Dolph Lundgren biography
DOLPH LUNDGREN (born: Hans Lundgren)
Date of Birth: November 3, 1957
Born in Stockholm, Sweden to an academic, middle-class family, Dolph Lundgren and his siblings suffered from a physically and emotionally abusive father—a tense relationship which Dolph cites as the reason he developed a passion for contact sports like boxing and karate.
A straight-A student, Lundgren spent time in the late-‘70s in America on various academic scholarships, including stints at Washington State and Clemson universities, where he studied chemistry. He then returned to Sweden, served two years in the Swedish Marine Corps and enrolled at the Royal Institute of Technology, where he earned his degree in chemical engineering. Years later, he would also receive his master's degree from the University of Sydney.
Throughout this time, Lundgren became an accomplished martial artist. After he attained the rank of 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin in 1978, he spent five more years studying in a dojo, eventually winning back-to-back European championships in the early ‘80s and the heavyweight championship in Australia the following year.
After meeting and falling in love with actress Grace Jones (for whom he was employed as a bodyguard), Lundgren moved with her to New York City and through her connections, appeared in his first film role as a henchman in 1985's A View to Kill. Soon after, he landed his breakout role starring opposite Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV and has been a staple of the action movie genre ever since.
Having appeared in over 40 films over the past three decades, Lundgren has managed to play roles in a host of notable franchises, often as the leading man. Immediately after appearing in Rocky IV, he starred as He-Man in the live-action adaptation of the popular cartoon, Masters of the Universe. Following that up as the titular vigilante in The Punisher, Lundgren swiftly cemented his position within the pantheon of action superstars.
In the mid-2000s, Lundgren also tried his hand at directing. His first feature, The Defender, starred himself alongside Jerry Springer, and was subsequently followed-up by four other films, culminating with Icarus in 2010.
To cement Lundgren's cult-like position as an action hero, he was featured in Sylvester Stallone's action team-up film The Expendables, in 2010. The film saw the actor starring alongside such other action superstars as Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Steve Austin and more. The sequel, The Expendables 2, added even more notable faces.