Images of Arnold Schwarzenegger smoking cigars are not hard to come by. The Governator is a loud and proud fan of them and is one of the most famous celebrity smokers.
But how did Arnie get to the top of the celebrity smokers list? And how is his passion connected with another of history's most famous cigar smokers – John F Kennedy?
In this celebrity cigar smoker profile, we'll take a look at Schwarzenegger's career, his greatest achievements, and his impressive commitment to smoking cigars.
Who is Arnold Schwarzenegger?
A string of box office hits throughout the 1980s-90s, followed by a career in American politics, mean most people already know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is.
He was born on July 30th, 1947, in the Austrian town of Thal. He began weight training in 1960 and eventually entered a career as a bodybuilder. By 1967, Schwarzenegger was crowned Mr. Universe, the youngest ever winner of the title.
Arnold moved to the US in 1968. Just two years later, he landed his first film role as the title character in Hercules in New York (1969). The movie credits him as 'Arnold Strong', and his dialog was dubbed in post-production due to his strong Austrian accent.
Despite this, the actor known to many simply as 'Arnie' went on to have a hugely successful film career, a stint in politics, and numerous businesses, including the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood.
What is Arnold Schwarzenegger best known for?
Arnie's most famous role is undoubtedly The Terminator (1984), the titular cyborg assassin sent back from the future in James Cameron's celebrated science-fiction movie and its sequels. The movie spawned some of his best-known catchphrases, including "I'll be back," which he repeated in several of his later films.
Schwarzenegger continued to star in action movies throughout the 1980s, including Commando (1985), The Running Man (1987), Predator (1987), and Total Recall (1990).
More light-hearted roles also demonstrated his versatility as an actor, such as Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990), and Jingle All The Way (1996). The 1993 spoof Last Action Hero suffered from a release date that put it head-to-head with Jurassic Park, but it has since become a cult favorite.
From Hollywood to politics
The critical failure of 1997's Batman & Robin, in which Schwarzenegger played the villain, Mr. Freeze, was followed by a period of rest following a back injury. Arnie returned to the big screen in 1999, but several of his projects underperformed at the box office.
In 2003, Schwarzenegger stood for election in the California gubernatorial recall election, winning with almost half of the total votes cast. He earned the nickname 'The Governator,' a reference to his Terminator character, and remained in office until January 3rd 2011.
Since leaving the real-world role, Schwarzenegger has returned to acting but is still best-known to many as a time-traveling robot assassin.
The cigar legacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Scenes of Arnold Schwarzenegger smoking are not unusual in his movies. Arnie is seen puffing on a cigar in Predator, even before the opening credits have finished rolling. He also smokes in The Running Man, Last Action Hero, and icy-looking white-wrapped cigars in Batman & Robin.
All of this means it's little surprise that Arnie is high on the celebrity smokers list. Cigar scenes appear in many more of his movies. In fact, it's almost harder to find a movie where he doesn't light one up.
We mentioned that Arnie's love of cigars can be traced back to JFK, so how are two of the 20th century's most famous cigar smokers connected?
The JFK Connection
President John F Kennedy is one of the USA’s most famous celebrity smokers. The president's sister, Eunice Kennedy, was married to Sargent Shriver, who in turn is the father of Schwarzenegger's former wife Maria Shriver. During her relationship with Arnie in the 1970s, Maria's father introduced him to cigars, and the muscle man has enjoyed a smoke ever since.
It was President Kennedy who imposed the embargo on imports of Cuban tobacco in 1962, which continues to make true Cuban cigars illegal in the USA to this day. But Kennedy was a big fan of cigars, reportedly favoring the green-tinted Candela wrapper, which is cured by fire. Ironically, Candela cigars were among those that almost vanished from the US overnight once the Cuban embargo was imposed.
Mondays on Main
On the first Monday of the month at Schatzi on Main, Schwarzenegger's restaurant in Santa Monica, cigar-lovers come together to appreciate some great smokes together. Arnie is there as often as he can, even taking long weekends off filming to attend.
Back in the summer of 1996, he said: "Because it's on a Monday, even if we're filming somewhere else, I can usually come home for the weekend and stay Monday before I go back." He added that, in the previous year, he had only missed two of the nights.
What cigars does Arnie smoke?
All of this brings us to the crucial question: what cigars does Arnold Schwarzenegger smoke and where can you buy them?
We can answer both parts of that question. In 1996, Schwarzenegger revealed that he "usually smokes" Cohiba and Punch cigars. "Punch Punch is actually my favorite size," he said. "It's a good size for an after-dinner smoke or during the day."
Get the Governator's favorite cigar
We'd recommend going for one of the larger pack sizes because one Double Corona is never enough. The moment it burns down to the nub, this ultra-premium Honduran gem will leave you saying: "I'll be back."