Top 35 Athletes Turned Actors of All Time

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Best Athlete Actors

Ray Allen
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes when athletes retire they decide to hit the big screen and take a shot at acting. There are successful athlete actors and then there are others who are absolutely horrible. It’s very rare to see someone become successful at being both an actor and an athlete.

A few of these guys had long careers in the big leauges but others didn’t even make it to the pros of their respective sport. I’ll go ahead and throw out an honorable mention for a current athlete to Ray Allen in He Got Game. He successfully played his role but he hasn't exactly had any acting appearances since then.

In case you couldn’t tell, a lot of these are older movies. Clearly, today’s athletes are more concerned with becoming reality TV stars and skipping the acting classes. I’m sorry Brett Favre, you just didn’t cut it in There’s Something About Mary and Shaq definitely did not cut it in Kazaam.

So, can you think of some recent athletes that have become movie stars? It’s pretty hard to be talented in all aspects of life. There's even one female that is featured on the list. Let’s just say that some guys probably should have stuck to their sports contracts.

I’ll stop talking about the bad athlete actors and let you get on with the slideshow. Don’t be surprised if you don’t know some of their shows, but take a YouTube search to see their acting skills. Enjoy!

Interested in more athletes that have made on-screen appearances? Or do you think some athletes deserve a chance on the big screen? Check out:

20 Athletes with Horrible Reality TV Appearances

15 Athletes who Deserve Their Own Reality TV Show

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Honorable Mention: Ray Allen

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Honorable Mention: Ray Allen

Honorable Mention: Ray Allen
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35. Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain actor
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35. Wilt Chamberlain

35. Wilt Chamberlain
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34. Howie Long

howie long actor
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
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34. Howie Long

34. Howie Long
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33. Roosevelt Grier

Roosevelt Grier actor
Flickr Creative Commons
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33. Roosevelt Grier

33. Roosevelt Grier
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32. Joe Namath

Joe Namath
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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32. Joe Namath

32. Joe Namath
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31. Esther Williams

Esther Williams actress
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31. Esther Williams

31. Esther Williams
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30. Terry Crews

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30. Terry Crews

30. Terry Crews
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29. Bruce Lee

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29. Bruce Lee

29. Bruce Lee
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28. Chuck Norris

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28. Chuck Norris

28. Chuck Norris
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27. O.J. Simpson

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27. O.J. Simpson

27. O.J. Simpson
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26. Johnny Weissmuller

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26. Johnny Weissmuller

26. Johnny Weissmuller
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25. Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner
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25. Bruce Jenner

25. Bruce Jenner
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24. Hulk Hogan

Source: wikimedia
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24. Hulk Hogan

24. Hulk Hogan
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23. Alex Karras

Alex Karras
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23. Alex Karras

23. Alex Karras
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22. Terry Bradshaw

Source: Matthew Emmons- USA Today Sports
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22. Terry Bradshaw

22. Terry Bradshaw
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21. Rick Fox

Flickr Creative Commons
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21. Rick Fox

21. Rick Fox
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20. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Source: Kirby Lee- USA Today Sports
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20. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

20. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
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19. Jason Statham

Jason Statham
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19. Jason Statham

19. Jason Statham
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18. Lou Ferrigno

Lou Ferrigno
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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18. Lou Ferrigno

18. Lou Ferrigno
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17. Brian Bosworth

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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17. Brian Bosworth

17. Brian Bosworth
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16. Stacy Keibler

Source: wikimedia
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16. Stacy Kiebler

16. Stacy Kiebler
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15. Bubba Smith

Bubba Smith
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15. Bubba Smith

15. Bubba Smith
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14. Burt Reynolds

Wikimedia Commons
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14. Burt Reynolds

14. Burt Reynolds
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13. Jim Brown

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
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13. Jim Brown

13. Jim Brown
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12. Chuck Connors

Source: wikimedia
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12. Chuck Connors

12. Chuck Connors
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11. Fred Williamson

Source: wikimedia
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11. Fred Williamson

11. Fred Williamson
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10. André René Roussimoff (Andre the Giant)

10. André René Roussimoff (Andre the Giant)
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10. André René Roussimoff (Andre the Giant)

10. André René Roussimoff (Andre the Giant)
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9. Fred Dryer

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9. Fred Dryer

9. Fred Dryer
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8. Ed Marinaro

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8. Ed Marinaro

8. Ed Marinaro
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7. Bob Uecker

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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7. Bob Uecker

7. Bob Uecker
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6. Jason Lee

Jason Lee
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6. Jason Lee

6. Jason Lee
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5. Mark Harmon

Source: Jayne Kamin Oncea- USA Today Sports
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5. Mark Harmon

5. Mark Harmon
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4. Merlin Olsen

Wikimedia Commons
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4. Merlin Olsen

4. Merlin Olsen
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3. Carl Weathers

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3. Carl Weathers

3. Carl Weathers
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2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

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2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
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1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Flickr Creative Commons
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1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Around the Web

  • alrotundo

    From pro athlete to celebrity pimp. Way to go, Bruce!

    • 10thman

      lol, c’mon, Bruce is a nice guy

  • johhny

    Is this “top” based on athletic career, acting career or some combination? Whatever it is, this list seems arbitrary at best, and probably poorly researched.

