It’s difficult to say goodbye to spotlight once you tastes it in your life. Once the career of a sportsperson ends, his heart starts yearning for the same roaring crowd and fans’ adulation. To achieve this, the best option available for sports people is to try their hand at film.
There are many famous sportsmen and women who have made the great leap from the sports stadium to the Hollywood arena and who have also played well-known roles in the film arena. Some played serious, some funny, while many of them just wanted another source of money. Some came and went, others stayed for longer, and a select few made a big name for themselves. Here are some of the best.
10 Athletes Who Jumped Into Films
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
His remarkable achievements in bodybuilding – a 3-time Mr. Universe and a 7-time Mr. Olympia – brought him into the film industry, but movies made him a worldwide star. The Terminator was a professional bodybuilder before he came to Hollywood in 1970 as Hercules in the 1970 of the same name. His famous role as the Terminator, came later, before he went into politics as Governor of California. He is currently shooting The Expendables 2, and being famous was his big dream, which he fulfilled through bodybuilding, movies and politics.
2. Bruce Lee
Lee was a child actor before he became a cinema icon. The martial arts icon of Hollywood studied martial arts as a professional. His untimely death is one of the greatest tragedies of the film industry, and made martial arts popular in the industry.
3. Dwayne Johnson
Johnson was a superstar of the World Wrestling Federation and spent 17 years in the sport before he appeared in film roles. He played his major role in the sequel to The Mummy Returns. There is a long list of mega hits as impressive as his sporting career, including being the star of Fast & Furious.
4. Chuck Norris
In real life, Chuck Norris was an athlete, a karate champion, before facing Bruce Lee in the role of the villain in the 1972 film Return of the Dragon.
5. Carl Weathers
Before he played the memorable role of Apollo Creed in Rocky Film in 1976, Carl was a successful football linebacker in the Oakland Riders & Canadian Football League. Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the Rocky sequels are some of his other films.
6. Jason Statham
Statham was a member of the British National Diving Squad for 12 years.
7. Jim Brown
Jim Brown was a successful running back in the National Football League. He came to Hollywood in 1965 and starred in famous movies like The Dirty Dozen, The Running Man and Any Given Sunday.
8. Hulk Hogan
The villain of Rocky III, Hulk is a famous WWE wrestler who was recently fired for his racist recordings.
9. Michael Jordan
Yes, Michael Jordan too, albeit in a short stint. The basketball player, one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, starred in the film Space Jam.
10. John Wayne
A surprising entry, perhaps: it is a surprise to many that film legend John Wayne played football for USC before he entered the film business; the reason for his departure from his football career was injury.