Southern California in the 1950s exerted a powerful draw on hopeful young actors and physique stars. One of the best built and most handsome of the golden boys who came west to make their fortunes was Richard DuBois. He was born on March 4, 1933, into a poor family in the Bronx borough of New York City. While he was still a child, Richard’s father died suddenly, and his mother was unable to support her son. As a result he spent part of his boyhood in a New York orphanage. While there, he showed an interest in sports and acting, but it was only after he left the orphanage at the age of 16 that he started training with weights. He also took up boxing and swimming to hone his muscles.
In 1952 DuBois decided to move to California to pursue bodybuilding and acting. Soon after arriving in Los Angeles, Dick began going to bodybuilder George Eiferman’s gymnasium, and the older athlete perceived that Dubois had the makings of a really great physique star. While building his muscles, Dubois began taking acting lessons. His studying paid off when he landed a role in “Athena,” an MGM musical starring Debbie Reynolds and fellow athlete Steve Reeves.
In 1954 his years of working out finally paid off, and he won the coveted Mr. America title. Dick’s picture and life story soon appeared in all the bodybuilding magazines, and in the mid-1950s Dick DuBois was one of the most photographed of physique stars. His smiling face and killer body were plastered all over the newsstands. Other triumphs were to follow. When actress Mae West was assembling a bevy of handsome bodybuilders to appear in her Las Vegas act, DuBois was one of the first to be chosen. He traveled with the buxom West for several months.
Somehow, despite the theatrical and sporting success, it was never quite enough for DuBois, and he yearned for a life of greater spiritual fulfillment. By the late 1950s he was ready to renounce professional bodybuilding and become a born-again Christian. Thirty years ago Richard DuBois became an ordained minister, and he continues to preach the word of the Lord. Although his workouts have decreased of late, his firm religious beliefs are as strong as the muscles that he sported when he was in his prime. IM