Born Samuel Burke in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on April 8, 1929, bodybuilder and professional wrestler Samson Burke made several movies between 1960 and 1969. While he acted in several sword and sandal films, his best known is the 1962 comedy The Three Stooges Meet Hercules. Burke is one of the larger sword and sandal actors, standing 6'4" and weighing 245 lbs. As a competitive bodybuilder, Burke won several titles in Canada and came in third for "Mr. Muscle Beach" in 1957 (as Sam Berg) and in the 1950s was a professional wrestler who narrowly lost the world title four times.

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LEFT: Burke wrestled under the name Sammy Berg in the 1950s. CENTER: Burke gets the better of Ernie Dusek in this 1950 photo. RIGHT: Early 1960s physique photo

As a youth, Burke was a competitive swimmer and represented Canada in the 1948 Olympic games. Afterward, he attended McGill, where he excelled in football. He didn't begin wrestling until he was 18 years old, but by the time he was 20 he had become a well-known professional wrestler, and his matches were often broadcast on early television. Burke wrestled for a number of years, but by the early 1960s had given up wrestling for acting.

the films of samson burke

The Vengeance of Ursus (1961)

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From The Vengeance of Ursus

The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962)

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From the Columbia comedy The Three Stooges Meet Hercules. LEFT and CENTER: Various promotional shots with the Three Stooges. RIGHT: With Quinn Redeker

Toto vs. Maciste (1962)

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From Burke's 1962 sword and sandal comedy Toto vs. Maciste

Die Nibelungen, Teil 2: Kriemhilds Rache (1967)

Samson Burke and Karin Dor

With Karin Dor in the German adventure Die Nibelungen, Teil 2: Kriemhilds Rache

Five for Hell (1968)

Samson Burke and John Garko

With John Garko in the Italian war flick Five for Hell

samson burke today

Samson Burke's acting career lasted for about ten years, and during the period he acted in more than a dozen films and on several television shows. After quitting acting at the age of 40, Burke moved to Hawaii. For more information on Samson Burke, visit The Official Samson Burke Web Site.

samson burke dvds available from


Satiricosissimo (1970) with Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia
Sartana, Angel of Death (1969) with Klaus Kinski and Gordon Mitchell
The Adventures of Ulysses (1969) with Bekim Femhiu, Marina Berti, and Juliette Mayniel
Five for Hell (1968) with Margaret Lee and Klaus Kinski
Kill Me with Kisses (1968) with Pamela Tiffin and Ugo Tognazzi
Death Trip (1967) with Brad Harris and Tony Kendall
Nibelungen, Teil 1: Siegfried, Die (1966) with Terence Hill
Nibelungen, Teil 2: Kriemhilds Rache (1966) with Karin Dor
The Triumph of Robin Hood (1963) with Don Burnett, Gia Scala, and Arturo Dominici
The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962) with the Three Stooges, Vicki Trickett, Emil Sitka, and Quinn Redeker
Toto Vs. Maciste (1962) with Toto, Nino Toranto, and Nerio Bernardi
The Vengeance of Ursus (1961)

I Spy, episode Now You See Her, Now You Don't, originally aired October 23, 1967

samson burke links

The Official Samson Burke Web Site
Visit Samson Burke's official web site for biographical information, photos, and to see what he's up to these days.

An Interview with Samson Burke at Hollywood Teen Movies
Check out this 2002 interview with Samson Burke.

Go to the Other Hercules Heroes page
Go to the Other Hercules Heroes page, featuring Peter and David Paul, Paul Wynter, and Richard Lloyd.
Back to Brian's Drive-in Theater
Click on the logo to go back to Brian's Drive-In Theater
This page premiered May 20, 1998.