Arnold Schwarzenegger Named Greatest Action Hero Of All Time

20th Century Fox

When you think of an action film star, it tends to be the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham or Jean-Claude Van Damme.

All fine choices, but let us think about one man in particular for a second – Arnold Schwarzenegger, the true greatest action hero of all time.

An Austrian-American body builder-turned-actor-turned-poltician-turned-philanthropist-turned-author, Schwarzenegger’s back catalogue is almost unrivalled by any actor alive or dead.

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Sure, some actors may have made more action films than good ol’ Arnie, like Jackie Chan, but nobody has amassed the amount of cultural clout as our big friendly giant.

In fact, it’s kind of beyond debate that Arnie is the greatest action hero of all time, after it was settled in 2014 with an ‘Action Hero Award’ bestowed by Empire Magazine.

In case you were wondering, no other actor has this award, this was a one-off created for Arnie, and the good folks over at Empire had the good sense not to try and tarnish the honour by giving it to someone who couldn’t live up to his legacy.

Orion Pictures

Let’s just take a look at some of his back catalogue for one sec: Terminator, Commando, Total Recall and god damn PREDATOR.

His breakthrough came as Conan the Barbarian in 1982, and since then he’s gone from strength to strength, not least of which his comedy film Twins with Danny DeVito which showed his more light-hearted side.

Truly, there is no way an actor can be called great unless he has worked with Danny DeVito

Universal Pictures

But seriously, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bulging biceps are almost as iconic as some of his catchphrases.

Sure, he had some stumbling blocks along the way *cough* Batman and Robin *cough* but even the best ever stumble sometimes.

Arnie is the only guy who can go up against an alien designed to be the perfect hunter and actually still come out on top. If it was anyone else, it wouldn’t have been remotely believable, but not Arnie.

Here’s his acceptance speech at the Empire Awards:

Just read this iconic excerpt of the acceptance speech and tell me he isn’t an absolute idol:

I said: ‘I want to get into the movie business, I want to be a leading man’, and the first thing [the naysayers] immediately said was: ‘It will never happen. I mean look at your body. You’re overdeveloped, you weigh 250 lbs!

‘This is the 70’s Arnold, you have to understand the little guys are in now… And plus, I mean you with an accent? There has never been anyone in America who has become a leading man with an accent. It will never happen.’

Well, I didn’t listen to them, and I went on and on and on. They also complained about my name. They said: ‘I can see you, with your name Schwarzen-Schnitzel or whatever up there on a billboard – yeah, there are going to be lots of people storming the theatres interested in seeing you.’

I didn’t listen to them, I went on, I was successful, and I went all the way through. I did all the movies that I wanted to do, I had the career that I wanted to have.

So this is a lesson for all of you. Never take no for an answer. That is the bottom line.

20th Century Fox


It’s not only the critics who recognise the impeccable pecs of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the general population too.

Opinion aggregator Ranker officially ranks Arnold Schwarzenegger as number one action hero of all time, with Sylvester Stallone coming in second.

So there really can be no debate. The man himself is the greatest action hero of all time, and the sooner you realise this the easier it will be for everyone involved.