Francesco Columbu was an Italian actor, author, chiropractor, and former Amateur Boxer, Professional Bodybuilder and World’s Strongest Man competitor. Franco was a longtime friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom he met in 1965. He often appeared in small cinematic roles alongside Schwarzenegger at the height of his fame. He made his Pro Bodybuilding Debut in 1968, and was regularly competing at he top end of the under 200lbs category. This was documented in the 1977 Documentary Pumping Iron (1977). He went on to win the 1981 IFBB Mr. Olympia competition, becoming the first under 200lbs winner, retiring shortly after. Franco was considered one of the world’s strongest men. He held a number of power lifting world records. He performed a strongman act of breaking a hot water bottle by inflating it orally, lifting vehicles onstage while another performer changed a tire, and dead lifted over 320 kg (700 lbs). These were documented in the 2002 Documentary ‘Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron’, celebrating the 25th anniversary of ‘Pumping Iron’.
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