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.
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.
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.
Clinching the Australian Heavyweight Pro-Wrestling Champion title, this Fiji-born athlete's career in American pro wrestling was launched. Vulcan, the burly bad-boy personality fans loved to heckle in the pro wrestling ring, was cheered wildly on the Gladiator stage. He joined Australian Gladiators in 1995.
His favorite contest was Duel. A darling with U.K. fans, Vulcan soon became a British Gladiator in 1998. Seru's still training. He has been keeping fit and managing his own gym in Sydney for over 18 years. He hit it big snagging a role as henchman Gabor in the James Bond movie "The World Is Not Enough."
Squash superstar Mark Giffin turned to bodybuilding and then Hollywood. He appeared in films "Dr. Doolittle 2," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Doctor Who," "Daddy Day Care," and "Dragons of Camelot." He authored "My Life with the Gladiators" in 1995 while competing on American Gladiators. After three seasons of arduous competition, Trojan turned to showbiz to pursue acting dreams.
Opportunity knocked when he was cast to play the lead in "Action Man," and he starred on the television series for its two seasons. These days he lives in Los Angeles and has shifted his focus to stage productions. He has a $100,000 net worth.