lisi
The Thief of Baghdad (1960)
The Last Days of Pompeii (1959) with Fernando Rey
Giant of Marathon (1959) with Alan Steel
Goliath and the Barbarians (1959) with Chelo Alonso and Bruce Cabot
The White Warrior (1959) with Georgia Moll and Scilla Gabel
Hercules Unchained (1959) Sylva Koscina and Sylvia Lopez
Hercules (1958) with Sylva Koscina and Luciana Paluzzi
Athena (1954) with Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, Linda Christian, and Dick Dubois
Jail Bait (1954) with Dolores Fuller and Lyle Talbott; directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, episode Harry Returns Early, originally aired April 22, 1957
Topper, episode Reducing, originally aired November 6, 1953
Stars Over Hollywood, episode Prison Doctor, originally aired March 14, 1951
steve reeves linksSteve Reeves, An Authorized Biography: Worlds to Conquer
Christopher D. LeClaire is the official biographer of Steve Reeves. In his book Worlds To Conquer, LeClaire captures in words and photography, including over 190 photos - many never before published - the definitive portrait of the man who has inspired millions, the man many believe to be the greatest bodybuilder ever.This authorized site boasts many photos of Reeves, from childhood to the 1990s and offers official Steve Reeves memorabilia.
The Official Steve Reeves International Society Web Site
The Steve Reeves International Society (SRIS) was formed in 1995 by George Helmer. This authorized site boasts many photos of Reeves, from childhood to the 1990s and offers official Steve Reeves memorabilia.
steve reeves film now showingWatch Steve Reeves in the film The White Warrior (1959)
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