Bronzed

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Woody Allen and More Stars with Statues

Schwarzenegger just unveiled a new bronze of himself in Columbus, Ohio. See more sculptures of celebs.

Arnold Schwarzenegger just unveiled a new giant bronze of himself in Columbus, Ohio—but he’s hardly the first star with a statue in his image. See public sculptures of Sylvester Stallone, Mary Tyler Moore, Woody Allen and others.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

At the 24th annual Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled an 8-foot-4, 580-pound statue of himself as a young bodybuilder. The twin of a 20-foot bronze likeness he posed with at the opening of his museum in Austria, the statue was based on one created by Idaho artist Ralph Crawford in 1979. But not every Columbus local is pumped up about the new public art: "Can we trade Philly for their Rocky statue? We'd rather have that," resident Elizabeth Lessner told The Wall Street Journal. "We don't dress in tiny shorts and flex. That's Florida or California."

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Sylvester Stallone

As a plot device for Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone commissioned sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg to create a statue of Rocky Balboa in 1982. (The 8-foot-6 bronze was placed at the top of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to commemorate the boxer’s famous run.) But after the film was released, the statue was moved to the local sports arena, the Spectrum, because city officials felt it was a movie prop and not “art.” Then in 2005, as Stallone was preparing to shoot Rocky Balboa, he asked that the statue be moved back near the museum. Thanks to a flood of newspaper editorials, talk radio support and a public letter-writing campaign, city commissioners voted to place the work outside the museum permanently. Today it remains one of Philadelphia’s great tourist attractions. “I only came for Rocky, but, heck, why not go inside?” a visitor from Minneapolis told The New York Times in 2006. “Who figured Rocky would lead me to culture?”

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Mary Tyler Moore

During the opening credits of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary Richards tosses her tam in the air as the camera freeze-frames on her smile. To commemorate that iconic moment, TV Land commissioned sculptor Gwendolyn Gillen to create an eight-foot bronze of Moore as a gift to the people of Minneapolis, where the fictional Richards lived. (It was actually the second statue the network commissioned. The first, of Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramden, stands in front of New York’s Port Authority.) On May 8, 2002, Moore attended the bronze’s unveiling at the Nicollet Mall—site of the original scene—and, yes, she threw her hat in the air. 

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Woody Allen

In New York, Woody Allen was honored with a sandwich bearing his name at the Carnegie Deli—a tower of pastrami and corned beef. But in Oviedo, Spain, the citizens erected a bronze statue of the director in 2002. And even Allen doesn’t quite understand why he deserves such a tribute. "My statue in Oviedo is one of the great mysteries of Western civilization,” he joked in 2008, while filming his first movie in Spain, Vicki Cristina Barcelona. "I went there a couple of times, and, without asking me, they erected this statue. I never saved someone from drowning, and they put a statue up of me in the town. I thought it was a joke.” And it caught on. Two years later, the Russian city of Kalingrad asked (and was given) Allen’s permission to erect another statue of the auteur.

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Henry Winkler

At the 2008 unveiling in Milwaukee, actor Henry Winkler gave a big thumbs up to the bronze of the Fonz that the city erected in honor of his Happy Days character. “To see it in real life and that it exists it’s just, it’s just unbelievable,” Winkler told the crowd. As a further tribute, sculptor Gerald Sawyer put the initials of Winkler and his wife in the veins in the statue’s hands. “Like the David in Italy,” the actor joked.

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Bob Marley

Even before it was formally dedicated in 1983, Christopher Gonzalez’s Bob Marley statue was controversial. The artist depicted the reggae star symbolically emerging from the roots of a tree, but the Marley family and his legions of fans didn’t see—or like—the resemblance. The nine-foot statue was pelted with fruit at its unveiling, moved from its location in Kingston, Jamaica, and replaced by another commissioned Marley statue by Alvin Marriott. The original Gonzalez bronze can still be seen at Island Village in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

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Lucille Ball

She once pretended to be a statue on an episode of I Love Lucy—after destroying the real one, of course—and on what would have been her 100th birthday in 2011, Lucille Ball was honored in Palm Springs, California  (where she and Desi Arnaz had a home), with a bronze depicting her sitting on a park bench. And as a measure of how much Lucy is loved, there is another statue of her in North Hollywood, California, at the Television Hall of Fame. Nearly two decades after that Ernest Shelton bronze was unveiled, another statue was placed next to it—of Arnaz.

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Bruce Lee

Though he was born in San Francisco, actor Bruce Lee made Hong Kong his home. And in 2005, on what would have been his 65th birthday—Lee died in 1973 of a brain hemorrhage—friends of the martial-arts legend unveiled a bronze statue of him along the Avenue of the Stars in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui. Fans raised the $100,000 necessary to create the 8’2” statue, which depicts Lee in a pose from Fist of Fury. And in an odd bit of competition befitting Lee’s combative career, the statue of Lee was the second one unveiled that week—another bronze was erected in Mostar, Bosnia, as a symbol of unity in the ethnically diverse town. "We will always be Muslims, Serbs or Croats," said Veselin Gatalo of the youth group Urban Movement Mostar. "But one thing we all have in common is Bruce Lee."

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Andy Griffith and Ron Howard

“That beats anything,” Andy Griffith said in 2003 as he unveiled a statue of himself as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Ron Howard as his son, Opie. “I kind of wished I looked like that now.” The bronze likeness was donated to Raleigh, North Carolina—The Andy Griffith Show took place in fictional Mayberry, North Carolina—by TV Land, which commissioned the sculpture. But apparently, the statue—and a replica in nearby Mount Airy—are being guarded by Barney Fife: both statues have been vandalized several times in the past few years.

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Cary Grant

He left Bristol, England, as a teenager to begin a career in the United States, but Cary Grant was so beloved by his hometown that they raised £60,000 to erect a statue by artist Graham Ibbeson in his honor. In 2001, the actor’s widow, Barbara Grant, attended the unveiling of the dapper bronze, which depicts Grant holding a script for To Catch a Thief in his left hand.

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Yoda

You tell the thousands of Star Wars fans who visit the statue of Yoda in front of Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco that the Jedi master wasn’t real. All they know is, they have to make a pilgrimage to see the bronze fountain, which was dedicated in 2005. As a Dutch guidebook advises tourists who want to see the statue: “Love it, you will.”