Athletes Who Have Successful Careers In Acting!
Think about the last time you watched a movie or TV show. Chances are, one of the main actors was someone you’ve never heard of before. You may not know this, but many actors start out as athletes. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most successful actor-athletes and how they made the switch from sports to Hollywood.
Doris Williams was a swimming prodigy, winning three US national championships in the 1930s. She was unable to compete in the Olympics because of the war, so she ended up working in Hollywood. She appeared in many “aquamusicals,” films that highlighted her athletic talents, and made attempts at more serious roles.
She died in 2013 at 91 years old. Williams was a talented swimmer who had the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, but due to the outbreak of World War II, her chance was lost. Instead, she found work in Hollywood where she starred in aquamusicals and other films.
Before making it big in Hollywood, Carl Weathers was a professional football player. He played linebacker for the Oakland Raiders in 1971 and two years in the Canadian league before starting his acting career.
Weathers is best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies, but he has also starred in other action films such as Action Jackson. In recent years, he has been making a living parodying his 80s action hero image in sitcoms and commercials.
One of the most feared tacklers in NFL history, Fred Williamson was nicknamed “The Hammer” for his bone-crushing hits. A two-time All-Pro with the Oakland Raiders, Williamson was one of the most dominant defensive players of his era.
After retiring from football, Williamson went on to have a successful career as an actor, appearing in such films as Black Caesar, Hell Up In Harlem, and The Inglorious Bastards. However, he is perhaps best known for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn.
The Boz was a big personality in college football in the 1980s with his buzzcut and trademark sunglasses. However, his steroid use got him kicked off the team at Oklahoma.
The Boz didn’t rate as an NFL linebacker and was out after two years, leaving him the chance to make movies. He didn’t fare well in that endeavor, either, starring in several awful action movies. Today, Bosworth is a college football commentator.
Marinaro’s claim to fame as an actor is the five years he spent on the classic cop show Hill Street Blues. Today, he is a celebrity spokesperson. Cornell University legend was a Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1971, the highest ever for a modern era Ivy League athlete.
He played several NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, making two Super Bowl appearances. As an actor, Marinaro is best known for his role on the classic cop show Hill Street Blues. After 5 years on the show, Marinaro transitioned to become a celebrity spokesperson.
After a successful career as a professional football player, Howie Long pursued an acting career. He appeared in a number of action movies, but found his true calling as an analyst for Fox Sports. Today, he remains in that role, watching his sons Kyle and Chris play pro football.
Howie Long had a successful career as a professional football player before pursuing an acting career. He appeared in a number of action movies, but found his true calling as an analyst for Fox Sports. Today, he remains in that role, watching his sons Kyle and Chris play pro football.
Art has always been a big part of Terry Crews life. He was even offered an art scholarship to college before he decided to pursue a career in football. After retiring from the NFL, he returned to Los Angeles to focus on acting. But even today, he still enjoys painting and sketching in his free time. It’s clear that art is still a big passion of his, even though he isn’t pursuing it professionally. Who knows, maybe one day he’ll return to the world of art and we’ll see some more of his amazing work!
Jason Lee was born in Santa Ana, California on April 25, 1970. He is best known for his role as Earl Hickey in the NBC comedy My Name is Earl. Prior to his acting career, Jason was a successful professional skateboarder and extreme sports entrepreneur.
Jason’s film debut came in Kevin Smith’s 1995 comedy Mallrats. He went on to star in several of Smith’s films including Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. In 1999, Jason co-starred with Ben Affleck in the critically acclaimed drama Pay it Forward.
Jordan’s acting career is limited to one memorable movie, Space Jam, where Jordan starred alongside Warner Brothers legendary animated characters. Nike recently commemorated the film’s 30th anniversary with – what else? – a limited edition Air Jordan model.
The Air Jordan XXXI Space Jam shoe is a direct nod to the film, with its black and white colorway inspired by the Tune Squad jerseys worn by Jordan and his fellow Looney Tunes characters. The shoe also features special details like “Space Jam” script on the inside of the tongue and a graphic of Bugs Bunny peeking out from behind the Jumpman logo on the heel.
Chuck Connors was not only a name in the film and television world, but he also played for three professional sports teams. After being discharged from the army in 1946, Connors had a small stint with the NBA playing for the Boston Celtics. Connors decided to leave the basketball world and join the Brooklyn Dodgers where he played in only one game.
