Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Happy 80th Birthday Samson Burke
Born Samuel Burke on April 6, 1930 in Quebec, Canada. Burke attended McGill College in Montreal and took up body building and swimming while in high school. He represented Canada in the 1952 Olympic games as a swimmer in the butterfly competition. After leaving amateur swimming Samuel competed in bodybuilding competition and won the 'Mr. Montreal', and 'Mr. Canada' competitions. Samuel then moved to California and came in 3rd in the 'Mr. Muscle Beach' competition. Next he became a wrestler fighting under the name 'Sammy Berg' and 'Mr. Canada'. He became heavyweight champion in the 1950s defeating Buddy Rogers and later the International Tag Team Championship. Actor Gordon Mitchell recommended him for the role of Ursus in 1961's “The Revenge of Ursus” and as Samson Burke he'd go on to appear in 20 films in the U.S.A. and Europe. Among them was one Euro-western, “Sartana the Gravedigger” (1969). In the 1980s he relocated to Hawaii and worked on the TV series “Magnum P.I.” Burke today runs his own physical fitness business. Today we celebrate Samson Burke's 80th birthday.