Who is bodybuilder Ken Waller? | The Sun

KEN Waller is no stranger to a good physique, bodybuilding awards, and even the Hollywood screen.

Take a look at the life and career of the famous American bodybuilder and Arnold Schwarzenegger co-star.

Who is bodybuilder Ken Waller?

Kenny "Ken" Waller is an American former bodybuilder featured in the 1977 movie Pumping Iron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Born in 1942, Waller attended Western Kentucky University, where he was a member of the undefeated 1963 Tangerine Bowl football team.

Standing at six feet tall and weighing 230 pounds, Waller was one of the most successful amateur bodybuilders of the 1970s.

When did Ken Waller start bodybuilding?

Waller's Pro-Debut was at the IFBB Mr. America contest in 1971, where he placed 1st in Tall & Overall categories. 

His best win was in 1975 when he captured the Mr. Universe title, which was depicted in the 1977 film Pumping Iron starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The film earned Waller the reputation of a villain, portraying him as the antagonist of fellow bodybuilder, Mike Katz.

Waller tries to break Katz's concentration in the Mr. Universe competition in the film by hiding his lucky T-shirt – a fictitious incident that was included to add drama to the movie.

In real life, Katz and Waller were friends, however, Waller said the film had real-world repercussions for him

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"I would go to contests and get booed, after that!" he said in a later interview.

Following his victory at the 1976 Mr. Olympia, Waller participated in the 1979 IFBB Night of Champions, where he placed sixth, the 1980 IFBB Grand Prix California, and the 1980 Mr. Olympia.

His last competition was the 1981 Mr. Olypmia before he officially retired from the sport completely.

Aside from Pumping Iron, Waller appeared in the film Stay Hungry, playing Dougie Stewart, the chief rival of Schwarzenegger's character, Joe Santo.

He also appeared in the movies King of the Beach and Kill The Golden Goose.

In 1981, he also starred in an episode of The Incredible Hulk, which featured Ferrigno playing the superhero.

Where is Ken Waller now?

Despite retiring more than 40 years ago, Waller still regularly works out and maintains a healthy lifestyle at the age of 81.

The former Mr. Universe champion does not seem share much of his post-retirement life, but fans still admire his bodybuilding career to this day.

Nick's Strength and Power, a YouTube channel with more than 1.3million subscribers covers the history of several bodybuilders.

A video on Ken Waller has more than 150,000 views with hundreds of comments discussing Waller's career.

"One of my favorite bodybuilders of all time!" wrote one viewer. "Always had good condition and proportions."

"I was a kid at that time, but I admired Ken Waller, he had a great physique," wrote another person. "Old School Bodybuilders were Awesome!"

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A picture from 2017 is perhaps one of the few sightings of the bodybuilding star.

Eric the Trainer captioned the Facebook post: "Kenny Waller, one of my favorite stars of the film "PUMPING IRON" then/now — kabooom!!"

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