He later played for the Chicago Cubs as a first baseman. Connors was also drafted by the NFL’s Chicago Bears, but never played a game. Connors then left the sports world to have a 40-year career in film and television. He is best known for his role as Lucas McCain in The Rifleman, which aired from 1958-1963.
One of the most popular and well-known martial artists of all time, Chuck Norris is a man who needs no introduction. A legendary figure in both the martial arts world and popular culture, Norris is someone who has truly left his mark on the world.
Born in 1940 in Ryan, Oklahoma, Norris was raised in a strict religious household and began training in martial arts at an early age. It was clear from an early age that Norris had a natural talent for the martial arts, and he quickly began winning competitions. In 1968, Norris became the Professional Middleweight Karate Champion of the World, a title he would hold for six consecutive years.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most accomplished basketball players of all time. He was a member of the three-time national champion UCLA Bruins basketball team and won several NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. By the time the Lakers ruled, he was already an actor. Jabbar fought Bruce Lee in the film Game of Death and appeared in the deadpan comedy Airplane as himself.
Today, he is a noted expert on Jazz music and a social commentator for TIME magazine. Despite his many accomplishments, Kareem remains humble and down to earth. In an interview, he once said, “I’m just thankful that I had the opportunity to do what I love for a living.”
Russell played minor league baseball; however, he didn’t want to give up his acting career, which had been going strong since he was a child. Russell is a cult movie fan favorite thanks to his work with director John Carpenter. Accordingly, cult movie fanatic Quentin Tarantino has cast Russell in the upcoming movie The Hateful Eight.
Russell’s experience with baseball may have come in handy for his role in The Hateful Eight, as the film features a scene where characters must dig themselves out of a snowdrift. Luckily, filming took place during the summertime, so the actors didn’t have to deal with actual cold weather conditions.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne Johnson, also known as “The Rock”, is a well-known actor and former professional wrestler. He was born into a wrestling family – his father was a wrestler too – but he didn’t have an easy childhood. His father was always on the road and wasn’t there for his son.
Despite this, Dwayne Johnson went on to have a successful career in both wrestling and acting. He is best known for his roles in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise and HBO’s “Ballers”. Dwayne Johnson is a true success story, proving that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. No matter what obstacles life throws your way, you can overcome them if you try hard enough.
Statham was a member of the British National Diving Squad for twelve years, during which time he honed his skills as an athlete and performer. His diving career came to an end when he was injured while filming a movie, but his experience as a diver helped him land roles in action movies like The Transporter.
Statham is known for his intense physicality and agility, both of which are on display in his action films. In addition to his work in front of the camera, Statham has also worked as a producer and director on several films. He is currently working on an untitled action thriller with director Guy Ritchie.
John Cena is one of the most popular professional wrestlers in the world, and has also enjoyed a successful career as an actor. Cena was a Division III football player at Springfield College before becoming a pro wrestling icon.
Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Enterprises developed a movie production company in 2005, and Cena landed the lead role in one of its first films, The Marine. Today, Cena concentrates more on wrestling and selling cereal than acting.
Joe Namath is one of the most iconic figures in NFL history. He was a star quarterback for the New York Jets, leading them to victory in Super Bowl III.
After his playing career, Namath transitioned into television, appearing on shows like The Love Boat and The A-Team. He also hosted his own talk show, The Joe Namath Show. Today, Namath is a commentator for NFL games and remains an icon in the world of football.
Lee began studying martial arts at an early age, after getting into fights with local gangs. He quickly developed his own style of fighting, which he called Jeet Kun Do. This attracted the attention of a TV producer, who asked him to audition for the role of Kato in the TV series The Green Hornet.
Lee died tragically at the age of 32, but not before becoming a film icon and popularizing martial arts films in the US. His legacy continues to inspire new generations of martial artists and filmmakers.
Arnold Schwarzenegger always dreamed of being famous. In 1982, the champion bodybuilder and small-time actor got his big break, winning the lead in Conan the Barbarian. His appearance as the android in James Cameron’s The Terminator started Schwarzenegger on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars of the 1980s.
He would shock the world by branching out in some… interesting directions, but told the acting world “I’ll be back.” The hulking Austrian kept to his word, and has since returned to the role that made him famous on several occasions. Since his early days as a bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been known for his impressive physique.
Rousey has been an outspoken advocate for female empowerment and gender equality, using her platform to speak out against sexism in the media and society at large. She hopes that by landing a role in Captain Marvel, she can help inspire young girls to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.
