Muscle Sport Magazine

Franco Columbu Dies in Italy

Bill Dobbins

Former two-time Mr. Olympia and bodybuilding legend Franco Columbu has passed away at the age of 78, according to a report in an Italian newspaper. Ansa – using Google translator – stated the following on their website at approximately 12 noon EST:


(ANSA) – NUORO, 30 AUGUST – Former bodybuilding champion and actor Franco Columbu, 78, originally from Ollolai (Nuoro), but always living in Los Angeles, in the United States, died in the early afternoon after accusing a sickness while bathing in the waters of San Teodoro, on the north-eastern coast of Sardinia. 


World-renowned bodybuilder and friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Columbu was on vacation in Sardinia. The tragedy took place around 2 pm. Columbu was immediately rescued and transported with the helicopter to the Olbia hospital, where he died as soon as he arrived in the emergency room. The resuscitation maneuvers of the 118 staff were useless, both on the ground and on board the helicopter, for the former bodybuilder there was nothing to do.

Columbu won the 1976 and 1981 Mr. Olympia competitons and was also a licensed chiropractor. He made many appearances in films, many of them with Schwarzenegger.


The Italian island of Sardinia was Columbu’s place of birth. He is third former Mr. Olympia to pass away, with Larry Scott and Sergio Oliva being the others.


We will update this article as more information becomes available and will be discussing the situation on today’s Instagram Live broadcast at 3PM EST, “Titan Medical Center Presents Ask Me Anything – mSm Style.”


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