Connect
To Top


Tribute to My Friend Terry Robinson


I was first introduced to Terry Robinson by Bill Pearl and Leo Stern in the late 1960's and I was immediately impressed by his appearance and friendly demeanor. His enthusiasm and zest for life was infectious and his jovial personality always drew a crowd. As the years rolled by we became firm friends.

terry_robinson_silvia2

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1916, Terry, a natural athlete, won honors in track & field, baseball, football and swimming while in high school. After high school he won the "New York Police League Golden Gloves" featherweight boxing title. After earning a degree from the Chiropractic Institute of New York, he rented a portion of George Bothner's famous "Manhattan Gym", where in addition to chiropractic services he became a personal trainer to many show business personalities including two of the greatest ever songwriters, Cole Porter and Lorenz Hart.

He served in the US Army in WWII and as a staff sergeant was sent to the South Pacific to establish physical training programs and conduct classes in deadly hand-to-hand combat. He also set up rehabilitation programs for the wounded. It seemed Terry was destined to help people which he did all of his long life.

terry_robinson_at_bruce_connors_gym2

Terry won the 1948 AAU "Mr New York City" title, and his pictures regularly appeared in the top bodybuilding magazines of the day. Late in 1948 he moved to California where his reputation spread and he became "Trainer to the Stars" at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios; working with Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, Spencer Tracy, George C. Scott and many others. He was still training TV and movie people into his 80's and 90's and until his retirement in his mid 90's, had managed some of the best health clubs in Southern California including "The Beverly-Wilshire Health Club" and the world famous "Century West Club".

terry_robinson_stevegarveyshow2

In the early 1950's the studios asked him to take the responsibility of training one of its biggest stars, Mario Lanza - a fabulous singer who enjoyed the "good life", resulting in huge bodyweight gains between films. It became a full time job with Terry moving in with the family; with he and Mario becoming best friends. Tragically Lanza died in 1959 at the age of 38; his wife dying just 5 months later. The courts awarded Terry guardianship of the four Lanza children and he enjoyed being "Father". In 1980 Terry and Raymond Strait, a writer who has achieved international recognition for his celebrity biographies, teamed up to co-author "Lanza, His Tragic Life".

terry_robinson_with_mario_lanza2

Terry, a multi-talented individual, was a very accomplished artist in watercolors and oil; we cherish all the letters, notes and Christmas cards we have received that are adorned with copies of his work and most of all the beautiful words he wrote.

stevereeves_terry_georgecoates_georgeEifermans_wedding2

When I asked him who was the most inspirational person in his life, he mentioned John Grimek, Mario Lanza, Jack LaLanne and a few others, but more importantly, "My wife, Silvia". In the early 1970's Silvia was struck by a drunk driver; a promising ballet dancer-now a paraplegic to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Her sister who worked at Terry's club told him about Silvia's plight and Terry asked her to bring Silvia to the club. It was at love at first sight! Terry told me that to see her all these years battling physical and emotional pain without complaint has been the most inspiring part of his life.

Will miss seeing you and our great phone conversations.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

George and Tuesday Coates
San Diego, California

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Latest

  • Melatonin For Fat Loss

    A new study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology indicates that regular use of a melatonin supplement results in a leaner,...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 23, 2017
  • No Pain = No Muscle Gain

    Delayed onset muscle soreness is an occupational hazard to hard training, especially after some time off from the weights. Bodybuilders and...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 22, 2017
  • Stretch The Truth

    There are better things to do between sets than check your Instagram. Scientists in Brazil discovered that when athletes stretched a...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 22, 2017
  • Take A Tryp

    You probably know of tryptophan as an essential amino acid that is infamously found in turkey. According to your uncle, it’s...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 21, 2017
  • Vitamin D-Mand

    The reasons to take vitamin D just keep adding up. Not only are most Americans deficient in this important nutrient (which...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 21, 2017
  • Just Your Cup Of Tea

    A mug of coffee or green tea might be the next big thing when it comes to post-workout beverages. A study...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 20, 2017
  • Skipping Workouts

    How many times can you play hooky from the gym and not lose your gains? It’s a question that comes up...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 20, 2017
  • Upper Chest Quest

    Many people have said it: You can’t do too much upper-chest work. It’s an area of the body that can almost...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 19, 2017
  • Fat-Eating Bugs

    A study published in the International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition examined the role of probiotics, the good bacteria that...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 18, 2017