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Serge Nubret Dies At Age 72

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By: Domenic Mauro, Athlete Insider

It's with great sadness that we report that IFBB Pro legend, author and movie star Serge Nubret has passed away. Details are scarce at this moment but as more news comes into the MUSCLE INSIDER office, we'll keep you updated. Serge was nicknamed "the black panther" and was one of the most perfectly developed humans in bodybuilding history. His training methodologies were legendary. 

Serge Nubret spent his first years in Anse-Bertrand in a community of 7,000 people. He spent nearly 12 years of his life enjoying fresh air playing outdoors before moving with his parents to the region of Paris, France in 1950. He lived thereafter in the community of Joinville-le-Pont, completing his secondary studies before choosing a business program. During his adolescence and young adulthood, he quickly became aware of his exceptional potential for athletics and recalls this reflection in his book I Am…Me and God; in his own words, dedicating himself to bodybuilding was to become his "reason of being."  

His Discovery Of Bodybuilding

Serge returned in Guadeloupe in 1958 in order to escape the draft for the Algerian war. It was during this period of his life he discovered bodybuilding, which he practiced simultaneously while pursuing business accounting. Bodybuilding was not encouraged by his father at the time who was concerned that it did not have as much potential for financial income as an accounting career. Three months after entering the world of bodybuilding, Serge won the title of Mr. Guadeloupe, which he won again the following year as well. He was sent in 1960 to Montreal to show the flag of Guadeloupe in support for his country at the time of the World Championship organized by the International Federation of BodyBuilders. It was there Nubret was named "Most Muscular Man of the World." Returning next to Paris without going to Guadeloupe, he was contacted by the Films Ariane for a role in a Duccio Tessari Italian péplum film called "The Titans" which was released in 1961 and was prelude to a rich career of 25 films.

Pumping Iron

He is best known in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron where Serge competed as a last minute entry against (eventual seven time winner) Arnold Schwarzenegger for the title of Mr. Olympia in 1975. While Nubret looked fantastic, he finished second in the Tall Man category to Schwarzenegger, while Lou Ferrigno finished third. He was known for his excellent chest development, which would scare off fellow contestants. The documentary film Pumping Iron, alongside Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, follows the events occurring before the Mr. Olympia 1975—the preparation for the competition as well as its final phase. For contract reasons, his part is comparatively brief; certain scenes concerning him could not be put in the movie. 

TV Show Series

In the 1980s, Serge appeared regularly in 60 episodes of the television series Breakfast Included, with Pierre Mondy and Marie-Christine Barrault, in which he played the role of bodybuilder/gym owner in Paris, a role that mirrors his own biography.
During the 1970s, Nubret finished third to the Mr. Olympia in 1973 and second in 1975.

Serge Started His Own Federation

Vice President of the IFBB Europe of 1970-1975, Nubret then founded the WABBA in 1976. He competed up to 1984, when he won his last title of champion of the world to the WABBA. Nubret caused quite a stir in Gravelines in 2003, when he guest posed at the WABBA World Championship at the age of 65. 

Book Launch

In 2006, 68-year-old Serge Nubret penned the book I am…Me and God in collaboration with Louis-Xavier Babin-Lachaud. The book is not only autobiographical in nature, but it also includes his personal reflections on his Christian faith and mysticism of the author. Through his life narrative, it adopts a definite position on the role of God in this world, on the conflict between destiny and free will and on the illusion of this world. More than an assembly of memories, the book indicates the will to succeed and to follow the way traced by God, love of the "reason to be" author, that is not other than the bodybuilding.


A second book, just published, is a 400+ page autobiography entitled Seventy Years Young. At the time of release (April 2009), it was learned that Serge Nubret suffered a stroke in Paris, France. As of early May 2009, he is recovering. There are conspiracies circling around the internet, which have been supported by Serge's old friends, that he was poisoned by his own children in an attempt to take his money.

Serge Died April 19th, 20011

Serge Nubret died with plenty of speculation going on about the cause of death. Let us leave the speculation statement out and just say Bodybuilding great Serge Nubret passed away April 19 2011 at the age of 72 as he had been ill. The bodybuilding world and sport has lost another champion of the Golden Era of bodybuilding.

List of Bodybuilding Awards
 ▪ 1958: Mr. Guadeloupe
 ▪ 1960: IFBB World Most Muscular Man
 ▪ 1970: NABBA Mister Universe 2nd
 ▪ 1970: IFBB Mr. Europe (Tall)
 ▪ 1972: IFBB Mr. Olympia (3rd place)
 ▪ 1973: IFBB Mr. Olympia (2nd)
 ▪ 1974: IFBB Mr. Olympia (Heavy Weight, 3rd place)
 ▪ 1975: IFBB Mr. Olympia (Heavy Weight, 2nd) 
 ▪ 1976: Pro NABBA Mr. Universe
 ▪ 1976: WBBG Mr. World (2nd)
 ▪ 1977: WBBG Mr. World
 ▪ 1977: WBBG Mr. Olympus
 ▪ 1981: Pro WABBA World Championships
 ▪ 1982: Pro WABBA World Championships

Films He Was In
 ▪ My Son the Hero/Arrivano i titani (1962)
 ▪ The Red Berets/Sette baschi rossi (1969)
 ▪ Le condé, (a.k.a. The Cop) (1970)
 ▪ Caesar and Rosalie, co-starring Yves Montand (1972)
 ▪ The Professional, co-starring Jean-Paul Belmondo (1981)