    Where is Vinnie Jones?

    wrt Statham… the Pink Panther is one of his best appearances? And so is Crank? Really? What about Lock Stock? and Snatch?

    Professional Wrestlers are not professional or amateur athletes. They do not compete. They are actors. They don’t belong on this list.

    It is not “ironic” that Andre the Giant died of congestive heart failure. Misusing that word is a disgraceful and an insult to journalists everywhere.

    Arnold… sigh. If bodybuilding qualifies as a sport, and whatever Arnold does on screen qualifies as acting, then you cannot justify leaving Michael Jordan off of this list. His performance as an athlete far outdoes whatever Arnold accomplished, and Michael’s performance in Space Jam is on par with Arnold’s in Terminator or Kindergarten Cop.

    Next time you write something like this, please consult me first. Hopefully we can avoid this sort of embarrassment in the future.

    • 10thman

      I wish I could give you multiple votes for your comment.
      The writer must have phoned it in while driving to the beach.

      • michigan1209

        Sipping a cafe latte at Stormbugs perhaps?

        I know spelling is not correct but done for emphasis!

    • Valarie

      “It is not “ironic” that Andre the Giant died of congestive heart
      failure. Misusing that word is a disgraceful and an insult to
      journalists everywhere.”

      The irony of Andre the Giant dying of congestive heart failure is that he had a huge heart (in the figurative sense).

      • Dennis Moore

        I think predictably would have a better word choice.

    • smokehill

      You’re right. This “list” is a joke, probably compiled by some thirty-something whose film experience is limited, at best, and doesn’t go back much further than Star Wars.

      Calling pro wrestling or bodybuilding a sport takes a lot of imagination. There are no actual “winners” there since it’s scripted. Bodybuilding is actually competitive, but only in the sense that dog shows or Miss America contests are, since the winner is subjective at best, and more of a judge’s opinion of what looks best, Just because it takes work and training doesn’t make it a sport. Of course calling golf a sport is just as silly. Is an Airborne Ranger in the Army participating in s “sport”? That takes a lot more work than pro wrestling or bodybuilding.

      Apparently the writer doesn’t consider rodeo a sport either, since there are several national champions who had long acting careers, not just diddling around in the industry like Jabbar or Andre the Giant. Primo Carnera acted more than Andre, and was an actual world-class champion boxer, to boot.

      Ever heard of Ben Johnson? Everybody knows the face of this Oscar-winning Western actor, who did over 100 movies & TV appearances over almost 60 years, did stunt work for years as well, and was the World Roping Champion, inducted in the Rodeo Hall of Fame. Apparently those who major in Film & Drama don’t consider rodeo a sport (if they are aware of it at all).

      Ben was hardly the only rodeo champion who did a lot of acting, but he’s certainly one of the best examples of a sportsman-actor, especially compared to some guys who only fiddled about in the minor leagues for a season or two.

      Or how about Slim Pickens, with over 170 movie & TV appearances? He started in rodeo at age 12, as a Bareback bronc rider; saddle bronc rider; rodeo clown and bullfighter and is in the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. His stage name came from his earnings in rodeo — “slim pickings.”

      Or Wilford Brimley — who started out as a rodeo rider before we knew him as an actor for the past 40+ years?

      Jack Warden & Charles Durning were both pro boxers before they were actors, and actually appeared on the same card together at Madison Square Garden.

      Methinks I detect a certain prejudice against athletes who engage in sports a LOT more dangerous and demanding that baseball or football, but just don’t command the bloated salaries and hordes of groupies.

      • ShakingMyHead

        Let us know when you’ve finished your dissertation.

        • denroy3

          He should of wrote the lame article, I got more from this than the slideshow page count rip.

      • msille

        You forgot Bob Hope who started out as a boxer named Packy East

      • Bob Pegram

        You have obviously never played top level tournament golf. What a weekend golfer does and what a PGA Tourning Pro does are two different things.

      • NateW

        I think you did more research for your comment than the original author did for the ‘article’ or whatever you call this disastrous form of writing.

    • Jeff Friedman

      There are a few more obvious omissions. Whatever you may think of O.J., he had a more than decent film career and was, at a minimum, one of the 10 best running backs in NFL history, probably one of the Top 5 with Jim Brown and Barry Sanders the only better ones who immediately come to mind. (I think O.J. was better than Sweetness.) Then there’s Shaq whose film career isn’t exactly stellar, but he did play the title role in “Kazaam.” Wilt had a sizable role in “Conan the Destroyer.” The great Tor Johnson (“The Swedish Angel”) was a charter member of the Ed Wood staple of “actors,” appearing in “Plan Nine from Outer Space,” “Night of the Ghouls,” and “Bride of the Monster.” He even had small roles (sometimes uncredited) in films like “Shadow of the Thin Man,” “The Lemon Drop Kid,” “Road to Rio,” and “Houdini,” among many others. Former S.F. 49er and L.A. Ram, Bernie Casey, played the villain against Cornel Wilde’s protagonist in “Gargoyles” and Felix Leiter in “Never Say Never Again,” the remake of “Thunderball” starring Sean Connery during the period when Roger Moore was Bond. Bernie Casey also appeared in “Revenge of the Nerds” and numerous other films and television shows in a career that lasted until 2006. For those who are younger than I (which should include most of you), Johnny Berardino was a former major league infielder for several clubs who, among other movie roles, played the cop who pulled over Cary Grant for drunk driving in “North by Northwest.” He also had a prolific TV career including spending 30 years portraying Dr. Steve Hardy on “General Hospital.” And last, but surely not least, who could forget Rowdy Roddy Piper, the star of “They Live,” who is still performing steadily? Obviously, I think pro wrestlers do qualify as athletes who turned to acting, but I think it’s ridiculous to include a professional skateboarder on this list, and it’s especially ridiculous to include Arnold at all, much less as Number one, since I don’t regard professional bodybuilding as a sport, and, even if it were, I have yet to see an iota of evidence that Arnold ever engaged in any acting. Side note: again for you youngsters who might not know, not only was Mark Harmon a starting QB for the UCLA Bruins, but his father, Tom, was one of the greatest college RBs ever.

