Early Life and Bodybuilding Beginnings
Franco Columbu was born on August 7, 1941, in Ollolai, Sardinia, Italy. He was raised in a family of farmers and grew up doing manual labor on his family’s farm. As a teenager, he developed a passion for bodybuilding and began training with weights.
In 1960, Franco moved to Munich, Germany, to attend university and continue his bodybuilding training. It was there that he met Arnold Schwarzenegger, who would become his lifelong friend and training partner.
Professional Bodybuilding Career
Franco Columbu’s professional bodybuilding career began in the 1960s, and he quickly established himself as one of the most successful competitors of his generation. He won numerous competitions, including the Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and Mr. Olympia titles.
Franco’s physique was characterized by incredible strength, muscularity, and symmetry. He was known for his powerful legs, massive biceps, and thick back, and he was widely regarded as one of the strongest bodybuilders of his time.
In addition to his bodybuilding success, Franco also had a successful career in powerlifting, winning multiple championships and setting numerous world records.
Acting and Other Ventures
In addition to his bodybuilding and powerlifting careers, Franco also pursued other interests throughout his life. He was a licensed chiropractor and had a successful practice in Los Angeles, where he treated many famous athletes and celebrities.
Franco also had a successful career as an actor, appearing in several films and television shows. He appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in several films, including “The Terminator” and “Conan the Barbarian,” and he also had a recurring role on the television show “The Incredible Hulk.”
Retirement and Legacy
Franco Columbu retired from bodybuilding in the 1980s but remained involved in the sport as a coach and commentator. He also continued to pursue his other interests, including chiropractic, acting, and writing.
Franco passed away on August 30, 2019, at the age of 78. He is remembered as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time and a true pioneer of the sport. His legacy continues to inspire generations of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts around the world.