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Joe Bonomo (strongman)

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Joe Bonomo (strongman)

Joe Bonomo
Born (1901-12-25)December 25, 1901
Coney Island, New York
Died March 28, 1978(1978-03-28) (aged 76)
Los Angeles
Occupation Stunt performer

Joseph "Joe" Bonomo (December 25, 1901 in Coney Island, New York – March 28, 1978 in Los Angeles), was a famous American weight lifter, strongman, film stunt performer and actor.


Bonomo was born to Esther and Albert, Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Izmir.[1] His brother Victor invented Turkish Taffy. As a child Bonomo built himself into a strongman winning the "Mr Modern Apollo" contest of 1921 where the prizes included a ten-week movie contract.[2] He began as a stunt double soon doubling for Lon Chaney in The Hunchback of Notre Dame then playing a variety of roles. He lost the role of Tarzan in Tarzan the Mighty when he injured himself before shooting.[3]

When sound came, Joe's strong Brooklyn accent precluded him from film roles. He remained famous by series of magazine adverts offering bodybuilding by mail order.


  • Bonomo, Joe Strongman: A True Life Pictorial Autobiography of the Hercules of the Screen Kessinger Publishing, 2007


External links

  • Joe Bonomo is my Hero
  • Internet Movie Database

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