      • Dale Hogue

        Speaking of Cary Grant: he was an acrobat before he was an actor. He was discovered by that gal in the movies who said famously: Why don’t you come up and see me, sometime.” If you remember her, you should remember that story.

      • Dennis Moore

        Your right sweetness was quite the chemical abuser so if he was roiding it would not be shocking.The man took pain killers like they were candy and inhaled laughing gas in his spare time. He died from a kidney disorder of some sort so its possible that old sweetness bears fans is just like Jose Canseco.

    • Kyle Schroeck

      Dwayne Johnson played football for the University of Miami. Terry Bolea (Hogan) and Andre the Giant, not so sure of their previous athletic achievements.

    • chazhands

      Jason Statham’s best film was “The Italian Job.” Case closed.

      • jonathan comer

        “Snatch”. Case reopened.

    • Tom Brooks

      Weight lifting a “sport”, gimme a break. If that’s true the truck lift at any Peterbuilt service center would qualify.

      Pro Wrestlers going from wrestling to acting actually reads, “going from acting to acting.

      • denroy3

        weightlifting is a sport, bodybuilding on the other hand….

        • Tom Brooks

          What does that mean?

          • John Crafton

            There’s a difference between weightlifting and bodybuilding. None of these guys were competitive weightlifters. Two of them were competitive body builders.
            Weightlifting is a competition between people based on physical strength and form. It’s a sport.
            Bodybuilding is a competition between people based on physical appearance and posing. It’s not a sport.
            Does that clear it up?

    • Jayson

      Stand their physique vs any other athlete and they are just as athletic as the next, they just get a higher salary if in the WWE level.

      You’re critiquing minor angry troll points of detail in the writeup. It hardly matters. Chill out a bit and relax.

    • DRA2012

      Who said anything about sports?

      The title of this article is “Top 25 Athletes turned Actors”, not “Top 25 Sportsmen …”. If you don’t think it takes SUPREME athleticism to become one of the world-class bodybuilders, you must not know much about bodybuilding! It takes several HOURS of intense effort EVERY day to pack on muscles like that, far beyond the couple of hours each WEEK one of the typical “Professional Athletes” might exert themselves.

      It seems to me that there is a shortage of females on this list – just off of the top of my head, I recall that Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise, League of their Own), was a member of the US Women’s Olympic Archery team, Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita, League of Extraordinary Gentleman) was a member of Australia’s Women’s National Netball team (plus she & her dad won several yachting championships), and Dani Patrick (CSI:NY & MANY TV advertisements) was a championship Kart racer and Formula UK racecar driver. I known that there are also a couple of B-list actresses that are also MMA champions, but I forget their names.

      • denroy3

        All the same, the list is bad.

    • TaterNutts

      The Rock played football for the University of Miami so yeah he does belong on this list…

    • Dennis Moore

      You were funny till you said Jordans acting in space jam as good as terminator.Jordan sucked playing a basketball player.Robotic Arnold acting as robot while being like one in real life still played a good robot.Jordan should not even be allowed to do his lame underwear commercials either.

    • Patricia

      Sure, maybe what wrestlers do is fake…have you seen them in old age? Their bodies are destroyed…it takes a lot of athleticism to jump around and do that stuff. Jordan was in one movie…and it sucked hard. Bodybuilding is absolutely a sport and Schwarzenegger is pretty much a machine when it comes to his all around success.

  • Swiggy

    Alex Carras: Don’t forget that he put in a great performance as Mongo in Blazing Saddles as well as a good performance in the TV mini-series, Centennial.

    • Babylonandon

      and in “Victor/Victoria” with James Garner and Julie Andrews.

    • Kajun Klown

      I was about to post that Webster might have been a good outlet for him, but Blazzin’ Saddles made him a household name! Mongo like Sheriff Bart

    • XEmmanuelGoldsteinX

      I was just about to post about Centennial and Blazing Saddles!! Being in my mid-30′s those films were both formative in my youth (in two very different ways!). Glad I am not the only one to remember Mr. Carras’ greatest contributions to the big and small screens!

    • John Emory

      And don’t forget his role as the husband in “Babe”

    • Eddie_Baby

      Mongo only pawn… in game of life.

      • bdop4

        My favorite line of his in that film. Thanks!

    • Dale Hogue

      Carras is spelled Karris, I think.

      • glassjaw

        His name was Alex Karras and he just passed away this year. He was one of the best defensive tackles in NFL in late 50′s to mid 60′s. Also suspended by NFL (along w/ Paul Hornung of Green Bay) for one year because of gambling. Had a legendary run in with wrestler Dick the Bruiser at the Lindell AC, a bar he co-owned in Detroit. Much better actor than most on the list.

