Hans Dolph Lundgren was born and raised in an academic middle-class family in Stockholm, Sweden. Despite an early interest in playing the drums and clowning around in high school comedies, Dolph decided to follow in his father’s and older brother’s cerebral footsteps and pursue an engineering degree. After having completed his military service in the Swedish Marine Corps, Dolph enrolled in the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, studying the same subject as his older brother: Chemical Engineering. He attended both Washington State University and Clemson University in South Carolina, studying Chemistry on various scholarships. He graduated from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, completing his Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering on an exchange program with the University of Sydney in Australia. Graduating at the head of his class, Dolph was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, one of the world’s top engineering schools.
That same year the young Ph.D. student met the exotic singer Grace Jones and fell in love. He decided to move to New York City and take up modeling to make some extra cash. A bit too muscular for a model’s size 40, Dolph was to begin at MIT a few months later. On a friend’s advice: “Hey man, you look like you should be in the movies”…this is where it all began.
His motion picture debut came in the James Bond feature A VIEW TO A KILL in 1985. However, it was Dolph’s memorable performance in ROCKY IV later that year that definitely got him noticed worldwide. After a nine month audition process, among 5,000 hopefuls, Dolph was cast by writer-director Sylvester Stallone as his fearsome Russian opponent, Captain Ivan Drago. Dolph grit his teeth and managed to build quite a career as an international action-hero and has since starred in more than 50 feature films.
Throughout the ups and downs of Hollywood, Dolph has always stayed close to the Martial Arts: “Karate and physical fitness have kept me reasonably sane in a very tough and often spiritually empty business.” After completing a grueling examination, Dolph was awarded his third degree black belt by the World Karate Organization in Tokyo. His other athletic accomplishments include being the captain of the Swedish National Karate Team and the individual champion of the Swedish, European and Australian Heavyweight Full Contact Divisions. In addition to his Karate expertise, Dolph was selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve as the Team Leader of the U.S. Olympic Pentathlon Team during the 1996 Atlanta Games.
After getting married, Dolph spent considerable time in Europe, raising his two daughters. In 2009, Dolph received a call from his old friend Sly Stallone: ‘Yo, Dolph. I got this script…’ He ended up co-starring opposite Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the box office hit, THE EXPENDABLES. “It was terrific working with Sly again and he had created a very colorful character for me the picture,” says Lundgren. “It also felt great to be back on the big screen again’. Soon, EXPENDABLES 2 followed and last year, Dolph reprised his role as comedic action-man Gunner Jensen in the highly anticipated EXPENDABLES 3, coming out in August. This time featuring an even bigger star-studded cast, adding Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and Harrison Ford to the worldwide action franchise.
As well as being a seasoned actor, Dolph has directed five feature films. His production companies Thor Pictures and Red Orm Productions are currently developing several projects, in which he will produce, star and direct. His latest directorial project was a feature he co-wrote and directed: COMMAND PERFORMANCE produced by Avi Lerner at NuImage Films.
Dolph is currently producing and starring in SKIN TRADE, an action-thriller about human trafficking, that he also co-wrote. ‘This is a script I’ve had for seven years and I never though it was going to get made’, says Dolph. ‘It’s incredibly exciting to finally stand on the set and realize that it is actually happening. Especially working with actors like Ron Perlman, Peter Weller, Michael Jai White, Celina Jade and Thai martial arts legend Tony Jaa.’
Dolph is also a founding member of ‘Group of Eight’ an off-Broadway theatre group started in the 90’s.
Shortly after ROCKY IV, Dolph released his workout video, MAXIMUM POTENTIAL. He is currently working on a fitness book for men: ‘TRAIN LIKE AN ACTION STAR’, which will be released this fall by Sky Horse Publishing in New York. In addition to the book, Dolph is also developing a personalized organic brand of vitamins and supplements.
He has two teenage daughters, Ida and Greta, who reside in Europe. Dolph is currently living in Los Angeles with his fiancée Jenny Sanderson, a Swedish artist and photographer.