Some star athletes have proven they have what it takes to perform on screen as well as the field or court. Here are 17 sports figures who successfully transitioned into acting careers:
1. LeBron James
NBA superstar LeBron James showed comedic chops in films like Trainwreck and Space Jam: A New Legacy.
2. Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson leveraged his wrestling fame into becoming one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors.
3. Terry Crews
After an NFL career, funnyman Terry Crews found his calling doing comedies like White Chicks and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
4. Jason Statham
Jason Statham competed as a diver for England before breaking out as a rugged action hero in The Transporter films.
5. Alex Karras
Alex Karras pursued acting after a great NFL career, starring in classic comedy Blazing Saddles.
6. Chuck Norris
Martial arts expert Chuck Norris seamlessly translated his physical skills to cinematic fight scenes.
7. O.J. Simpson
Before infamy, football legend O.J. Simpson acted in popular films like the Naked Gun spoofs.
8. Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers played for the Oakland Raiders before portraying Apollo Creed in the Rocky films.
9. Dave Bautista
Wrestler Dave Bautista smoothly transitioned into comedic and action roles in the Guardians of the Galaxy films.
10. John Cena
WWE superstar John Cena successfully crossed over into movie comedies like Trainwreck and Blockers.
11. Jim Brown
NFL fullback Jim Brown displayed imposing presence in films like The Dirty Dozen before his football career.
12. Shaquille O’Neal
Basketball center Shaquille O’Neal transitioned to movies in the 1990s, starring in hits like Kazaam.
13. Andre the Giant
A famed pro wrestler, Andre the Giant memorably acted in The Princess Bride.
14. Ronda Rousey
After UFC dominance, Ronda Rousey pursued roles in action franchises like The Expendables and Fast & Furious.
15. Gina Carano
Mixed martial artist Gina Carano successfully converted her MMA skills into an acting career in films like Haywire.
16. Bruce Lee
Martial arts legend Bruce Lee became a global cinematic icon due to films like Enter the Dragon.
17. Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan incorporated comedic physicality into martial arts films like Drunken Master after a brief career in sports.
Multitalented Sports and Screen Stars
These athletes demonstrated remarkable abilities to expand their talents into the acting sphere. Their natural gifts translated impressively to the big and small screen.