Arnold Schwarzenegger pays emotional tribute to his ‘best friend’ Franco Columbu

Arnold Schwarzenegger paid an emotional tribute to Franco Columbu, calling him his “best friend” and “partner in crime.” The two co-starred in films like The Terminator and were long-time workout buddies. “You were my partner in crime from the day we met in Munich,” Schwarzenegger wrote on Instagram.

Columbu with Schwarzenegger.

Columbu, a two-time Mr. Olympia and Italian actor, died at age 78. He became ill while swimming and later passed away in a hospital in Sardinia.

Arnold Schwarzenegger with Columbu on the set of Conan the Barbarian.

Aside from their film and fitness collaborations, the two founded a bricklaying company in 1969. Schwarzenegger noted that Columbu made his life “happier, more colorful, and richer,” adding, “I could live without money or my parents, but not without you.”

In his tribute, Schwarzenegger expressed gratitude for their “54 years of friendship and enjoyment.” He wrote, “We did everything together, including the pumps, chess matches, construction work, lunches, practical jokes, and life lessons.”

Schwarzenegger watches on as Franco Columbu hangs from a bar in the film Pumping Iron.

Schwarzenegger’s moving homage highlights their enduring friendship and shared journeys. Columbu is survived by his daughter Maria and wife Debbie.