Bodybuilders Through the Ages

Over the past 150 years, bodybuilders have gone from circus sideshows to celebrities, imparting fitness lessons along the way

Jack LaLanne (1914 - 2011) (Bettmann / Corbis)

Gordon Mitchell

Gordon Mitchell
(Maura McCarthy)

Mitchell—a U.S. Army veteran who worked as a high school teacher and guidance counselor—was part of an all-male chorus line in Mae West’s stage revue, which earned him uncredited roles in such films as The Man with the Golden Arm and The Ten Commandments. In 1961 he moved to Italy where he worked as an actor, appearing in more than 200 movies covering a variety of genres, from sci-fi to spaghetti westerns.

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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