Our Favorite Athletes Turned Actors

Most sport seasons are officially starting, or already have, to ramp up – YAY! Football, both college & pro, is in full-swing, bringing with it passionate tailgaters. Any bets on who is going to make it to the super bowl 2017 guys? Baseball is still going strong, and we can expect an exciting finale in the world series come October. Along with the conclusion to the baseball season, hockey season is also beginning and we are already picturing all of the big hits, fights and loose teeth scattering across the ice.

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Meanwhile, we also can’t wait to watch the US Soccer Team qualify (hopefully) for the world cup over the next few months. Though sporadic, the games promise to be thrilling to watch. All of these sports have us thinking more about our favorite athletes turned actors. We loved seeing them on the field — being BOSSES. So we can’t stop our pulse from racing when they retired and turn to acting, especially since we get to see them out of gear on screen.

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Our Top 10 Male Athletes Turned Actors

1. Chuck Norris

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Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist, and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do. Norris appeared in a number of action films, such as Way of the Dragon, in which he starred alongside Bruce Lee, and was The Cannon Group’s leading star in the 1980s. He played the starring role in the television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 until 2001. His most current big name success is his role in The Expendables 2 as Booker in 2012. Since 2005 Norris has been widely associated with an internet meme which documents fictional and often absurd feats associated with him.
2. Bubba Smith
bubba-smith-300 Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith was an American professional football player who became an actor after his retirement from the sport. He first came into prominence at Michigan State University, where he twice earned All-American honors as a defensive end on the Spartans football team. Playing a major role in a 10–10 tie with Notre Dame in 1966 that was billed as a “The Game of the Century.” He was one of only three players to have his jersey number retired by the program. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He played nine years in the National Football League with the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers. The first selection of the 1967 NFL Draft, he was the Colts’ starting left defensive end for five seasons who played in Super Bowls III and V, the latter with the winning side. During his acting career, he mainly specialized in comedic roles in films, television advertisements and programs. He started off his acting career with initial guest appearances on prime time TV shows including Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels and Eight is Enough. He is most well known for his role as Moses Hightower in the Police Academy series.
3. Rick Fox

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Ulrich Alexander “Rick” Fox is a Canadian television actor and retired professional basketball player. He played college basketball at University of North Carolina and graduated with as a leader in all-time school steals leader and games played leader. After playing a few seasons with the Celtics he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. He went on to win three championships playing for them and retired in 2004. He’s most well known for his role as Chick Deagan in He Got Game starring Denzel Washington, and his role as Scholfield in Resurrection. He also played roles in the movie Holes starring Shia LaBeouf as well as in tv shows One Tree Hill and Oz.
4. Terry Crews
 cdn4-static-ovimg-1 Terry Alan Crews is an American actor and former American football player. He was drafted to the Los Angeles Rams in 1991 He is perhaps best known for playing Julius on the UPN/CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris and for his appearances in Old Spice commercials, as well as films such as Friday After Next, White ChicksBridesmaids, Idiocracy, Gamer, and The Expendables. Crews starred as Nick Kingston-Persons in the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? and as himself in the BET reality series The Family Crews. As of 2014, he plays NYPD Sergeant Terry Jeffords on the Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine and hosts the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
5. Jim Brown
mv5bmtm4mduzndu3nf5bml5banbnxkftztcwnzg3mti0na-_v1_uy317_cr340214317_al_ James Nathaniel “Jim” Brown is an American former professional football player and actor. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine year career as a running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he was named by Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest professional athletes in the history of the United States. He’s best known for his role as Fireball in The Running Man starring Arnold Swarzenegger. However, he is also appears in The Dirty Dozen, Any Given Sunday, and Mars Attacks!
6.Bruce Lee

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Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time, and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education, at the University of Washington, in Seattle and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. His most notable films include Enter the Dragon, Return of the Dragon, The Chinese Connection, and The Big Boss.
7. John Wayne
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Marion Mitchell Morrison, better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. An Academy Award-winner, Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. An enduring American icon, he epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height. Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, but his family relocated to the greater Los Angeles area when he was nine years old. He found work at local film studios when he lost his football scholarship to USC as a result of a bodysurfing accident. Initially working for the Fox Film Corporation, he mostly appeared in small bit parts. His first leading role came in the widescreen epic The Big Trail, which led to leading roles in numerous films throughout the 1930s, many of them in the western genre. His career rose to further heights in 1939, with John Ford’s Stagecoach making him an instant superstar. Wayne would go on to star in 142 pictures. Biographer Ronald Davis says: John Wayne personified for millions the nation’s frontier heritage.
8. Lawrence Taylor

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 Lawrence Julius Taylor, nicknamed “L.T.”, is a Hall of Fame former American football player. Taylor played his entire professional career as a linebacker for the New York Giants in the National Football League. He is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of football, and has been ranked as the greatest defensive player in league history by former players, coaches, media members, and news outlets such as the NFL Network, and Sporting News. After an All-American career at the University of North Carolina, Taylor was drafted by the Giants as the second overall selection in the 1981 NFL Draft. Although controversy surrounded the selection due to Taylor’s contract demands, the two sides quickly resolved the issue. Taylor won several defensive awards after his rookie season. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Taylor was a disruptive force at outside linebacker, and is credited with changing the pass rushing schemes, offensive line play, and offensive formations used in the NFL. Taylor produced double-digit sacks each season from 1984 through 1990, including a career high of 20.5 in 1986. He is most known for his appearances portraying himself in The Waterboy, When in Rome, Any Given Sunday, and a documentary about his career – LT: The Life and Times.

 

9. Dwayne Johnson

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Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American-Canadian actor, producer and professional wrestler. Johnson was a college football player for the University of Miami, winning a national championship on the 1991 Miami Hurricanes football team. He later played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, and was cut two months into the 1995 season. This led him to become a professional wrestler like his grandfather, Peter Maivia, and his father, Rocky Johnson. Originally billed as “Rocky Maivia”, he gained mainstream fame in the World Wrestling Federation from 1996 to 2004, and was the first third-generation wrestler in the company’s history. He returned to wrestling part-time for WWE from 2011 to 2013. Johnson is widely considered one of the all-time greatest professional wrestlers. Headlining numerous pay-per-views over his career and one of the top box office draws of all time, he headlined five WrestleManias. He has had seventeen championship reigns in WWE, including ten as a world champion, winning the WWF/E Championship eight times and the WCW/World Championship twice. He is known for  his appearances in roles in Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, San Andreas and stars in HBO’s tv-show Ballers.
10. LeBron James

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LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player who plays with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 8 in and weighing 250 lb, he has started at the small forward and power forward positions. James has won two NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He has also been selected to 11 NBA All-Star teams, 10 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams, and is the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer. James played high school basketball at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar. After graduating, he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cavaliers. James led Cleveland to the franchise’s first Finals appearance in 2007, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. In 2010, he left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in a highly publicized ESPN special titled The Decision. In his first season in Miami, the Heat reached the Finals but lost to the Dallas Mavericks. Many are unaware of James’ budding acting and producing career in the film industry. He started by showing up in single tv-series episodes as himself such as in Entourage in 2009. More recently though, he appeared in Trainwreck – the successful Amy Schumer film. We can’t wait to see his future the film industry!

…. and that’s a WRAP! 

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