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Summary Article: Schwarzenegger, Arnold
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Austrian-born US film actor and US Republican politician, governor of California from 2003 to 2011. Among the films he starred in are Conan the Barbarian (1982), the Terminator series (1984–2015), Predator (1987), and True Lies (1994). He came to be regarded by many as the ultimate action hero. He entered politics in 2003; a moderate Republican, he believes in free-market economics and budget discipline but is socially liberal. In September 2006 he signed a bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions.

The October 2003 election which he won was a special recall election to replace California's Democrat governor Gray Davis, and had been called as a result of financial and economic crisis in the state after the burst of the dot-com bubble and electricity power cuts. Schwarzenegger won the election with 49% of the vote. He has followed a consensual approach as governor, in large part because of the Democrats' control over the state legislature, and he appointed a Democrat as his chief of staff. During his first term California's economy revived. He was elected for his second term with 56% of the vote.

Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, a suburb of Graz, Austria, and moved to the USA in 1968. He dominated the international bodybuilding scene in the 1970s, winning the Mr Olympia competition (1970–75, 1980). He came to the attention of Hollywood in Pumping Iron (1977), a documentary about bodybuilding. He was cast in a series of roles that made much of his physique and little of his character, thus overcoming fears over the apparent obstacle of his Austrian accent. The power of his onscreen personality soon made him a big box-office attraction and enabled him to play a variety of roles, including comic roles in Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and Junior (1994).

He became a US citizen in 1983 and married the television journalist Maria Shriver (1955– ), the niece of John F Kennedy, in 1986.

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