Throwback | Lets look back at the time Rocky 4 and action movie star Dolph Lundgren took on UFC fighter and actor Oleg Taktarov in a real Boxing match.
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Hans “Dolph” Lundgren (Swedish: [ˈdɔlf ˈlɵndgreːn] (About this sound listen); born 3 November 1957) is a Swedish actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and martial artist. Lundgren received a degree in chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in the early 1980s and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in 1982. He holds the rank of 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin karate and was European champion in 1980-81. While in Sydney, he became a bodyguard for Jamaican singer Grace Jones and began a relationship with her. He received a Fulbright scholarship to MIT and moved to Boston. Jones convinced him to leave the university and move to New York City to be with her and begin acting, where, after a short stint as a model and bouncer at the Manhattan nightclub The Limelight, Lundgren got a small debut role as a KGB henchman in the James Bond film A View to a Kill, in which Jones starred.
Lundgren’s breakthrough came when he starred in Rocky IV in 1985 as the imposing Soviet boxer Ivan Drago. Since then, he has starred in more than 40 films, almost all of them in the action genre. He portrayed He-Man in the 1987 science fantasy film Masters of the Universe and Frank Castle in the 1989 film The Punisher. In the early 1990s, he also appeared in films such as Dark Angel (1990), Universal Soldier (1992), Joshua Tree (1993), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and Blackjack (1998). In 2004, he directed his first film, The Defender, and subsequently directed The Mechanik (2005), Missionary Man (2007), Command Performance (2009), and Icarus (2010), also starring in the latter.
After a long spell performing in direct-to-video films since 1995, Lundgren returned to Hollywood in 2010 with the role of Gunner Jensen in The Expendables, alongside Sylvester Stallone and an all-action star cast. He reprised his role in The Expendables 2 (2012) and The Expendables 3 (2014). Also in 2014, he co-starred in Skin Trade, an action thriller about human trafficking he co-wrote and produced. The film marks his third collaboration with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the previous two being Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) and Bridge of Dragons (1999). He is due to reprise his role as Gunner Jensen in The Expendables 4 (2018) and he will reprise his Rocky IV role of Ivan Drago in the upcoming sequel to Creed. He appears in Sharknado 5, Global Swarming (2017), playing the protagonist’s son Gil as an adult.
Hans Lundgren was born on 3 November 1957 in Spånga, the son of Sigrid Birgitta (née Tjerneld), a language teacher, and Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren, an engineer and economist for the Swedish government. He lived in Spånga until the age of 13, when he moved to his grandparents’ home in Nyland, Ångermanland. Some sources wrongly state 1959 as his year of birth, but Lundgren himself has confirmed it to be 1957. He has two sisters and an older brother; he was raised in the Lutheran church.