Brad Harris:Very Alive at 75!
“Riding a life” is the best way to describe Brad Harris’ rise from a wide-eyed youth of 14 who was inspired by the immortal Steve Reeves to start weight training and traveled to Muscle Beach on a bus from his home in Burbank, California. He later followed Steve Reeves to Italy and, like Reeves, became an international movie star. His film career spans 48 years, and he’s appeared in more than 40 pictures plus a slew of TV shows as an adventure-movie hero and phenomenal stuntman. He was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame on January 19, 2006, and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the “Brad Harris Live” Film Festival on April 29, 2006, in Germany, where he signed autographs for three hours. There are active Brad Harris fan clubs even today.
Brad’s exciting and adventurous career is documented in a 387-page biography by Reiner Boller, Brad Harris, the American Bavarian, which received glowing reviews. There are stories of incredible adventure, life-threatening danger, love, sorrow and grief, as well as some that are very funny indeed. Negotiations are currently under way to make Brad’s life story into a feature film.
Harris’ name represented action in the European cinema of the 1960s, whether as Hercules in the Italian epics or as Captain Rowland in the “Police Inspector X” series of films. He was also the role model for such strong action heroes as Arnold Schwarzenegger and, in fact, had the Governor under personal contract at one point. He always performed his own stunts, risking his life in more than a few of them. He was the stunt coordinator on many of his films and also trained stuntmen.
He belongs to a unique fraternity of cinematic heroes who established their place in motion picture history in the period Italians commonly refer to l’epoca d’oro, or the golden age, which began in the early ’60s with Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” “Cleopatra” with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and “Hercules” with Steve Reeves, and took in the 1960 Olympic Games, which were held in Rome. Of the many musclemen to appear in those sword-and-sandal movies, none was as versatile or as prolific as Brad. He was far and away the best athlete of the group.
Later this year Brad is set to appear in a new movie based on the million-seller novel Shiver, written by Brian Harper. He will also serve as associate producer on the project. His rigorous daily workout regimen keeps him in tiptop shape so that he’s always ready.
Harris was an outstanding athlete at Burbank High School, where he competed in football, basketball and track. Classmate and highly acclaimed actor-bodybuilder Bill Smith used to train with Brad in his garage. Brad was elected student body president and was offered a football scholarship to USC, but he chose the academic climate at UCLA, where he graduated with a degree in political geography. Brad speaks Italian, German and some French and Spanish.
“Because of Muscle Beach and Steve Reeves, I began weight training,” says Brad. “Because of Muscle Beach and Steve Reeves I became a third-world movie star and traveled around the world many times and experienced many adventures. I now live near Muscle Beach and see it almost every evening. I walk down to the beach and sit on a turned-over trash can while gazing up into the great beyond. The oxygen from the ocean breeze is invigorating and rejuvenating. I get some of my best ideas during that quiet period of meditation under the darkening sky. Modern medicine is now discovering the value of pure oxygen used in a hyperbaric chamber to combat the many diseases that can’t survive in pure oxygen. Exercise and oxygen therapy is a new medical discovery with great promise.”
He holds a possible world record for attending the world’s largest party, the Oktoberfest, in Munich, Germany—2008 was his 49th consecutive year. Not even Arnold can top that.
Today, Brad Harris is dedicated to his fitness corporation, Modern Body Design. He produces Ab-OrigiOnals, a unique abdominal-exercise device that enables the user to work the midsection from all angles for maximum results. His company also produces HotPex, which are the ultimate pushup handles for working the chest, triceps and shoulders. He has developed other exercise devices that he uses in his workouts.