Terry Robinson, a bodybuilding denizen of Muscle Beach in the late 1940s who became a fitness trainer for Hollywood stars such as Clark Gable and Mario Lanza, died May 19 at his home in West Los Angeles. He was 98.
He was working in a chiropractic office when he was summoned to MGM to treat a very important stiff neck — that of studio chief Louis B. Mayer.
"The Lord must have been looking down that day," Robinson said in "Remembering Muscle Beach," a 1999 book by champion bodybuilder Harold Zinkin. "When I touched him, he popped into place."
Mayer was so impressed by Robinson that he put him on MGM's payroll to work with some of the studio's biggest stars, including Gable, Spencer Tracy, Robert Taylor and Tyrone Power. Robinson kept his fitness advice simple: "Eat less," he said, "exercise more."
He might have been the only nonagenarian trainer who painted and sketched in his spare time and spouted poetry and Greek philosophy.
"I never got wealthy," he told Associated Press in 2001, "but I made a living, and my wealth is my health."