      • michigan1209

        NO !

  • Swiggy

    Considering that, on top of everything else, Lou was deaf, he did a great turn in Hollywood.

  • Swiggy

    One of the name athletes left out here was Rosey Greer. I was just a wee one when he played football, but when he joined the cast of Danial Boone, he showed his mettle.

    • Dennis Moore

      He was a good knitter as well and was in the movie airport i think.

  • romey

    Kareem abdul-jabar was in a movie with bruce lee that was filmed before and after lee’s death. He has a belt in karate. No lie…the game of death was filmed in china starting in 74 but then lee got his big break so they stopped production and he filmed dragon and died so they finished the film with two actors that really bared no resemblance and released the film in 1978 with a badass introductory fight scene featuring lee whooping norris

    • hcliii

      Kareem was also copilot Roger Murdock (Roger, Roger) in Airplane!

  • Tim Leonard

    No Kurt Russell on this list? Brain dead. He played minor league baseball.

    • mylilelar

      In Walla Walla,Washington !

      • fortunatolucchesi

        Well, somebody has to do it!

      • dennis1960

        An injury forced him to quit playing. He stood a good chance to make it to the Angels.

        • TripleCrownCoug

          Very True. The wrinkle with Kurt is that he was a child actor who gave up acting to pursue professional baseball and then returned to acting after an injury ended his baseball career, so he was technically a professional actor before he was a professional athlete.


    No O.J.? WTF?

    • Gretchen1

      oj is a loser, and doesn’t deserve to be honored, at all.

      • Barrie Trinkle

        So it’s some kind of “honor” to be on this list??

      • XEmmanuelGoldsteinX

        If we are going to use personal character to mitigate athletic achievement, we need to totally retool the record books. By your logic, Hank Aaron still holds the Home Run record that he took from Willie Mays (Can’t have Bonds on the list for his PED use and Ruth was a drunken womanizer, so he is gone). Heck, lets just purge all the record books completely since they are filled with cheaters, drunks, drug addicts and liars!

        • rjupback

          Ha! If we did that, the record book would be a pamphlet and you wouldn’t need halls for Halls of Fames. This moralizing has got to stop.

    • Mark Read Pickens

      I was going to say that, but you beat me to it.

      Juice may have been a thug, but he was a hell of an athlete and a decent actor. I particularly liked him in The Clansmen.

      Mark Read Pickens

  • list

    Esther Williams . . . Sonja Heine . . .
    Where did you get your list?

    • disqus_lI3fxXkYMr

      Yes, these two for sure. Apparently “all time” in this case means “post 1960″.

      • makkabee

        Also Althea Gibson, the tennis star with a major supporting role in The Horse Soldiers. I wonder if the author did any research at all beyond a quik glance at imdb and a few wikipedia entries.

        And talking about Jason Lee’s acting career without mentioning any Kevin Smith movies? Really?

        • Dale Hogue

          Give the guy a break. He, at the very least, opened the discussion. He should get credit for doing so. I like reading the comments in the posts. They usually are more interesting than the article upon which the comments are made.

      • matts2

        All time means male as well.

    • Charie

      No kidding! Both of them were “stars” in the movies, not just bit players or character parts. And as long as college athletes were named, how about John Wayne, one of the biggest stars of them all, who played football at USC. This article must have been shopped out to whatever 5th grader cared to have a go at it.

      In case anyone is not in the know: Sonja Heine, Norwegian, was a gold medalist in skating and Esther Williams, American, gold medalled in swimming. Not sure of the dates. Heine probably in the 20s and Williams in the 40s. I believe she recently died in her early 90s. There are many others, also. This piece should have been researched.

      • George

        Esther Williams was indeed a Champion Swimmer who set records in the US but did not get to compete in the Olympics (1940) because they were cancelled due to WWII

  • justin

    What about Ed Oneil?! The Man of all men!

    • john

      Polk High Hero!

      • Mark Read Pickens

        Four touchdowns in one game!

    • Bob Pegram

      He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers – NFL.

  • Bfish

    Even Bill Cosby played college football. Definitely left a ton of people off this list. OJ was the first to come to mind. What about Shaq, although his performance in Shazzam was pretty horrid.

    • denroy3

      they mentioned Shaq and said his acting role was terrible.

    • Veto F. Roley

      But his role in Blue Chips (Nick Nolte film as a good basketball coach turned cheat) was good.

  • Jim Beaver

    Woody Strode. UCLA. Los Angeles Rams (broke the NFL color barrier with Kenny Washington). Professional wrestler. Golden Globe nominee for Spartacus. Lead roles in Sergeant Rutledge and The Professionals.

    • disqus_lI3fxXkYMr

      Yes, another significant omission. This list sucks the big one.

    • smokehill

      Exxcellent point. I’[m embarrassed that I missed him.

  • Drained Brain

    Johnny Weissmuller? To quote Wikipedia…
    “Weissmuller was one of the world’s fastest swimmers in the 1920s, winning five Olympic gold medals for swimming and one bronze medal for water polo. He won fifty-two US National Championships, set sixty-seven world records
    and was purportedly undefeated in official competition for the entirety
    of his competitive career. After his swimming career, he became the
    sixth actor to portray Edgar Rice Burroughs’s
    ape man, Tarzan, a role he played in twelve motion pictures. Dozens of
    other actors have also played Tarzan, but Weissmuller is by far the best
    known. His character’s distinctive Tarzan yell is still often used in films.”

