Many athletes have basked in the limelight of competitive sports at the highest level and gone on to shine like stars in Hollywood. If you’re a fan of these athletes-turned-actors, think you match each athlete in this quiz to a movie they appeared in? Grab that bag of popcorn and let’s find out!
Sport: Football. Brian “The Boz” Bosworth played three seasons in the National Football League (for the Seattle Seahawks) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015. He began his acting career with Stone Cold and appeared in several minor roles in other films and television series.
Sport: Wrestling and Football. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson probably has wrestling in his genes – both his father and maternal grandfather were professional wrestlers. He has been called the greatest fighter the game has ever produced. His first major acting role was as the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Scorpion King (2002).
Sport: Football. Howie Long played with the Los Angeles Raiders when they won the Super Bowl in 1984. In 2000, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Along with acting, Long became a sports analyst after retiring from the game.
Sport: Football. Terry Bradshaw is a four-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is an inductee of both the College Football Hall of Fame (1996) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1989). He has had several TV show appearances, and among his film roles is one in Failure to Launch (2006), in which he appears nude.
Sport: Football. Ed Marinaro placed second in 1971 when Pat Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy. In 1991, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. After football, he moved on to acting and has appeared in several TV series.
Sport: Football and Lacrosse. Jim Brown is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. Unknown to most persons, however, is the fact that he was also a star lacrosse player. Brown quit sports at the height of his career to pursue acting.
Sport: Diving. At the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Jason Statham competed for England, taking part in three separate diving events. He followed this up with a successful modelling career and then made his move into action movie stardom. He joined The Fast and the Furious franchise with a cameo appearance at the end of movie number 6 and went to star in installments 7 and 8.
Sport: Football. Fred Dryer’s NFL career began in 1969 and lasted for 13 years, during which time he played in a total of 176 games. He is a College Football Hall of Fame inductee as of 1997.
Sport: Basketball. At 7 feet 1 inch and 325 pounds, Shaquille O'Neal was one of the heaviest players ever in the NBA. Aside from basketball and acting, O’Neal is also a rapper, with his very first album, Shaq Diesel, being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Sport: Martial Arts. Michael Jai White has mastered several forms of martial arts and has attained black belt status in seven different martial arts styles. As an actor, his appearance as Spawn makes him the first black actor to portray a major super hero in a major feature film.
Sport: Figure Skating. Norwegian-born Sonja Henie is a 10-time World Champion; six-time European Champion; and three-time Olympic Champion in figure skating. She became an actress after her skating career ended and enjoyed huge success with several box office hits.
Sport: Football. Professionally, Rosey Grier played for both the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams. He became a bodyguard once his football career ended and was assigned to guarding Ethel Kennedy when Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. He is credited with subduing the shooter.
Sport: Martial Arts. Apart from martial arts and acting, Chuck Norris has also served in the military, where he became a decorated member of the United States Air Force. Most recently, outlandish “Chuck Norris Facts” have turned him into an internet sensation. An example of one such “fact”: Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice!
Sport: Boxing. Tony Danza attended college on a wrestling scholarship and became a professional boxer (“Dangerous” Tony Danza) after he successfully completed his degree in history education. Acting came next, and Danza had his best known roles two TV series: first as a boxer in Taxi (1978 – 1982) and then as a housekeeper in Who's the Boss? (1984 – 1992).
Sport: Basketball. In 1996, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was listed among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, with some players and coaches calling him the greatest player the game has ever produced. His first acting role involved a fight scene with martial arts legend Bruce Lee in the 1972 film Game of Death.
Sport: Bodybuilding. Lou Ferrigno enjoyed a successful bodybuilding career, winning the Mr. Universe title in 1972 and placing second in the Mr. Olympia competition in 1974. His training partner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, placed first. He is, for many, the iconic version of The Hulk and has even done (uncredited) voice acting for the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sport: Basketball. Ray Allen earned a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a member of the USA’s basketball team. He played on two championship teams in the NBA: Boston Celtics (2008) and Miami Heat (2013). Allen played the lead role in Spike Lee’s He Got Game and was greeted with very positive reviews for his efforts.
