Wednesday, October 26, 2022


Michel Belloucy gives us the old rope tug in this Bob Harvest (aka Robert Hernandez) photo.
I always thought it odd that Bob was a Frenchman who Anglicized his Spanish surname.
As for Mr. Belloucy, he gives an impression of being Algerian.  Now we're all mixed up.



  1. With the former colonies of Latin America, France was never a traditional destination for Spanish emigration. That changed in 1936 with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Many Spanish communists and socialists made their way over the Pyrenees to the safety of the French Third Republic which was itself under the Front Populaire - a coalition of various different left wing groupings under the leadership of Léon Blum. Until freedom of movement under the European Union, most people of Spanish origin living in France came from this background.

    With the inception of the French Fifth Republic in 1958 under Charles De Gaulle, France lurched very decisively to the right - and "le Général" ran a very tight regime under which Spanish leftists were not exactly the flavour of the decade. The French right would remain in continuous power for 23 years.

    I think Robert Hernandez therefore changed his name for professional reasons, and possibly chose to Anglicize it with an eye on the burgeoning American bodybuilding scene. Despite the long love-hate relationship between "les Rossbeefs" and "the Froggies", the English do enjoy a natural respect and even admiration in France, so Mr Harvest killed two birds with one stone.

    I have unfortunately never been able to establish any facts about Michel Belloucy. By his looks, I would think he came from the Maghreb, possibly Algeria or Tunisia or even Morocco, which were all French possessions in 19th century. He may even be Berber. The name Belloucy seems to be Gallicized and of course Michel is of Hebrew derivation and used in Arabian and Christian societies alike.

    Whatever his background, he was most certainly secular French owing to the fact that he was more than happy to pose nude and full frontal. I am so pleased he did, because he had a most harmonious physique and has always been one of my favourite of French bodybuilders.

    1. Thanks for the interesting commentary, Julian. A kind reader sent me documentation that Mr. Belloucy was born in Algeria but moved to France.