    • ragnarb

      Last I heard, swimming is a real sport, certainly compared to lifting weights.

      • smokehill

        Lifting weights IS a legitimate sport since there is an objective standard to determine winners & losers — more than can be said for quasi-sports like figure skating or gymnastic floor exercises, where the determination of the “winner” is subjective rather than objective.

        Bodybuilding, on the other hand, is very different. Though weights (or machines) are usually used to achieve the “sculpting” the contestant is trying to achieve, the determination of who wins is extremely subjective.

        The comparison is in many ways similar to the difference between a dog show and a Field Trial. In a dog show, no one but the judge really knows who is going to win each category since there is so much subjectivity in the decision between a number of dogs. But in a Field Trial or AKC hunting test (which are actual sports rather than a canine Miss America contest), everyone watching knows which dogs pass and which ones fail.,

        • bobcollum

          It’s not a sport bro. Deal.

        • bertram00

          The article references ATHLETES. One need not necessarily be involved in a competitive sport to be an athlete.

        • BILL G.

          Apparently skateboarding is a sport with Jason Lee
          if people are going to argue about fake wrestling, golf or bodybuilding.

          • smokehill

            That’s one of the reasons I think “sport” has to be defined more clearly. To me, if it’s a sport there has to be a clear winner among competitors (team or individual), with little or no subjectivity. That’s the reason I am a bit skittish about some gymnastic or skating competitions being called sports (or synchronized swimming), since they seem to depend HEAVILY on the subjective opinion of judges, as opposed to the minor subjectivity of referee calls. In fairness, I know very little about these “sports,” so perhaps I’m missing something.

            In skating, there is a wide spectrum between speed skating and the Ice Capades, with the couples-type skating (not sure what it’s called) seems to be more artistry than sport — though there’s no question it takes incredible strength, coordination and training.

            I’m not a big sports guy, but surely we need to have a definition that isn’t stretchy enough to include ballroom dancing or ballet.

          • AGRawr is Bored

            What about Boxing? or UFC? If there isn’t a knock out they use judges to determine who wins. Just because people can get scored to win doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a sport.

            Look at Chess and now Professional Gaming (Also known as E-Sports). They have clear cut winners but some people still argue they aren’t sports because it’s not very physical.

          • smokehill

            Modern boxing only goes to judges opinion if there is no clear winner by the traditional knockout or ten-count. If I recall right, that was added to cut down on the number of deaths and serious injuries from letting two well-matched boxers beat each other to death.

            Calling chess or gaming a sport is absurd, and degrades the definition to the point of being meaningless. Ditto with Poker or Blackjack.

            If there is no significant physical activity involved, it ain’t a sport.

            In fact, even though I’m a competitive shooter I have never really regarded MOST shooting contests as any kind of sport. There are some shooting competitions that are VERY physically demanding, but just standing or lying down and shooting? Not really.

            I looked up the definition of “sport” and got this:

            “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an
            individual or team competes against another or others”

            I can buy that definition. Without physical exertion, it’s just a hobby. .

          • David C Johnson

            we should have added Tommy”The Duke”Morrison for his role in Rocky V

          • Kayzee

            If chess and curling are sports…you bet your ass that skateboarding, wrestling and swimming are ‘real sports’.
            source: not being an ignorant or biased sports fan.

          • R J

            Wrestling (the WWE version, not the olympic version) is extremely physically demanding acting. Can’t be considered a sport if the moves are choreographed and the the winner is predetermined.

          • Nick Wride

            Perfect, RJ. The WWE version is ‘Rasslin’, not wrestling. ‘Rasslin’ is as phony as so called reality shows.

    • Cousin Elwood

      Only a few of us are old enough to remember the second Tarzan… SECOND? Yeah Buster Crabbe (also an Olympic Swimmer) played the roll even before Johnny W. There’s two guys who should have been on the list to replace a couple of the chumps who really didn’t belong.

      • Pamela Cazis

        How could they leave of Weissmuller and Crabbe. When I was a kid I thought Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon was the most handsome man I ever saw.

      • Matthew Huntley

        Johnny was #6 and Buster was #7 to play Tarzan.

        • Cousin Elwood

          If you throw out the silents (which I do cuz I’m just not quite THAT old) Weismuller and Crab were 1 & 2. Crab was tapped first, but Weismuller’s project had better backing and was released first. Also, Johnny and Buster were Olympians, Elmo Lincoln was not. Bruce Bennet was a shot putter, but I don’t know if his role was talking or silent.

          • OrthoStice

            I will take a wild guess and say that Renae Juska is under 30. Forget big bang or creationism. That generation thinks the world began in 1980.

          • Ole Buck

            That is so true. Nothing ever happened before they were born.

      • John Mushenhouse

        Elmo Lincoln played tarzan in the silents.

      • regnaD kicN

        Yeah, like Hulk Hogan with that fake wrestling

        • michigan1209

          Who ?

      • David C Johnson

        Had to make room for Brian Bosworth and his illustrious acting career

    • rgbintx

      Yeah, that omission was what immediately came to mind. No mention of Weissmuller? How bogus! What about Esther Williams?

