Addicted To Life – The Reg Park Story

This is the story of a true South African legend.

Shortly before his death, Reg and the Park family authorised a documentary to be made about the life of this charismatic and hugely influential man.

The project commenced with Reg sitting down in front of the cameras shortly before his death (cancer), and telling the story of his life in his own words over a number of sessions.

These interviews have formed the backbone of the documentary, which features rare footage of early posing routines and competitions, and includes interviews with many famous figures from the world of bodybuilding – including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Platz, Frank Zane, Lou Ferrigno and Joe Weider.

The film tells the story of a young man from Leeds who emerged from the bleakness of the second World War to create the most magnificent physique in the world. It tells how his dedication and unique talents shaped body-building for decades as he pushed the boundaries – winning the Mr Universe title at only 22 in 1951. He won again in 1958 and again in 1965, creating a record that is unlikely to be surpassed – and his achievements were steroid free!

It tells of the love story between Reg and his South African wife, Mareon, and of Reg – the family man and loving father – who moved his young family out to South Africa in 1958 to escape the harsh British climate.

It tells the story of the man who defined the movie muscle-man genre through his role as Hercules in the early 1960’s. Following in the footsteps of actors like Steve Reeves, and paving the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But Reg Park was not only a muscle-man, he also had brains. He founded the first chain of gymnasiums in South Africa, edited and published the very popular Reg Park Journal that had a circulation of over 60 000 worldwide in the late 1950’s. He was also a teacher and healer to many through his understanding of the body and his remarkable instinct for healing.

Reg created an institution at the Wits University Medical School when Professor Philip Tobias used Reg as a live model for his annual anatomy lecture to the second year medical students. The lecture became such a well-attended event that it had to be moved into the Great Hall on campus due to all the non-medical students who would also attend.

Generations of doctors were exposed to Reg’s understanding of the human body in this lecture and many of them later referred patients to Reg for rehabilitation. In the interviews Reg worked behind the scenes with South African and international sportsmen and for the first time he reveals his role in helping South Africa win the 1995 rugby World Cup.

Reg Park was an amazing man who never failed to touch the lives of people with whom he came into contact. Despite his incredible success he remained a humble man – unaffected by his fame.

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