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Dolph Lundgren (Hans Lundgren) is one of Hollywood’s finest action film actors. He debuted as Venz in 1985’s A View to A Kill and has gone ahead to play several tough characters in popular films like Rocky IV, which he considers as one of the biggest projects of his career. The actor has worked extensively with other prominent actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Juel Taylor, Nathaniel Burn, Josh Brolin, and Scarlett Johansson.
Apart from acting, Dolph has thrived in directing and producing movies. He is equally an expert in mixed martial art and has appeared in a slew of music videos, theatrical productions, and video games; he voiced Gunner Jensen in The Expendables 2 Videogame.
An Overview of Dolph Lundgren’s Early Life and Background
Dolph Lundgren has made a mark in the American entertainment industry but only a few people are aware that the top-notch actor is not an American citizen. He’s actually from Spånga, a city in Stockholm, Sweden. The actor was born on the 3rd of November 1957 to Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren (father) and Sigrid Birgitta (mother). His dad was an economist and engineer while his mom was an English teacher.
Dolph was raised in Spånga until the age of 13 when he moved to Nyland, Ångermanland, to live with his grandparents. The actor has three siblings: an older brother and two sisters. Growing up, Dolph had a tough and unfriendly relationship with his father. Karl was violent, abusive, and even branded his son a loser. This resulted in the actor working so hard from an early age in order to impress his dad.
Apart from acting, he nurtured a strong interest in heavy contact sports. He started lifting weights as a teenager and was trained in Kyokushin karate, Gōjū-ryū, and judo. Dolph also aspired to become a famous drummer and rock star.
Educational Qualifications and The Schools He Attended
One interesting thing about Dolph Lundgren is that he’s highly educated. The actor studied Chemical Engineering at Washington State University. He equally enrolled for academic programs at Clemson University in South Carolina and the Royal Institute of Technology (RIT) in Stockholm. Dolph obtained a degree in chemical engineering from RIT and later enrolled at the University of Sydney, Australia, for his second degree. He received a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the prestigious institution in the year 1982.
In 1983, the actor was awarded a scholarship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He would later enroll at the Warren Robertson Theatre Workshop to study drama in the daytime whilst working as a bouncer at a nightclub. Unfortunately, Lundgren could not continue his studies at MIT because he was more interested in acting.
The actor is well-read and can speak seven languages: Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, German, English, and Swedish. However, he is only fluent in the last two.
The Highlights of Dolph Lundgren’s Career
Dolph Lundgren won his first feature film role after Grace Jones encouraged him to try a part in A View to Kill. Impressed with the outcome, he decided to abandon his pursuit of a career in chemical engineering to become a full-time actor.
His acting career got the boost it needed after he won the role of Ivan Drago in 1985’s Rocky IV. It is said that he outsmarted 5000 people who also auditioned for the same role and was cast opposite Brigitte Nielsen, Carl Weathers, and Sylvester Stallone.
Dolph won his first lead role two years later in Masters of the Universe. Since then, he has featured in close to 60 action movies, many thanks to his intimidating body build and height. Lundgren has produced at least 10 movies, directed about six projects, and written four films.
The Swedish star does not have too many awards under his belt despite being a fantastic actor. He won his first award (the Marshall Trophy for Best Actor) in 1985 for his role in Rocky IV. Dolph holds a Lifetime Achievement Diamond Award which he received during the 2013 CineRockom International Film Festival, as well as a Special Award (the Fantastic Lantern); he received it in 2007 at the Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema.
Things to Know About His Personal Life
Dolph Lundgren is believed to be in a secret marriage with his longtime girlfriend, Jenny Sandersson. According to reports, the broke up in 2014 but later reconciled and got married secretly. The actor has neither confirmed or denied he’s married to Jenny.
The actor previously dated American model Paula Barbieri and Jamaican singer Grace Jones in the 1980s. He has also been linked to a woman called Peri Momm. Before Sandersson came into the picture, Lundgren spent 17 years of his life with a fashion stylist and jeweler called Anette Qviberg. The two tied the knot in 1994 in Marbella, Spain. They had two daughters and lived together in Stockholm until their divorce in 2011.
Ida Sigrid Lundgren is their first child, she’s an actress and was born on the 29th of April 1996. Her sister Greta Eveline Lundgren was born on the 30th of November 2001. Dolph is very close to his daughters and supportive of their careers. The actor often works out with his first daughter and sometimes hangs out with the two of them.
Why Sylvester Stallone Hated Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone are not only two of Hollywood’s greatest action movie actors but also buddies. The two have featured in several movies together and have been seen together at a couple of star-studded events outside the filming set. For many, this proves how much they value their friendship. Although their long working relationship has spanned for decades, Stallone and Lundgren’s friendship didn’t get off on a smooth start. When they first met during the audition of Rocky IV, Stallone wasn’t eager to like Dolph because he was “too muscular and perfect” for the role of Ivan Drago.
Stallone revealed this on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” while discussing his latest Rambo movie. He admitted that he had a tough time finding a suitable actor for the role because he wanted “a vicious, primitive, horrible, and big” person to portray Ivan. It was while he was about to try giant footballers and wrestlers for the role that Lundgren showed up for an audition.
According to the actor, everything about Dolph was perfect; from his wide shoulders to his calves, intimidating height, and hairline: this made him hate the Swedish instantly. Anyway, Stallone got over his dislike of Dolph and had him play the villain of Rocky IV, to the advantage of the film. Recently, the stars featured together in a movie titled Creed II.