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16 Famous Actors Who Started Their Careers As Professional Athletes
The Rock was a FOOTBALL PLAYER???by Ehis Osifo
Ever go down a Wiki-hole about your fave actors, only to find out they lived a WHOLE-ASS LIFE before you came to know them on the big and silver screen? Well, these actors below used to be athletes (!!!!), and I decided to share my learnings with you, 'cause IDK, I thought it was interesting:
1. Nnamdi Asomugha was a cornerback in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the San Francisco 49ers. He's now an actor/producer, and his most recent projects include Sylvie's Love and Crown Heights:
Robert B. Stanton / NFL, Amazon Studios
Fun fact: He's the husband of Kerry Washington.
2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was a college football player for the University of Miami and a professional wrestler for the WWE. He's now an actor, and his most recent projects include Jungle Cruise and Hobbs & Shaw:
Collegiate Images / Getty Images, Getty Images, Universal Pictures
Fun fact: He's one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.
3. LeBron James is a forward in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers — previously the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's also an actor/producer, and his most recent projects include Trainwreck and the upcoming Space Jam sequel:
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images, Universal Pictures
4. John McEnroe was a professional tennis player. He currently portrays himself in film and television, and most recently he narrated Never Have I Ever:
Fox Photos / Getty Images, Lara Solanki / Netflix
5. Chuck Norris was a martial artist. He's currently an actor/producer and his most recent projects include The Expendables 2 and Hawaii Five-0:
Nik Wheeler / Getty Images, CBS
6. Uzo Aduba was a track star while attending Boston University. She's currently an actor, and her most recent projects include Orange Is the New Black and Mrs. America:
Paul Marotta / Getty Images, Netflix
Fun fact: She participated in the 2015 Boston Marathon and completed it in five hours!
7. Terry Crews was a linebacker in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams, the San Diego Chargers, and a few other teams. He's currently a host/actor, and his most recent projects include Brooklyn Nine-Nine and America's Got Talent:
Taylor Hill / FilmMagic, NBC
Fun fact: He appeared in Katy Perry's music video for "Swish Swish."
8. Jason Statham was a diver on Britain's national team. He's currently an actor and his most recent projects include Hobbs & Shaw and The Meg:
BBC, Warner Bros.
Fun fact: He appeared as a diver in Calvin Harris's music video for "Summer."
9. Amanda Schull was a member of the corps de ballet in the San Francisco Ballet. She's currently an actor, and her most recent projects include Suits and 12 Monkeys:
Columbia Pictures, USA
Fun fact: She appeared as the main character in Center Stage before joining the corps de ballet for SFB.
10. Kevin Garnett was a center in the NBA for (most notably) the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. His most recent project was Uncut Gems, where he played a fictionalized version of himself:
Jared Wickerham / Getty Images, A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection
Fun fact: This was his first acting role.
11. Dave Bautista was a professional wrestler for the WWE. He's currently an actor, and his most recent projects include Guardians of the Galaxy and Dune:
Leon Halip / WireImage, Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection
12. John Cena was a professional wrestler for the WWE and is still technically listed on their active roster. But he's mostly transitioned to being an actor, and his most recent projects include Blockers and Bumblebee:
Ethan Miller / Getty Images, Universal Pictures
Fun fact: He fought against Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson back in their wrestling heyday.
13. Gina Carano was a professional MMA fighter. She's currently an actor, and her most recent projects include Deadpool and The Mandalorian:
Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images, Disney+
14. Kevin Nash was a professional wrestler for the WWE. He's currently an actor, and his most recent projects include Magic Mike and Chick Fight:
WWE, Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection
15. Jason Lee was a professional skateboarder. He's currently an actor, and his most notable projects include The Incredibles and My Name Is Earl:
Marsaili Mcgrath / Getty Images, NBC
16. And Rick Fox was a forward in the NBA for the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. He's currently an actor, and his most recent projects include Greenleaf and K.C. Undercover:
Kirby Lee / Getty Images, OWN
Who are some famous actors who you were surprised to find out were pro athletes? Let us know in the comments below!
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