“I would love to play Captain Marvel,” Rousey told Marvel.com in an interview. “I think it would be really cool to have a female superhero that was tough and loved fighting and didn’t take any crap from anybody but could also be feminine and beautiful.” Rousey added that she feels a personal connection to the character of Captain Marvel, as both women are powerful athletes who have overcome obstacles in their lives to become champions.
After a successful career in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal has kept himself busy with a number of different projects. He has appeared in several films, including the popular ‘Grown Ups’ franchise. He has also launched a successful rap music career, with his album ‘Shaq Diesel’ going platinum.
In recent years, Shaq has taken on a more light-hearted approach to his public persona. He has appeared in a number of funny commercials, and has even lampooned himself on television shows like ‘Fresh Off the Boat’. No matter what he’s doing, Shaq always seems to be enjoying himself – and that’s why we love him!
Harmon’s father was an NFL legend, and he himself won the Rose Bowl while quarterbacking for the UCLA Bruins. He is now a TV star, playing doctors on St. Elsewhere and Chicago Hope, and an investigator on NCIS. However, his life hasn’t always been easy. In fact, Harmon has suffered from some serious health problems over the years.
In 2008, Harmon underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor. The tumor was benign, but it was a very scary experience for him and his family. Then, in 2012, Harmon suffered a seizure while filming an episode of NCIS. He was hospitalized and later released, but the incident left him shaken.
Lawrence Taylor is one of the most talented and controversial football players of all time. His physical gifts and aggressive style of play made him a feared opponent on the gridiron, but his off-field antics – including drug addiction and legal troubles – often overshadowed his accomplishments on the field.
Taylor was born in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1959. He began playing football at an early age and quickly developed into a star player. He attended the University of North Carolina, where he became one of the best linebackers in college football history.
Carano is one of the early stars of the female Mixed Martial Arts circuit, winning fights and appearing in magazines because of her beauty. Carano is now an action movie star having appeared in the Fast and Furious 6 and will appear in the upcoming Marvel movie Deadpool.
While some people dismiss Carano as just a pretty face, she has proven herself to be a talented actress and martial artist. She has also been an outspoken advocate for female empowerment, which has made her a role model for many young women. Gina Carano is proving that women can be both beautiful and strong – two things that are often seen as mutually exclusive.
Kevin James graduated from Ward Melville High School in New York, where he reached the top spot on the varsity wrestling team. Just ahead of friend and future professional wrestling legend, Mick Foley. James would later get to put his experience to use in his acting career for the movie ‘Here Comes The Boom’ where he would portray a teacher that took up MMA in his downtime.
As a student at Ward Melville, Kevin was captain of the wrestling team and also participated in track & field. After graduation, he attended college at SUNY Cortland where he studied sports management. However, he decided to drop out after one semester to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.
Johnny Weissmuller was one of the world’s greatest swimmers in the 1920s. He won five Olympic gold medals and never lost a single match as an amateur. After his swimming career, he became an international acting sensation when he appeared as Tarzan in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932).
Weissmuller would portray the character in numerous other films and then go on to play other roles in Hollywood. He was truly a remarkable athlete and entertainer.
It’s been a long and controversial road for professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Born Terry Gene Bollea in 1953, Hogan first gained national attention in the early 1980s as a champion wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
He quickly rose to become one of the most popular wrestlers in the world, known for his over-the-top persona and catchphrase, “Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?” In 1982, Hogan made his acting debut in Rocky III, playing the villainous “Thunderlips.” He would go on to make cameo appearances in a number of films and television shows throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Crabbe’s athletic prowess and good looks made him a natural for Hollywood, and he soon found himself in demand for a variety of roles. In addition to his work in the Tarzan and Flash Gordon serials, Crabbe also appeared in several feature films, including King of the Jungle (1933), The Three Musketeers (1935), and The Affairs of Cappy Ricks (1937).
He even had a brief stint as a singer, recording a handful of songs for Decca Records in the late 1930s. Crabbe’s career took a turn during World War II, when he enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces.
Simpson’s career in the NFL was nothing short of spectacular. He was a Pro Bowl running back for 11 seasons and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1973. He retired from the NFL in 1979 as the league’s all-time leading rusher, with 11,236 yards.
However, Simpson’s post-football life has been plagued by legal troubles. In 1994, he was charged with the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of the charges in a highly publicized trial, but he was later found liable for the deaths in a civil suit brought by the families of the victims.
