Dolph Lundgren

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Dolph Lundgren in 2012

Dolph Lundgren (born November 3, 1957 in Stockholm as Hans Lundgren ) is a Swedish Kyokushin master and actor and director of action films .


Early years

Dolph Lundgren is the son of the engineer Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren and the language teacher Sigrid Birgitta (née Tjerneld). He grew up with two sisters and a brother in the Stockholm district of Spånga-Tensta . According to his own statements, Lundgren was regularly mistreated by his father. He spent his youth with his grandparents in Nyland outside Kramfors .

He attended the Royal Technical University of Stockholm , where he graduated as a chemical engineer. Several stays abroad followed. Lundgren received visiting scholarships to Washington State University , Clemson University in South Carolina, and a 1982 scholarship to the University of Sydney , where he received his master's degree in chemical engineering . The following year he received a Fulbright scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge . After graduating, Lundgren worked as a bouncer in New York at The Limelight nightclub , where he met actress and singer Grace Jones . She hired the Swede as a bodyguard , and a little later the two began a relationship. In 1985, Grace Jones helped Lundgren make a small appearance in the movie James Bond 007 - In the Face of Death .

Sporting successes

Lundgren played ice hockey in his youth and began judo at the age of 16 . A year later he switched to karate , according to his own statement, in order to have a greater physical distance from the opponent. First he practiced the traditional style of Gōjū-Ryū before moving his training focus to the harder Kyokushin Kaikan . In 1979 Lundgren, at that time only wearing the green belt, took part in the second World Open Karate Tournament in Tokyo .

At the beginning of the 1980s, his streak of victories in Kyokushin karate began: Lundgren won the British Open in the heavyweight division in both 1980 and 1981 , followed by a victory at the Australian Open in 1982 . During his student days in Sydney Lundgren also ran his own karate club and worked with his best friend, another karate student, as a security guard at concerts.

Dolph Lundgren trained regularly over the years with his friend and teacher Shihan Brian Fitkin and achieved third dan in an examination in his former dojo in Stockholm in 1998 . He also took part in three world championships and is involved in Kyokushin karate in his adopted country of Spain .

On June 10, 2007, he competed in a boxing match in Russia against the actor and mixed martial arts fighter of the Ultimate Fighting Championship , Oleg Taktarov . Taktarow won the five-round fight just on points.

Career in film

Lundgren (2nd from right) with Sylvester Stallone , Randy Couture , Steve Austin and Terry Crews at a press conference on The Expendables , 2010
Dolph Lundgren at the press conference for The Expendables 2 at San Diego Comic-Con International 2012

Lundgren applied for the role of Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in the feature film Rocky IV - The Fight of the Century in 1985 and was initially turned down. Only when he sent a photo of himself to the director and leading actor Sylvester Stallone in order to apply personally, he was accepted. While filming the boxing match, Stallone injured his head and chest and had to be rushed to the emergency room after being badly hit by Lundgren several times. The martial appearance helped him to regain popularity as a film star and the character of Ivan Drago is still very popular in fan circles of the Rocky franchise.

In the following years he starred in several action films , starting with the lead role as He-Man in Masters of the Universe . In Red Scorpion , Lundgren portrayed a Soviet special agent. This was followed by other films that were given higher age ratings or were indexed due to their explicit depictions of violence , such as The Punisher , Dark Angel or Showdown in Little Tokyo . Another success was Lundgren's appearance as the reanimated soldier Andrew Scott in the film Universal Soldier by director Roland Emmerich .

In the course of the 1990s, numerous other action films followed, such as Silent Trigger and The Sweeper - Land Mines , which received mostly negative reviews and are now classified as " B-Movies ". In the new millennium, Lundgren starred in Detention, directed by Sidney J. Furie, in Detention! and direct action . He also directed a total of six films from 2004 to 2010 and also played the lead roles himself. These were mostly published directly on DVD .

In 2010 Lundgren co-hosted the Melodifestivalen , the Swedish preliminary decision for the Eurovision Song Contest .

He also played the role of the mentally unstable mercenary Gunnar Jensen in Sylvester Stallone's Expendables franchise in 2010 . The first part of The Expendables helped him make a comeback as a movie actor alongside Jet Li and Jason Statham . The Expendables 2 followed in 2012 , in which Lundgren as Jensen makes various references to his real life.

In Battle of the Damned from the year 2013 he first took on a role in a zombie movie . This was followed primarily by other B-action films that were produced directly for the video market, occasionally interrupted by cinema appearances such as 2018 in Aquaman and Creed II - Rocky's Legacy .

In the German dubbed versions it is predominantly spoken by Manfred Lehmann .


Lundgren speaks Swedish and English and has knowledge of German , Spanish , Japanese and French .

Following relationships with singer Grace Jones and model Paula Barbieri in the 1980s, Dolph Lundgren married Anette Qviberg in 1994, with whom he has two daughters. The family lived in Marbella , Spain, for twelve years . Lundgren and Qviberg are now separated.

Lundgren is the author of Fit Forever , a fitness guide published in Sweden.

Dolph Lundgren supports the work of CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Human Trafficking).

In the music video "Believer" by the band Imagine Dragons , Lundgren has a guest appearance as a boxer.

Dolph Lundgren Fellowship

In 2009 a “Dolph Lundgren Scholarship” was introduced at Lundgren's former grammar school in Kramfors. The scholarship of SEK 25,000 is awarded to students with good grades. Lundgren himself went down in Ådalsskolan's annals when he graduated from high school as the first student with the highest score to date .


Web links

Commons : Dolph Lundgren  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b TEDx Talks: Dolph Lundgren | On healing and forgiveness | TEDxFulbrightSantaMonica. October 28, 2015, accessed July 15, 2018 .
  2. ^ Biography of Dolph Lundgren ( Memento from April 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Competition results of all members of the Stockholm Kyokushin Karate Club ( Memento from February 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Official Dolph Lundgren Website - About: Karate ( Memento of October 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Sylvester Stallone seriously injured ( Memento from April 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (report from January 6, 2010 )
  6. 25 famose Dolph Lundgren Facts ( Memento of 3 September 2010 at the Internet Archive )
  7. Dolph Lundgren - 'I don't look back' ( Memento from May 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Singer Dan Reynolds also deals with his serious illness on the track. March 15, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2017 .
  9. Dolph Lundgren Scholarship advisor . Swedish. Online at from April 29, 2009.