      • denroy3

        No kidding, two of the biggest sports guys/gals to go Hollywood.

        • makkabee

          Or Sonja Henie? Althea Gibson? Woody Strode?

          Strode played football with Jackie Robinson at UCLA, helped desegregate the NFL in 1946, played the title role in Sergeant Rutlege and had a major supporting role in Spartacus (which got him a Golden Globe nomination) — and that only scratches the surface of his athletic and acting resumes.

          The person who wrote this article owes the internet an apology for subjecting us to such a poorly researched slapdash article.

          • Lamdog

            Forgot about Woody Strode. Good job!

          • lweisenthal

            O.J. ???

      • mike

        What I saw, they were both mentioned. Am I looking at a more extensive list?

    • JoeZonie

      As I was working my way through the list and approaching number 1, I figured I wasn’t seeing Weissmuller because he was number 1. But to not have him on the list while others who merely had cameo roles are on the list shows that the author has no grasp of sports to begin with. Then Buster Crabbe who played as Tarzan and Flash Gordon, is also missing.

    • Farva55

      I think it’s hilarious you’re this upset regarding a stupid list opinion of ONE person lol.

    • Siggy Scanlan

      I expected him to be #1 on the list but after getting to #2 without seeing his name and how this list was going, I knew Arnold would have the top spot. There were a few names on that list that I didn’t even recognize, must not be very well-known actors. But I would have at least expected to see Chuck Norris on that list, I mean come-on, he played Walker, Texas Ranger for how long?
      And another major role for Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) was The Scorpion King.

    • RadioFreeKansas

      Let’s face it; this “article” has no cred. Not when they don’t even mention Alex Karras’ role as MONGO in “Blazing Saddles”!!

      • Techietexan

        Agree 100%. This article sounds like it was written by a 15-year old girl using IMDB as her only source. BTW, counting professional wrestlers as athletes discredits the entire joke of an article.

        • Cheryl J. Brock

          Aren’t professional wrestlers really actors?

          • themans

            Stuntmen actually..

          • Bob Bigellow

            Stuntmen if they actually wrestled. Considering they spend 80% of the time talking and 20% of the time wrestling, I’d still go with them being actors that perform their own stunts.

          • silksoul

            Takes athleticism to do the moves they do. Predetermined or not, injuries are injuries. I’d love to see just anybody try a moon sault standing on something that’s 6 feet.

          • Bob Bigellow

            In that case, all stuntmen are athletes. It’s all just wordplay.

          • matt

            its not a sport if theirs no gain except tv viewers. wrestling matches are decided before they start so they act out a fight to a predeterimined end. its just a show thats why they all juice up cuz its dosent matter who wins its all fake. if it was real compitition they would ban those substances which they dont

          • billy manilli

            Definitely! can you imagine a 6′-plus, 300lb guy smashing somebody’s face squarely into a turnbuckle, with all of their weight behind it? … Or the same big dude jumping from the top rope and landing elbow (or knee) first, directly into your spine?! Anyone who thinks that stuff is real, needs a good check-up at the psychologist. What’s worse, is, I’ve even had adults swear up and down to me that all of that stuff is real!! LOL *facepalm*

          • Mickey

            I think you meant ‘Proctologist’.

          • billy manilli

            ..or more like 20% talking (yelling) and 60% spitting all over the microphone and any person within a 10′ to 15′ radius

          • Kal Tourette

            Jackie Chan is a stun man and actor so…and all stuntmen portraying a character are actually acting

          • jerrystroud

            Jackie Chanis an athelete considering there is martial arts competition in the summer Olympics.

          • Grant Fricks

            Did you know he started out as a chinese acrobat as did many of his crew. Martial arts had to be learned for the movies, but if you saw his early work (the ridiculous dubs, in black and white), his acrobatic skills were phenomenal and he brought a lot of comedy into his acts even then.

          • throwedoff

            Andre the Giant was more well known as a wrestler. I knew who he was in the late ’60′s here in the Texas panhandle. This writer has no credibility!

          • Randy Lombard

            Right! That’d be like saying Leonardo DiCaprio is an athlete/actor for his role in “Basketball Diaries.” Acting is not sports. Or worse, the dog in “Air Bud!”

        • Timothy Goss

          Yes, but the Rock was actually a football player at the U; teammates with Ray Lewis for a stint.

        • Robert D Miller

          kurt angle ncaa wrestling champion and Olympic gold medalist
          brock lesnar 3 time ncaa champion
          dolph ziggler ncaa all American
          dustin Rhodes collegiate wrestler
          cody Rhodes collegiate wrestler
          need I go on the many of the professional wrestlers usually have a background in amateur wrestling one of the reasons they can do what they do with out killing each other in a ring

          • G L

            That’s really nice, Robert, but professional wrestling still isn’t a sport. It’s theater. College and Olympic wrestling? Yes. TV/Pro wrestling? No.

          • Robert D Miller

            but athlete’s just the same cant take that from them because they decided to use those athletic talents in a scripted evnviorment

          • G L

            Ok, but just because the actors are fitter than usual, doesn’t make pro wrestling a sport.

          • William Hart

            and skateboarders are athletes?

          • G L

            Nice change of subject, but yes, skateboarders are athletes. They engage in head-to-head competition that requires physical skill and years of dedication and practice.