Stacy Keibler is an American actress, dancer and model. She is best known for her work as a professional wrestler with WWE, where she performed under the ring name Stacy Keibler.
Keibler was born on October 14, 1979 in Baltimore, Maryland. She began her career as a ballet dancer, before transitioning to modeling and acting. In 2001, she began working for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), now known as WWE. She quickly became one of the most popular wrestlers in the company, thanks to her good looks and impressive wrestling skills.
Reynolds played football at Florida State University in the 1950s before injuries ended his career. After winning an acting award in college, he got a scholarship to study at a New York institute. Hollywood beckoned in the ‘60s, and Reynolds worked on several TV shows before the movie Deliverance made him a star.
He continues to act today. Reynolds has always been known for his outgoing personality and good sense of humor. In recent years, he has become more outspoken about his love of acting and his Christian faith.
George Uecker is a name that is synonymous with baseball in the state of Wisconsin. He has been the radio play-by-play voice of the Milwaukee Brewers for over four decades, and his folksy style and humor have made him a beloved figure in the state.
Uecker actually had a brief major league career as a catcher with the Milwaukee Braves, but it was cut short due to injuries. His real talents lay in his ability to communicate and entertain, which led to him being cast as the lead character in the sitcom Mr. Belvedere. He also had a memorable role in the 1989 film Major League.
Decathlon champion Bruce Jenner became a household name in the 1980s thanks to his starring role in the hit TV series CHiPs. But it wasn’t until 2014 that the world learned of his true identity – that he is a transgender woman.
Since coming out, Jenner has been an outspoken advocate for the transgender community, raising awareness about the challenges and discrimination they face. She has also been working on her own transition, and in 2017 she debuted her new look and name – Caitlyn Jenner.
Andre the Giant
Roussimoff’s size was the result of a condition called gigantism, which caused him to grow to an abnormal height. He began experiencing symptoms of the condition when he was a teenager, and by the time he was 22, he was 7’2″ tall.
His size made it difficult for him to find work, so he decided to become a professional wrestler. He quickly became popular with fans, thanks to his size and his gentle personality. He wrestled under the name “André the Giant” and became one of the most famous wrestlers in the world.
In addition to his work as an actor, Jim Brown is also a political activist. He has been outspoken on a number of issues, including racism and police brutality. In 2016, he spoke out against the shooting of unarmed black men by police officers. “We’re not going to take it anymore,” he said.
“We’re tired of seeing our young men shot down in the street.” Brown has also been active in supporting candidates for office who share his views on these issues. In 2017, he endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. “Bernie is the only candidate who is truly fighting for justice for all Americans,” he said. “He’s the only one who understands what we’re up against.”
Lou Ferrigno is an American actor, bodybuilder, and philanthropist. He is best known for his role as The Incredible Hulk in the 1977 television series of the same name.
Ferrigno was born with a hearing impairment and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. He began weight training at age 13, and by age 21 he won the IFBB Mr. America title. He went on to win the IFBB Mr. Universe title twice.
Wayne was a trailblazer in the film industry, and his work is still revered today. He helped to create some of the most iconic characters in movie history, and his performances are timeless.
Wayne was also a gifted athlete, and he played football at USC before an injury ended his career. He passed away in 1979, but his legacy continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers and audiences alike.
Smith was a star at Michigan State before becoming an All-Pro defensive end in the NFL. The Super Bowl winner retired after nine years and began acting in commercials. We know Smith, who died in 2011, as Moses Hightower from the Police Academy comedies.
But did you know that Smith was also an accomplished stage actor? He starred in a number of Broadway productions, including “The Wiz” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Terry Bradshaw is a retired professional football player who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989. He played for the Pittsburg Steelers from 1970 to 1983, winning four Super Bowl championships.
After his retirement, he became an announcer for NFL games. He has also appeared in various commercials, TV shows and movies. His most notable work was alongside his friend Burt Reynolds in comedies like Hooper and Smokey and the Bandit II.
It’s no secret that basketball legend Rick Fox is a ladies man. Even before he was winning championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, Fox was already turning heads with his good looks and undeniable charm.
And it seems that even now, years after his playing days are over, Fox still has a way with the ladies. Recently, the 50-year-old was spotted out on a date with up-and-coming model Jessica White. The two were first seen together last month, when they attended a friend’s wedding together. And then earlier this week, they were spotted enjoying a romantic dinner at Catch LA.