Sport: Wrestling. Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea, rose to worldwide wrestling fame in the 1980s. He has appeared in several feature films, TV shows, commercials and video games. Hogan made his film debut as Thunderlips, an antagonist, in Rocky III (1982).
Sport: Swimming. Esther Williams was a championship swimmer destined for the 1940 Olympics, but she lost the chance due to the outbreak of WWII (and subsequent cancelling of the Games). She turned to acting and went on to become one of the most successful actresses of her era.
Sport: Wrestling. Apart from his memorable role as Clubber Lang in Rocky III, Lawrence “Mr. T” Tureaud is also well-known for playing B. A. Baracus in The A-Team TV series (1983 – 1987). Before his acting career, Mr. T was both a bouncer and a sought-after bodyguard.
Sport: Soccer. English-born Vinnie Jones cultivated a “hard man” image on the soccer field, which led to various forms of disciplinary action being meted out to him. Keeping in line with this image, he played the “tough guy” role in most of his film appearances.
Sport: Bodybuilding and Weightlifting/Powerlifting. In 1967, at age 20, Arnold Schwarzenegger became the youngest person to win the Mr. Universe bodybuilding competition. He went on with both that and the Mr. Olympia title several times before landing his first leading role in a feature film– as the title character in the 1970 low-budget fantasy movie Hercules in New York. Other Notable Films: Conan the Barbarian (1982), The Terminator (1984), Predator (1987), Total Recall (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), True Lies (1994)
Sport: Wrestling. Known in wrestling as “Hot Rod” and “Rowdy,” Roddy Piper has proven to be one of the most entertaining characters the sport has ever seen. He took those talents into acting, and starred in some memorable roles.
Sport: Basketball. Harlem Globetrotter and NBA star Wilt Chamberlain holds the record as the only player to ever score 100 points in a single NBA game. On the big screen, he played Bombaata, the villain, in this film which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role.
Sport: Wrestling. John Cena began his professional wrestling career in 1999 and went on to become a many-time champion in the ring. He has won the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Championship thirteen times.
Sport: Football. During his football career, Carl Weathers played for both the Oakland Raiders (National Football League) and the B.C. Lions (Canadian Football League). He has also been a prolific film and television actor, with his most memorable role perhaps being that of heavyweight champion Apollo Creed in the Rocky film franchise.
Sport: Soccer. French professional soccer player Eric Cantona made his mark on the game at the international level playing for the French national team. He also played for several clubs in France and England, ending his career in the Premier League playing for Manchester United.
Sport: Surfing. In 1992, at age 20, Kelly Slater became the youngest person to be crowned World Surf League Champion. He won the title several more times after that, then, in 2011, he became the oldest person to do so – at age 39.
Sport: Basketball. Canadian-Bahamian basketball player Rick Fox played for both the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association. After his basketball career, he went on to become an accomplished businessman.
Sport: Football. Charles "Bubba" Smith has been a College Football Hall of Famer since 1988. In the National Football League, he played for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers. His acting career began after his retirement from football and he is best known for the role of Moses Hightower in the Police Academy film franchise.
Sport: Basketball and Wrestling. Dennis “The Worm” Rodman first played for the Detroit Pistons (1986 – 1993) before moving on to the San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks. He was inducted into the Basketball hall of Fame in 2011, the same year that the Pistons retired his No. 10 jersey.
Sport: Football and Martial Arts. Fred “The Hammer” Williamson spent most of his professional football career in the American Football League. Within the film industry, he has been a prolific actor, director and producer. Other Notable Films: Black Caesar (1973), Hell Up in Harlem (1973), From Dusk till Dawn (1996), Starsky & Hutch (2004)
Sport: Football. Lawrence Taylor is often referred to as one of the greatest players ever in the National Football League. His entire NFL career was spent with the New York Giants. In the film In Hell, Taylor stars as Inmate 451 opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Sport: Basketball and Baseball. Chuck Connors is one of the few athletes who has played in both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. He holds the distinction of being the very first professional basketball player to break a backboard. After basketball and baseball, Connors went on to enjoy a very prolific 40-year acting career.
