Hailed King of the Duel, Shadow was defeated only once in three highly competitive years. With daunting strength and determination, Contenders lived in mortal fear of the mighty Shadow. He launched his career in track and field hoping to sign with the NFL. Turning to bodybuilding, he won numerous titles.
The original Gladiator team captain loved his days at the Arena until he was caught doing illicit substances. Ejected from Gladiators, Jefferson King was now doing manual labor like gravedigging. Ten years later he finally kicked another addiction and is now leading others to reclaim their lives at Intuitive Recovery.
Agile and quick on his feet, Cobra was recognized for his acrobatic kicks and split maneuvers. He dominated the Duel Podium, undefeated, never once being knocked off. Michael Wilson honed his skills by training as a kickboxer, a martial arts expert, and an amateur boxer. He won bodybuilding titles Mr. South London and Mr. Kent. Starring in eight series of the British Gladiators remake.
These days though, he is lucky to be alive. After a hip replacement surgery, pneumonia almost did him in. He says he still needs a second hip, a bicep, and a new shoulder due to too many insane workouts. "I would run ten miles before I'd even start my workouts."
Gemini is known for getting into a fight with Billy Wirth in the first season, yet on set he earned the nickname "gentle giant." Also referred to by his real name Michael Horton, Gemini is also known as an NFL lineman out of UCLA for the Panthers and the Saints, retiring just recently in 2019 with ten years under his belt.
Gemini practiced martial arts for six years and holds a second-degree black belt. Gemini, named for his personality split between calm and aggressive, was one of the original six Gladiators. He has two sons who both play pro football and an athletic daughter who played college volleyball.
Malibu was one of the six original Gladiators from Season 1. Offstage, the California cool surfer dude not only trained in Karate and hand-to-hand sword fighting but was a professional wrestler, a pro racquetball player, and a movie star as well. To be fair, Malibu is a much cooler alias for Deron McBee.
McBee has portrayed menacing villains in films such as "Batman Forever" and "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation." Malibu returned to "American Gladiators" for the 1991 Live Tour. One look and you probably wouldn't guess that he started his showbiz career as a deputy sheriff for the L.A. County Sheriff Department.
Blaze trained as a 1984 Olympic athlete in jumping and hurdling until an injury sidelined those hopes. That didn't stop her from taking the 1990 Miss Natural International Bodybuilding Championship crown. On the side, she worked toward a law degree and practiced criminal law. Gladiator Blaze had an aggressive reputation.
The Conquer event best showcased her style. Sha-ri Pendleton married Rodney "Knightmare" Mitchell, an athlete from rival T.V. show "Knights and Warriors." The union was a bit contentious at the time. They have one son, Re-al Mitchell, who is also a talented athlete. Today, she's a high school coach and teacher.