Did you know that an Assyrian bodybuilder, Iloosh Khoshabe, used to act in both Iranian and Italian films from the 1950s to the 1970s? In Iran, he was known as “Iloosh,” but he went by the names “Richard Lloyd” or “Rod Flash” in some of his Italian films.
Iloosh Khoshabe was born to Assyrian parents in the village of Geotapa in Urmia, Iran in 1932. His first name was actually Youshia, but he became known by the nickname “Iloosh.” At 6 feet, 2 inches (1.88 meters) tall, Khoshabe had an athletic build, so began entering weightlifting competitions as a teenager. He also exceled in throwing sports such as javelin throwing. In the 1950s, he traveled to the United States to compete in several bodybuilding competitions and won.
Back in Iran, Khoshabe caught the attention of the film industry there. They asked him to play the title role of the 1955 film Amir Arsalan-e Namdar. From then on, the handsome Khoshabe starred in over 20 action/adventure films, which made sure to display his muscles and strength. Not only did Khoshabe play in Iranian movies, but he appeared in a large number of Italian films as well. After catching the attention of the Italian film industry, he moved to Italy in the 1960s, and lived there until his retirement in the 1990s. He then returned to Iran and spent the rest of his days there, passing away in 2012.
Most of Khoshabe’s films were mythological epics, informally known as “sword-and-sandal” films. This was a popular genre of film in both Hollywood and Italy in the 1960s. His Italian films include The Seven Tasks of Ali Baba (1962), in which he portrayed Ali Baba, and Hercules, Samson and Ulysses (1963), in which he portrayed Samson.
Written by Esther Lang
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