Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, screenwriter and producer. He became famous for his participation in many Hollywood action films, but it was his appearance in the blockbuster film “Rocky 4”, where he played the role of the Russian boxer Ivan Drago, that propelled him to the forefront in the United States. That said, like any actor, Lundgren’s career will not be made only of success, far from it … but this only forged the character of the man.
Childhood and youth
Dolph was born in the suburbs of the Swedish capital, in the town of Spange. Karl Lundgren, the father of the future actor, was an engineer and economist and worked for the Swedish government. Brigitte Lundgren, Dolph’s mother, was a foreign language teacher. The boy was the first born of Karl and Brigitte. Later, three more children were born: his sisters Annika and Katarina and his brother Johan.
In spite of today’s appearances, Dolph is rather a fragile child and often falls ill. The bullying, ridicule and endless beatings from his father destroy his confidence. Very early, the young boy is interested in martial arts. At first, his choice was judo, but then he switched to karate, of which he practiced and mastered two styles: goju-ryu and kyokushinkai. The young fighter found his way and excelled in this martial art.
In 1977, the 20 year old karateka won the Swedish championship. Then, during 2 consecutive years, he maintains his title. In 1979, he participated in the World Championships, where he only lost in the final. In 1980 and 1981, he won twice the Kyokushin British Open, a tournament renowned for his favourite style.
In 1979, Dolph Lundgren serves in the Swedish armed forces in the marine regiment. After his military service, he studied at the Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology and the University of Sydney. He then earned a master’s degree in chemistry in Australia. While studying in Sydney, Lundgren met singer and actress Grace Jones.
He then won a scholarship and went to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He moved to New York, where he studied theater and worked as a model and dancer. At night he works as a bouncer in nightclubs.
How tall is Dolph Lundgren?
Dolph Lundgren is 1.90m tall and this has not always been beneficial to him. Indeed, Lundgren’s screen debut was in a small episode of James Bond, where the young actor played the bodyguard of a KGB general. For a long time, Dolph continued to send his resume to different studios, but received many rejections because of his accent and his heavy build.
Nevertheless, after properly analyzing the reasons for his failures, Dolph did a photo shoot representing a boxer and got the role of the villain, the Soviet athlete Ivan Drago in the movie “Rocky 4” with Sylvester Stallone. Critics call this work as the first breakthrough of Lundgren in the cinema.
Two years later, the actor got the lead role in the film “Masters of the Universe”, based on the comic book of the same name. But the film will be a failure at the box office, just like “The Red Scorpion”, in which the actor again played the role of a Russian. The following films, “The Punisher” and “The Angel of Darkness” were also very coldly received. Critics see Lundgren as a single-role actor, and say that his talent is far inferior to his musculature. And he proves them right, unfortunately, by playing almost exclusively in action movies…
Dolph continued to play physical roles, although he managed to select scenarios with deeper dialogues. The most famous films of this period are “In the clutches of the red dragon” in 1991, in which Lundgren plays the role of a policeman fighting the Japanese mafia, and “Universal Soldier” of 1992, where he plays alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. Despite the great commercial success of these films, critics continue to question the talent of the actor.
Beginning of the decline
It is towards the end of the 1990s that the career of Dolph Lundgren begins to decline and the specialized press almost stops writing about him. During the period of the 1990s and 2000s, the critics retain only a few films that, despite their commercial failure, are still worth watching. First of all, Johnny Mnemonic in 1995, in which the actor plays the role of a street preacher. At that time, the filmography of the actor was completed by the work in the action film “Soldiers of Fortune”, in which Dolph appeared in his typical image: a thug, sadistic and soulless.
We can also mention the crime thriller “Above the Law”, “The Peacemaker” and the war drama “Diamond Dogs”. In preparation for the film Deadly Pentathlon, released under the title “Champion”, Dolph Lundgren became captain of the U.S. Olympic pentathlon team and participated with the team in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
In 2004, the public remembers very well the American-Canadian action film “Let’s Go Demon Hunting”. In this film, the actor plays the role of police officer Frank Gannon, for whom the last days of service had become a real ordeal.
Lundgren regained his popularity with the release of the film “Universal Soldier – 3: Rebirth”, in which he plays an elderly Andrew Scott. The same year, the actor participated in the filming of “The Expendables” by Sylvester Stallone. Director of the film, Sylvester Stallone gathers a constellation of famous actors in a crazy casting that will be a hit with the public of action films of the 80s and 90s.
Among Lundgren’s last major films was the thriller “The Slave Trade”, an action-packed crime film.
Finally, some of the journalists who met him (and not the critics of high philosophy who never hesitate to take someone apart with their sharp pens) describe him as humble, quick to laugh at himself and very jovial, in short, the exact opposite of all his film roles. We should also mention that he speaks 5 languages (Swedish, English, German, French and Japanese), something that is not given to all actors…
How old is Dolph Lundgren ?
If some of you are wondering about Dolph Lundgren and if he is dead, you should know that he is not!
Today your favorite Swedish blond actor is 62 years old and is doing great and has 2 movies in the pipeline for 2021.
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Hi, I’m Corrado Firera, digital entrepreneur and Italian blogger. I founded this website in 2017, since then I write fashion and lifestyle articles. To get further information about me or the web site, go directly to the “about me” section. Good continuation!!