Today I Found Out that Dolph Lundgren (A.K.A. Ivan Drago) is a real life genius.
I guess the phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is true. Just looking at Mr. Lundgren, I’d think he was a fun guy to hang out with and good at sports, but wouldn’t have imagined he reportedly has an IQ of around 160; he speaks 7 languages (French, Swedish, German, English, Spanish, some Japanese and some Italian); and was a graduate in chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
He has also spent considerable time studying in the United States and abroad on various academic scholarships. He attended Washington State University and Clemson University in South Carolina. In 1982, he received a scholarship to complete his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney, Australia. In 1983, he was even awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.
His less surprising feats, given his physique of the 6′ – 5″ 245 lb, are that he was an elite ranger in the Swedish military and he holds a 3rd degree black belt in Kyokushin karate. If that wasn’t enough, he was also a Pentathlon team leader. Not to mention he has been a bodyguard, model, and has been in over 40 movies. Of course, only two movies that I actually enjoyed (But don’t tell him that, I have no doubts he could kick my ass without breaking a sweat.)
His first movie role was a small one in the James Bond film “A view to a kill” as a KGB agent. However, his breakthrough role came on his next film, Rocky IV, as Ivan Drago, which is still by far my favorite Rocky movie. Aside from acting in movies, he’s also directed 7 films. None of which I’ve ever heard of or plan on watching, but I felt it was still worth mentioning.
Bonus Facts and 2 more geniuses you’ve probably not heard of…
- James Goodfellow – He was largely responsible for the original bank ATM design and invented the pin number/card system used to interact with a bank account securely via the ATM. Goodfellow specifically patented the pin number/card system in 1966, and, 40 years later, he received royal honors for his invention. Today, his system can be found in ATMs worldwide, not to mention anywhere debit cards are accepted.
- Robert Kerns – the inventor of the mechanism used to achieve different windshield wiper speeds. He originally presented this mechanism to the “big three”auto makers in the U.S. They all rejected his idea and mechanism. Interestingly, later that same year, they all released variable speed windshield wipers using designs suspiciously similar to Kern’s design. Needless to say, after a very drawn out legal battle, he was awarded a total of around $40 million between Ford and Chrysler, though he did spend about $10 million in legal fees in the process.
- Lundgren not only holds a rank of 3rd degree black belt in Kyokushin Karate, but also was the European champion in 1980 and 1981 after captaining the Swedish Kyokushin karate team. He also later won a heavyweight Karate tournament in 1982 in Australia. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 1998 that he achieved the 3rd degree black belt. When he started out in world competition in the sport in 1979, he was only a green belt.
- While in college, Lundgren worked as a bouncer in a Manhattan nightclub.
- Lundgren and Sylvester Stalone reunited on screen in the movie The Expendables, with Lundgren playing the sniper, Gunnar Jensen.
- Lundgren’s father was an engineer and an economist. His mother was a language teacher, which explains why he can speak so many languages.
- During filming of Rocky IV, Stalone stated that Lundgren once hit him so hard that he had to be hospitalized with swelling around his heart. He remained in intensive care for four days after that.
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