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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s condition stable post heart surgery, says spokesman

Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger has conquered terrorists, mercenaries, aliens and futuristic robots on the silver screen but finds himself in a real-life fight for health after emergency heart surgery.The former body-builder turned action star, politician and climate activist was in a stable condition Friday, according to his spokesman, following the operation — a relief to fans of his 50-plus movies.Living proof of the American dream, Schwarzenegger has transformed himself over the last half century from a poor Austrian country boy into a global celebrity.“I came here with absolutely nothing… And California has given me absolutely everything,” Schwarzenegger once said of his time as Republican governor of the famously liberal state.The son of a one-time Nazi police chief, Schwarzenegger was born in the Austrian town of Graz on July 30, 1947 in an ancient house that had no plumbing, no phone, no carpets and just a few lights.While beefing up in a bid to get on his local soccer team, Schwarzenegger became infatuated by body-building, set up a gym in his parent’s basement and his sights on the Mr Universe prize.After a stint as a tank driver in the Austrian Army, the six foot, two inch youth won the Mr Junior Europe contest before becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Mr Universe competition.In 1968, after winning a string of contests, the penniless 21-year-old came to the United States to pursue his passion.

He earned a business and economics degree from the University of Wisconsin, and made a fortune in mail order and real estate while winning the Mr Universe title four more times.New kind of hero.Shrugging off barbs about his thick Austrian accent and brawn, he then turned to Hollywood, where producers changed his name to Arnold Strong and dubbed over his accent for the 1970 spoof Hercules in New York.His big break came in 1982’s Conan the Barbarian and two years later he won the role of a killer cyborg in The Terminator, melding humour, pathos and robotics into a new kind of cinema hero.It was a role that would shape the remainder of his acting career and spawn four sequels, with another to come next year.Joining Hollywood’s royalty, his ominous Terminator catchphrases “I’ll be back,” and “Hasta la vista, baby” entered the English lexicon.He was on a reported $30 million dollars a movie at his height — and his extensive business activities over the years have contributed to his estimated $400 million net worth.A staunch but moderate Republican, he married Maria Shriver — the niece of former president John F Kennedy — in 1986, ironically becoming part of America’s Democratic royal family.

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