            The reason pro wrestling isn’t a sport is because there is no competition. Neither with another athlete, nor with a watch. There’s just scripted theater, which means skill, luck and training have nothing to do with the outcome.

        • Walt Schumate

          Pro wrestling takes athletic ability (so does ballet) but it is not a sport due to the scripted results and the moves that are obviously phony. Great entertainment and many of them are truly gifted athletes but it is entertainment, not sport. Best description: they are stuntmen-actors most of whom are former athletes.

        • burkosc

          that’s why they went to stunts —–Yakima canuit et al ect ect

        • William Hart

          there is a skateboarder listed .

      • Bradley Odell Avery

        And Jason Statham’s best movies by far are Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

        • chase ruddock

          thaaaaaaank yoooouuuuuu

        • Vamboroolz

          Was just going to type this – well done, son. And for the compiler of this list: appearing in a reality TV show hardly constitutes ‘acting’.

        • Aaron Winchester

          I didn’t see this when i posted
          my comment you are so right!

      • Charlotte Green

        Or all of Jason Lee’s roles in Kevin Smith movies.

        • TCB

          Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky too.

      • Knucklehead

        Agreed about the Mongo lapse…also, they didn’t mention that Kareem fought Bruce Lee in …I think it was Return of the Dragon. Hilarious. Kareem had on a big pair of 70′s cool sunglasses on the whole fight, even when Bruce knocked him out (or did he kill him?).

        • HalfMoments

          I think it was Enter the Dragon, but maybe both. And Kareem actually is a black belt.

          • vee

            neither…it was Game of Death.

          • David C Johnson

            right you are

        • Shawn Cowing

          Game of Death and BL choked him out.

        • Stuart

          The list seems to have excluded martial-artists as athletes. Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, and Steven Segal should be on the list.
          Despite his more recent past, O.J.Simpson should have made the list.

          • silksoul

            MIchael Jai White also.

          • mike

            The list I saw included OJ. Am I missing something?

          • Ronald Olson

            He was in one of the Police Story movies with Leslie Neilson.

          • mike

            My response was to Stuart, who said OJ was omitted and I told him the list I saw included OJ.

          • Tricia Hope

            Were you reading the same list as the rest of us? Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and O. J. Simpson all made the list. Jackie Chan and Jet Li definitely should have made it but I didn’t see them.

        • mike

          Knucklehead, I believe it was Enter the Dragon. His Airplane scene is a classic.

        • Starr Smith

          Also Victor Victoria as James Garners body guard.

        • billy manilli

          Kareem also appeared as the referee of a basketball game in the sitcom “Full House”. He also helped uncle Jesse find his ‘sweet spot’ for shooting the ball.

        • Grant Fricks

          The Bruce Lee movie was “Game(or Tower) of Death”, I thought. It was not complete when he died, but it was edited ugly and released. Some great action in it and Kareem was in it, also not mentioned.

          It was Chuck Norris in Return of the Dragon where he and Bruce Lee face off in the Coliseum in Rome.

      • HalfMoments

        John Wayne played football at USC before he broke his collarbone surfing. Way more famous than some of these.

        And what about Carl “Apollo Creed” Weathers? Played college football I think was SD State.

        You can actually add Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilding is a sport.

      • Tucson_Jim

        YES! RFK… MONGO!
        However, I believe that “top 25″ refers to athlete, not actor… so, college sports might not have fit their intended criteria. Tom Selleck was a college basketball player…Mark Harmon was also in Tom Hanks’ excellent miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

      • Charmian

        Mark Harmon was Quarterback at USC not UCLA.Even a Sports Dummy like me, knows that.

        • Ole Buck

          Mark Harmon played at UCLA. You are a dummy, and know nothing at all.

        • Robert D Miller

          you dope it was UCLA and his dad was a Heisman winner

        • g_mantwo

          Tom was a back at Michigan and was way more famous than his son from a football point of view.

          • Dick_Woodcock

            Wow, I’m a big dummy. I’m from Michigan, I know who Tom Harmon is, but I didn’t know Tom was Mark’s dad.

          • Joey Broyles

            me either.

        • Marvin Robinson

          Mark Harmon played @ UCLA. Won the ROSE BOWL over OHIO STATE his SENIOR YEAR. I KNOW,I WATCHED that game. Harmon got MVP.

        • Bill McCarthy

          It’s funny, Harmon’s college uni. was blue and white, not exactly SC colors. His dear old dad, Tommy, was all-American, and possibly a Heisman winner, if not a contendah.

      • mike

        Agree with you. Mongo just pawn in game of life.

      • The Spirit Bear

        NCIS. Patented Gibbs-slap. I never watched St Elsewhere.

      • DallasHammster

        Karras was also well known to 1980′s audiences as the father George in Webster (opposite Emmanuel Lewis in the title role).

        • Tricia Hope

          That was the George Papadopoulos role they mentioned.

      • bobbydias

        I loved Alex Karras playing the loving father in Webster- a good guy!

      • Len Bilotti

        right on-alex tv show and movie-he could act-chuck Norris did for acting what Amtrak does for travel

      • Walt Schumate

        He, he. Love it

      • The Equalizer

        How can you forget Mark Harmon in Summer School!!!! Also, I do believe Arnie was in this little know movie series called Conan. Just in case some of you didnt know.