Sport: Wrestling, Martial Arts and Bodybuilding. Dave Bautista is known by the ominous moniker “Drax the Destroyer” in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. In the world of wrestling he has gone by the names Batista, Khan, Leviathan and Deacon Batista.
Sport: Swimming and Water Polo. Johnny Weissmuller won several gold medals at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, in Paris and Amsterdam, respectively. He also won a bronze medal as part of the USA’s 1924 water polo team. During his acting career, Weissmuller starred in 12 Tarzan films and 13 Jungle Jim films, among many others.
Sport: Skateboarding. Apart from feature films, this skateboarding professional has appeared in several television films and series, including 20 episodes of TNT’s Memphis Beat. Jones has also done voice acting on several video games.
Sport: Boxing and Kickboxing. Randall "Tex" Cobb started off his career as a professional athlete by competing in kickboxing. He later made the switch to boxing in the heavyweight division. His acting career has spanned both films and TV series.
Sport: Basketball and Baseball. Michael Jordan (a.k.a. “MJ,” “His Airness” and “Air Jordan”) is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player ever. Along with his glowing NBA career, Jordan also has two Olympic gold medals earned with Team USA at the Los Angeles (1984) and Barcelona (1992) Olympic Games.
Sport: Football. Terry Crews has gone from being a defensive end and linebacker in the National Football League to being a big-name action movie star. What most people may not know, however, is that Crews has an artistic side and has done illustration and portraiture as a way to support his family. Also, he was named among several people as TIME Person of the Year for 2017 by TIME Magazine.
Sport: Ice Hockey. Cam Neely became a Hockey Hall of Famer in 2005. During his career he played for both the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. He appeared in three films directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring Jim Carrey: Dumb and Dumber, Me, Myself and Irene (2000) and Dumb and Dumber To (2014).
Sports: Football and Wrestling. Alex Karras was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991. He had two stints playing in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions between 1958 and 1970. One of his most memorable (though minor) film roles was that of Mongo in Mel Brook’s 1974 film Blazing Saddles.
Sport: Swimming. Clarence “Buster” Crabbe is an Olympic gold medalist in the 400 m freestyle (1932 in Los Angeles). He also won a bronze medal in the 1,500 m freestyle at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games. During his acting career, Crabbe portrayed comic book heroes: Tarzan, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.
Sport: Wrestling. André the Giant was a French professional wrestler who stood 7 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 520 pounds. His size was attributed to a condition known as gigantism. While André the Giant acted in several films and TV series, his most memorable role was that of Fezzik in The Princess Bride.
Sport: Football. O. J. “The Juice” Simpson won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 while playing for the University of Southern California (USC Trojans). He played in the National Football League for 11 seasons, winning various awards along the way. He is most remembered, however, for his trial and acquittal for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson (his ex-wife) and her friend Ron Goldman.
Sport: Martial Arts. Not only was Bruce Lee an expert at martial arts, he is actually the founder of a martial art style called Jeet Kune Do, which is described as a type of Chinese Kung Fu. Apart from martial arts and acting, Lee was also a film director and a philosopher.
Sport: Boxing. When Mike Tyson defeated Trevor Berbick in a 2nd round TKO on November 22, 1986, he became the youngest boxer ever to hold a heavyweight title. He went on to unify all three heavyweight title belts: WBC, WBA and IBF.
Sport: Baseball. Bob Uecker hit 14 home runs during his Major League Baseball career, one of which was famously made off of Sandy Koufax (who eventually became a Hall of Famer). Uecker is also a noted real-life sports broadcaster and it is a role he plays in the Major League films.
Sport: Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts. Her role as Mallory Kane in Haywire marked Gina Carano’s feature film debut. Before delving into acting, Carano had chalked up a pretty impressive record in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts. Other Notable Films: Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Deadpool (2016)
Sport: Football. For his entire 15-year NFL career, Ray Nitschke played for the Green Bay Packers (1958 – 1972). He was with the Packers when they won five NFL championships and Super Bowls I and II. They retired his number (66) in 1983.