Franco Columbu - Updated Dec 2023

Updated On December 8, 2023
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Franco Columbu

Franco Columbu was an Ollolai-born Italian powerlifter, actor, bodybuilder, and author from Italy. Franco Columbu’s sporting career began in the boxing ring. He then became a powerlifter and bodybuilder.

Early Life

Franco Columbu

Caption: Franco Columbu with his friend Arnold Schwarzenegger (Source: Instagram)

Franco Columbu was born in Ollolai, Sardinia, Italy on August 7, 1941. His mother and father’s records, on the other hand, are absent from his online wiki. In addition, his given name is Francesco Columbus. He was one of Italy’s strongest men. Anna, Gonaria, and Celestina Columbu are Francesco Columbu’s three sisters. Aside from that, there is no further detail available about Franco’s parents or early childhood life. Based on Franco’s achievements, we can believe that he was well-raised by his parents in his hometown.

Franco earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles in 1977. Besides that, there is no further information about Franco’s other academic achievements.


Franco died on August 30, 2019. Mr. Columbo died as a result of drowning. When swimming, he had a serious heart attack. Authorities hurried him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. On September 3, he was buried in his birthplace of Ollolai. On October 6, 2019, a memorial service was held in Los Angeles.

Professional life

Franco Columbu

Caption: Franco Columbu in a bodybuilding competition with Arnold Schwarzenegger (Source: Instagram)

Franco began his sporting career as a boxer. He then became a powerlifter and bodybuilder. In 1976 and 1981, he was crowned Mr. Olympia. In addition, he has committed several strongman acts since 1969. Moreover, in 1978, he was inducted into the Guinness Book of Records for bursting a hot water bottle by blowing into it in 55 seconds. He participated in the World’s Strongest Man Competition and finished fifth. However, due to an injury, he had to withdraw from the refrigerator race competition. His leg had also become dislocated. The event was shown live on national television. The court then ordered that he should be compensated with $1 million. Franco returned to compete in 1981, winning the ‘Mr. Olympia,’ eventually retired from the competition.

He appeared in the films Stay Hungry, Taken Alive, Why We Train, the Last Man Standing, Getting Physical, and Dreamland La Terra Dei Sogni. Furthermore, he practiced as a chiropractor in Los Angeles. Coming on Strong, a book based on his life was written by him. Arnold and Franco came to the United States of America and founded the European Brick Works business in 1969. Franco starred in the 1977 bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron as himself. He worked as Sylvester Stallone’s bodybuilding trainer in Rambo: First Blood Part II. Then he appeared in films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, such as Conan the Barbarian, The Terminator, and The Running Man. He also wrote and produced the cult films Beretta’s Island, and Doublecross on Costa’s Island.

Franco directed the widely praised film Ancient Warriors. These three films were almost completely filmed in his native Sardinia. He also appeared as an actor in Dreamland La Terra Dei Sogni, a low-budget production movie.


Franco won IFBB Mr. World in a class Short and IFBB Mr. World in Short & Overall class in 1970 and 1971. He also won IFBB Mr. Universe in Short & Overall class in 1970. Additionally, Franco won Mr. Olympia in Lightweight class in 1974 and 1975 and won Mr. Olympia in Lightweight and overall class in 1976. Finally, Franco won Mr. Olympia in 1981.

Franco finished 5th in World’s Strongest Man in 1977. In 1978, he earned the Guinness Book of Records for bursting a hot water bottle by blowing into it in 55 seconds. Franco has a clean and jerk record of 181 kg, a bench press record of 238 kg, a squat record of 297 kg, and a deadlift record of 340 kg.

Franco Columbu – Net Worth 2023

Franco’s estimated net worth was $10 million US dollars which he earned from his acting career in various movies.

Relationship Status

Franco Columbu

Caption: Franco Columbu with his daughter Maria Columbu (Source: Instagram)

Bodybuilder Francesco Columbu married his wife Deborah Columbus in 1990. Furthermore, they had a daughter called Maria Columbus. Franco previously married his ex-wife, a Chiropractor Anita Santangelo. Nonetheless, Anita admitted that she had checked up on him and admired his physique.

When it comes to Franco’s rumors and controversy, he was not a part of them. Furthermore, Franco preferred to stay away from rumors and controversy.

Franco Columbu – Body Measurement

Franco Columbu’s height was 5 feet and 5 inches. Furthermore, his body was massively muscular, and he weighed 84 kg. Moreover, Franco had black eyes and black hair, and his body measurements were 42-33-35.

Franco Columbu – Social media

Franco Columbu was pretty active on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. On Franco’s Instagram account, he has over 237K followers and on his Facebook page, he has 2831 followers.