Arnold Schwarzenegger is mourning the loss of his friend bodybuilder Dave Draper. Draper's wife confirmed his death on Tuesday morning, telling her friends on Facebook that his transition was "calm and peaceful." "Hi, friends, as the word's getting out, I wanted to let you know so there's no confusion. Dave died early this morning. I was with him and it was calm and peaceful. It, as his doctor told me a little while ago, was a good death," she wrote. The cause of death has yet to be revealed.
The Terminator star reacted to Draper's death on social media. "Dave Draper was an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, including me. He was one of my idols. In Austria, I kept his photo on the wall above my bed for motivation, and when I saw him starring in Don't Make Waves, I thought, 'My dreams are possible,'" he tweeted Tuesday morning.
Dave Draper was an inspiration to millions of people all over the world, including me. He was one of my idols. In Austria, I kept his photo on the wall above my bed for motivation, and when I saw him starring in “Don’t Make Waves”, I thought,My dreams are possible.” pic.twitter.com/pSse0tS219— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) November 30, 2021
According to Barbend.com, Draper and Schwarzenegger trained together at the now-famous Gold's Gym alongside the movie star, and other bodybuilding greats, including Frank Zane, Mike Katz and Franco Columbu. Draper went on to win multiple competitions including the Mr. New Jersey Contest, Mr. America, Mr. Universe, Mr. World and placed fourth at the 1967 Mr. Olympia competition (won by Sergio Oliva).
Schwarzenegger continued: "When I got to America and finally met Dave, I learned his heart was as big as his pecs. He even hand-built my first furniture when I moved to Santa Monica, and man, he was talented. Can you imagine meeting your idol, becoming his training partner, and traveling the world together?"
He added, "I was in heaven. He couldn't have been more welcoming, and he always pushed everyone around him in the gym to be better. He was an amazing writer and a great family man. I will miss the Blond Bomber, but his memory will always be with me. My thoughts are with Laree and the family."