There is perhaps nothing so tragic in the history of cinema as when a career of promising new talent is cut short in their prime. People see the works of such bright talents as James Dean, River Phoenix, and Heath Ledger, and wonder where their careers might have taken them if only they had lived. But in those cases, there is at least the closure of knowing exactly what fate befell them, and the hope that today’s young stars can take lessons from the past. With the mysterious disappearance of Arnold Strong, however, there is no such closure.
Arnold Strong came out of nowhere to star in director Arthur Allan Seidelman’s Hercules in New York. The film was released in 1969, and Strong’s performance in the title role immediately wowed both critics and the public with his exceptional vocal delivery and his impressive physique. He had a build that was previously unseen in action stars, yet spoke like a Shakespearean thespian, with great comic timing. And then he disappeared, never to be seen again. His fate has ever since been one of Hollywood’s greatest mysteries. I am neither a sleuth nor a historian, so I am unable to shed any new light on a subject that has been pored over by so many before me. As a movie blogger, all I can do is pay my own small tribute to the legendary actor by watching and reviewing his classic performance. Continue reading