A Moment in Time, by George L. Helmer, is a wonderful journey through the remarkable life of Steve Reeves. George was Steve’s close friend and business partner, with access to Steve’s records and momentos. He is very generous in sharing details, making this a rich and lavishly illustrated biography.
Starting a few generations before Steve’s birth, A Moment in Time sets the stage for the conditions Steve encountered when entering our world. And his early life was not easy. Steve’s parents were often on the move and his father Lester died when he was still a toddler. He and his mother Goldie stayed with family until prospects picked up, and they did. Steve was educated at Deaconess, a boarding school and orphanage while his mother worked, established herself and built a household.
As a young child Steve had many adventures and performed several heroic deeds. He rode horses at three, survived an earthquake, got hit and dragged by a car… all before starting public school!
He also discovered bodybuilding. Over time he constructed a home gym, established a routine and made his own barbell set in shop class. By the time he finished High School, his physique was already quite noteworthy.
Steve had developed very definite ideas about how a perfectly sculpted body would be proportioned and, through experimentation, discovered ways of actualizing his vision.
After a two year stint in the Army he began his bodybuilding career in earnest. Fully living the life of a physical culturist and attracting much attention, he earned the coveted Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles.
And then he heard the lure of the entertainment world. From modelling, to theater and two minor roles in movies (in Ed Wood’s Jailbait and the auspiciously named Athena) his career catapulted with Hercules and Hercules Unchained. A Moment in Time again combines the public and private moments in Steve Reeves’ life into a masterful synthesis that gives you a strong sense of who Steve really was beyond his very public and exciting life. He was a remarkably consistent man, faithful to himself, his vision and his loved ones. Despite his celebrity, he never lost his passion for bodybuilding or horses.
Steve married twice, suffered injuries that never quite healed and experienced many of life’s ups and downs during this time. A Long Ride from Hell was his final film.
During the last phase of his life, Steve Reeves recommitted himself to fitness and championing good causes. He developed Power Walking and started Steve Reeves International with George L. Helmer, who gave us this book and keeps the Steve Reeves legacy alive.
Though I never met Steve Reeves, I am honored to have spoken with George on several occasions. The awesome tales in A Moment in Time come to life when related by him personally and he has plenty of anecdotes to share beyond those shared in this wonderful tome.
And A Moment in Time finally clarified what really happened to the third Steve Reeves Hercules movie and the reality behind the rumored re-dubbed fusion of the first two films. Thanks again George!
(c) Hercules Invictus