You may remember Richard Sandrak as a jaw-dropping, totally ripped little boy during the 1990s and mid 2000s. His insanely toned body had earned him the moniker "Little Hercules" - and for damn good reason. But after appearing in countless promotional products and even starring in a major Hollywood film, his fame gradually waned until he ultimately disappeared from the public eye. So, whatever happened to this former bodybuilding and acting sensation? Our meticulous findings reveal exactly what our little hero has been up to after all these years.
Before we start, it's worth noting he was weight training since before we knew how to draw. That's right; it all started when his family moved from the Ukraine to the states in search of a better life, which subsequently landed him in California. That's where his dad, Pavel, hired a famed personal trainer to help push his son to his limits.
From 0 to 180
Little Hercules started out with light martial arts training, but he soon found himself becoming a professional bodybuilder.... At the tender age of six. Most of us can barely lift our own meal plate, let alone do the crazy stuff this kid performed. Hell, allow us to put everything into perspective: This little guy was bench-pressing 180lbs at age six, and up to 210lbs by the time he was eight!
One Tough Cookie
No one knows just how much he worked out, but judging by that body, we're willing to bet the guy had practically made the gym his permanent residence. It is said that Little Hercules did up to 600 push-ups and sit-ups on a daily basis as time went on, and that was just for warmup. Most of us would feel tired merely thinking about it.
Not Your Ordinary Childhood
His success wasn't achieved alone, though, as his dad was extremely strict about diet and exercise. With big dreams of getting Little Hercules into showbiz, Pavel often discouraged him from spending time with friends and growing up like any other kid his age. This lifestyle eventually led to public scrutiny after people felt it was all too much for such a young mind.
To everyone's surprise, Little Hercules would later reveal he was never forced to do anything against his will, including all the hard work at the gym. Could he really get that type of body willingly? Because, let me tell you, the only things that mattered to most kids that age was Nickelodeon and the Nintendo 64 back then. If willpower isn't the answer to this shocking behavior, then witchery is our next best guess.
A Rising Star
As he pushed forward, Little Hercules' name began spreading through both mainstream media and all over the web. Ah, what a great time to be alive -- just as high-speed internet and YouTube were gradually becoming a thing. This led to the likes of Hulk Hogan to pose for a few comparison shots side-by-side and form a professional relationship. Is it just us, or does Little Hercules make Hogan look like a total wimp by comparison?
15 Minutes of Fame
Whatever the case may be, it looks like his father's dreams of fame became a reality. It wasn't uncommon to see the young lad at professional bodybuilding competitions, popular magazines, and constantly promoting nutritional products. With this kind of attitude, it wasn't long before he appeared in a feature film known as (you guessed it) Little Hercules. And it was shot in 3D, in case you had somehow missed that glorious six-pack with the naked eye.
Calm Before the Storm
Seriously, though, are you looking at that definition? This is the kind of dedication that puts the average adult to shame. Good thing he never spent much time among other kids his age, as we would have felt bad for whatever poor soul tried to bully him. On the other hand, it's clear he also missed out on winning over every single girl in school.
The Fall of Little Hercules
Not everything was rainbows and roses, unfortunately. Movie deals and promotional posters aside, Little Hercules eventually quit this intense lifestyle after Pavel landed in jail over a violent, domestic dispute. The rising star also felt that his dad's strict parenting style was too overbearing, effectively building a lot of tension between the two. That's when Little Hercules decided to dump his nickname in favor of something far more down to Earth: Richard Sandrak.
The Later Years
Time went by, and Richard was becoming more and more like a typical teen. And although he still published a few training videos on YouTube, his rough lifestyle and fame began to take a backseat -- and he was perfectly okay with that. So, one would think that someone with his background would end up becoming a celebrity personal trainer, right? Not quite...
A Newly Transformed Man
Richard was interviewed on the popular TV show Inside Edition in 2015, where millions of people were stunned to see his new, grown-up look. It was far from a muscle-ridden body, to say the least. Resembling your average Joe walking down the street, the former bodybuilding champ is now working as a stuntman for Universal Studios Hollywood. And when we say average Joe, we mean it.
Still Going Strong
You can regularly see him performing some really crazy sh*t at the Waterworld attraction, so his athletic skills are still being put to great use. Sometimes he would get set on fire for people's amusement, or maybe get shot depending on how evil his job description is that day. Otherwise, the guy would be running and using his upper body strength to climb high places just like the good old days.
How Much is Richard Worth Today?
Today, Richard's net worth is said to be around $400,000 thanks to his limited, but impressive work in Hollywood while growing up. Aside from starring in the aforementioned Little Hercules, he was also spotted on Ripley's Believe it or Not as well as his own documentary, The World's Strongest Boy. His value and status is also kept alive through various social media profiles dedicated exclusively to his earlier work as a bodybuilder.
Is our former Hercules planning to ever resume the rigorous lifestyle that shot him straight to fame? Apparently this is not in the cards. The man himself has publicly stated his desire to work as an Engineer for NASA one day, at least when he gets bored of his current profession as a badass stuntman. Judging by his ambitious determination, however, it's probably best to never say never.
Long Live Little Hercules
If you ask us, we'd say it's probably best that he left fame behind when he did. There's nothing particularly special about being a grown-up bodybuilder, after all. Not to mention he would have probably been typecast by landing nothing more than "strong dude" roles on every movie. At the end of the day, this guy followed showbiz' most well-known and wisest advice: Leave them wanting more.
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