It only took Rhino six months of training before clinching his first bodybuilding win as a young lad. Mark Smith went on to win practically every British weightlifting contest including London Men’s Heavyweight. Agile and spry on his feet, Rhino dazzled fans with slick dance moves and a charismatic personality.
They cheered him on as he went undefeated in Gauntlet, Whiplash, and Suspension Bridge. The “2000 Springbok Challenge 2” was his final ITV competition. His Gladiator moniker collided with his acting career when he voiced Officer McHorn, an animated rhinoceros in Disney’s “Zootropolis” (2016). These days he’s a movie star living in L.A., with a $17 million net worth.
Like "Incredible Hulk" star Lou Ferrigno, Shelley Beattie was powerful, athletic, and also deaf. She amassed a string of bodybuilding titles, even making the top three at the Ms. International/Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic in 1991. She became "Siren" after a stunning audition, pounding out 57 pushups in 60 seconds, a nearly unprecedented feat.
She came to "American Gladiators" to replace the second Lace. And made a huge impact from 1992 to 1996. The audience adored Siren and would stomp their feet and wave hands instead of shouts so she could appreciate their praise. Sadly, a suicide attempt in 2008 proved fatal, and she died at 39.
Lace (the Second)
Natalie Lennox played the second iteration of the two Gladiators known as Lace. The former Playboy model and actress auditioned as a Contender in the 1992 season but impressed the show's production crew so much that she found herself instantly hired as Lace. It was her only season with the fitness game show leaving Siren to take her place.
That same year, Lace was named "Pet of the Month" by Penthouse magazine. These days she owns and operates a Florida horse farm. Impressively, she snagged the 2014 NPC Orlando Europa Show of Champions bodybuilding competition at the age of 48.
This strongman set a new record in the Guinness Book of World Records pulling a 20-ton double-decker bus with one hand. Apparently, lifting a 3.5-ton elephant was too easy. Dynamite was small for a Gladiator, clocking in at 5'10" and 250 pounds, but he was formidable.
The professional Russian athlete (whose name was Vladimir Turchinsky) was president of the Russian Federation of Strength Athletes and set records in strength and sport as a Champion of Soviet Union. Tragedy struck. In 2009, a heart attack ended Vladimir Turchinsky's spectacular life. He was 47 years old and survived by his wife Irina and two children.
Thunder, an all-sports athlete in high school, found his calling as a weightlifter. Competing in bodybuilding, Billy Smith clinched over 25 titles during his 16-year world tour. In 1984, he won Gold's Classic. Trying out for Gladiators, he landed an alternate spot. As fate would have it, an injury opened up an official Gladiator position for him.
Dubbed "Thunder," Smith made a booming impression roaring into the Arena on a Harley. After two seasons, Smith developed a sports nutrition company in hopes of aiding his brother with Type 1 Diabetes. He is now president, CEO, and founder of Intrafit Enterprises.