Arnold Schwarzenegger Confesses the Story Behind His 42-Inch Wedding Gift to Maria Shriver, Made by Artist Who Painted Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley

Arnold Schwarzenegger was from Austria and had to struggle a lot after he came to the United States of America. However, since he was a good listener and soaked up all the information like a sponge, he became successful in bodybuilding, Hollywood, and even politics. While being enamored by the USA, he was also charmed by a certain woman named Maria Shriver. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver met at the Robert F. Kennedy Celebrity Tennis Tournament in 1977. After eight years of dating, they tied the knot in 1986.

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The bodybuilding icon loves things that are larger than life. He wanted to do something special for his future wife that no one else could replicate. He wanted to get something extraordinary for Maria and took the help of expert pop artist Andy Warhol. Arnold shared this story recently in an interview with ‘95 New York’ ahead of his new book release.

Arnold Schwarzenegger surprised Maria Shriver with a unique gift


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Schwarzenegger already knew Andy Warhol since he was the one who planned a painting for the bodybuilding legend. Jamie Wyeth was the one who painted the infamous sketch at the factory. The Austrian Oak has had a good relationship with the pop art painter since then. Just before he was about to get married to the love of his life, he requested a special painting from Warhol.

Arnie described the incident, saying, “I remember I called him, and I said, Look, I want to; I’m getting married in spring.” The wedding was just five months away, and Arnold asked Warhol if he could do him a huge favor. The Terminator actor described, “This was 1986… I said, can you do me a favor and do a painting of Maria?”

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The Prince of Pop Art agreed immediately, and the Austrian Oak did not waste any time sending Maria to the factory for the portrait. The painting was a huge 42-inch silkscreen work of art, and the genius artist had made seven copies of it. Warhol not only painted the wonderful gift but also attended the bodybuilder’s wedding. One of the paintings was given to Maria’s parents. Some of the paintings are now with Arnold and Maria’s daughters. There are more stories behind that iconic painting of his wife, and he shared that before in his previous book.

How Andy Warhol was convinced by the bodybuilder


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Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, by Arnold, has the whole story of the one-of-a-kind painting of Maria Shriver that was made as a wedding gift. While decorating the house they would move into after their wedding, the Terminator found the perfect spot to display the painting. He wanted to give his wife something so unique that it would not be replicated by anyone else. He took the help of Andy Warhol, who had previously done silkscreen paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

The bodybuilding legend also reviewed the method that the artist used to do these paintings. He said, “Shooting Polaroid portraits and then picking one to enlarge as the basis for a silkscreen.” Thus, Arnie contacted Warhol to make the silk screen painting of Shriver. Since the artist loved painting Hollywood stars, this was not a difficult decision to make.


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Schwarzenegger wrote, “He created a dramatic 42-inch square painting that captured her wild beauty and intensity.” The picture still exists with the Schwarzenegger family. Did you know that the bodybuilder had this side to him? Tell us in the comments below.

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Author: ZeroToHero

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