Dave Draper Gallery

Built Report Dave Draper
Bodybuilder Dave Draper with his arms around Joe Weider's wife, Betty Weider.

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In researching Dave Draper’s contest record I realized that he made a big impact from only competing in seven bodybuilding contests. Albert Beckles competed in over 100 bodybuilding competitions and is probably less known to the general public. The Blond Bomber, as Draper was called, was on 26 Weider magazine covers compared to Albert Beckles with two Flex magazine covers. Draper also acted in movies and was featured in some hit television shows. In the 1960s there were three or four television channels. You had your NBC, your CBS, and your ABC. Sometimes there was a UHF(ultra high frequency) channel in your area as well. The “alphabet” channels were VHF(very high frequency). Televisions were more expensive back then and many times there was just one television set in the home and that was in the living room. So, if someone was watching television during the time slot that Dave Draper was a guest star on, say, Gilligan’s Island, there was at least a one in four chance they would catch Draper’s performance. That is very unlike today when there are over one hundred cable channels, Netflix, video games, etc… Not only that, but with a limited amount of syndicated shows in the 1960s and 70s, you’d be able to catch Draper on TV shows like Gilligan’s Island and The Monkees over and over again for years.

Dave the Gladiator
Dave Draper as Dave The Gladiator

Draper’s image was that of a Californian but he was actually born in Secaucus, New Jersey and moved to Santa Monica, California at age 21. He supported himself working for Joe Weider and appearing in movies and television. One of his TV gigs was Dave the Gladiator, a local television show on Los Angeles Channel 9 KHJ, where he hosted “sword and sandal” movies made in the late 1950s and early 1960s such as Italian Hercules films. The show aired from 8-10 on Saturday nights. If you see photos of Dave Draper dressed in gladiator garb, their origin is likely publicity stills from that very show.


Dave Draper’s contest history is here and his filmography is here.

Dave Draper Filmography



Here Come the Brides (TV Series)
1st Man
Lorenzo Bush … 1st Man

The Monkees (TV Series)
I Was a 99-Pound Weakling (1967) … Bulk


The Beverly Hillbillies (TV Series)
Mr. Universe Muscles In (1967) … Himself
Don’t Make Waves
Harry Hollard

Walk Don’t Run
Swedish Athlete (uncredited)
Three on a Couch
Extra (uncredited)
Lord Love a Duck
Billy Gibbons


David The Gladiator TV show on Los Angeles Channel 9 KHJ
as David The Gladiator, host of Sword and Sandal movies


Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed?
Extra (uncredited)


Dave Draper Bodybuilding Competition History


Mr New Jersey – IFBB, Overall Winner
Mr New Jersey – IFBB, Tall, 1st


Mr America – IFBB, Tall, 1st
Mr America – IFBB, Overall Winner


Universe – IFBB, Tall, 1st
Universe – IFBB, Overall Winner


Olympia – IFBB, 4th


Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 3rd
Mr World – AAU, Pro Tall, 3rd
Mr World – IFBB, Overall Winner
Mr World – IFBB, Tall, 1st

About Yegor Khzokhlachev 712 Articles
Gorilla at Large

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