    • EJ

      Buster Crab. Also an Olympic swimmer and a great Flash Gordon.

      • michigan1209

        Crabbe actually !

    • carl6352

      sad but true when he was older with dimentia in a holywood actorsd old folks home he thought he was still playing tarzan in real life! sad.

      • James Hoffer

        I think that’s awesome actually. Sad he’s in an old folks home though….

    • Kansan

      Actually, when I saw the question Weismuller was the first athlete of whom I thought.

      Esther Williams was the second.

      Jim Thorpe was the third.

      Jim Brown is relegated to a mid-list position.

      Obviously, whatever “expert” put the list together hasn’t the faintest clue. History is something that happened in the ’80s, I guess.

    • luvbach1

      Johny Weissmuller definitely should have been mentioned but probably wasn’t because he was of yesteryear. Buster Crabbe was another swimmer contemporaneous with Weisssmuller who made it in the movies. playing Buck Rogers and other roles.

    • Glenn Davis

      For anyone curious about the origin of the Tarzan yell, it is a manipulated recording combining the voices of 3 different people. It is a creation of the dubbing studio.

    • g_mantwo

      As a kid, to me, he WAS Tarzan.

    • zendae

      And his distinctive yell was because he was a yodeling champion. The wildest and craziest applause I ever saw on Johnny Carson was when Johnny yodeled it live – and loud!

    • Sapient1

      As for Tarzan…Johnny Weissmuller is to Tarzan what Clayton Moore is to The Lone Ranger–everyone else competing for far, far distant second places.

  • 10thman

    What does writer Renae Juska mean by “Top” 25? “Top” in what way? “Top” usually means something like “Best” or “Smartest” or “Highest Earning” or some other superlative adjective. As actors this list is all over the place, so it’s not best actors, either in Hollywood or on the court or field or pool. As athletes, they’re not all the best in their class. Are any?

    Here’s an idea for an article. It’ll take some actual research (!) but would be interesting. Make a list of 100 men and women who performed outstandingly both as athletes and as actors. Forget about “Top” just try to find 100 or 50 or even 25 but who were really good at both.

    Hey, that sounds like a fun party game, too. How many can you think of?

    • Farva55

      I think it’s her opinion. I could be wrong.

      • denroy3

        uninformed opinion to boot.

        • Farva55

          You do know it’s completely subjective right? No right or wrong.

    • Dale Hogue

      I was an elementary school athlete and I acted in some of our school plays, do I qualify for the list?

  • Joe Jones


    • Bob Gill

      Great replies! Kevin Costner played college baseball – hence his making so many baseball movies (Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game, Bull Durham). And, yes, skateboarding does not belong on this list.
      But Andre the Giant does, though his “sport” is less worthy than the mainstream sports in the US.

  • disqus_lI3fxXkYMr

    Anyone remember Johnny Weissmuller? An Olympic swimmer who played Tarzan in a series of films. He was much more prominent in his era than most of the people mentioned on this “all time” list.

  • Jackson Mehoff

    Skate boarding is not a sport and neither is that phony wrestling.

    • mylilelar

      Shows how much you know>>>>>>>>>N O T H I N G.

  • n.

    how is it ironic that André the Giant died of heart failure? isn’t that one of the risks for people with gigantism?

  • Waldo Fratman

    Alex Karras was best known for his role as Mongo in Blazing Saddles, and while Webster made him a household name, his role in Centennial was a much deeper role.

    • InvisibleZombie

      That,and co-starring alongside Julie Andrews, Robert Preston and James Garner in Victor/Victoria was no small feat either! He stole the show at times!

  • Steve O’Leary

    Why no Johnny Weissmuller? 5 gold medals in Olympic swimming.. TARZAN

    • William Barbre

      Don’t forget Buster Crabbe!

      • moderationpreferred

        Can’t forget him. I had a crush on him as a little girl when I watched him in the TV series Captain Gallant of the French Foreign Legion.

  • Carly

    Dan Blocker. He played football at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene in 1946, He appeared in multiple western TV shows and movies in the 50s and was best known as Hoss Cartwright on the famous western series Bonanza.

    • Dennis Moore

      I think like like the bush gore election we need a recounting and ad some of these write ins.Maybe an alltime complete football team of actors who played football list

  • Hal

    Didn’t Tommy Lee Jones play football in college? I thought I saw him being interviewed on a 30 for 30 documentary.

    • jacksdadinaz

      Yep he played in the Harvard Yale game that was so famous

      • BigGuy

        The Harvard Crimson declared victory with a famous headline,

        “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29″

        Harvard scored 16 points in the final 42 seconds, 11/23/1968.

  • Carl Rood

    Buster Crabbe was an Olympic gold medalist and appeared in over 100 films.

    By the way. Unless you can physically do what a pro-wrestler did, you really can’t say they’re not athletes. They perform rigorous physical feats almost nightly with no off season. They get all the same injuries as any football, baseball, or basketball player.

    • RegularJoe62

      Lots of people have physically demanding jobs. That doesn’t make what they do for a living a sport.

    • smokehill

      Pro wrestling isn’t competitive in ANY sense, since the major moves and the outcome are all scripted. It’ may be an exhibition of strength and coordination, but in essence, it’s just acting. Olympic-style wrestling IS a sport.

      The military training and experience of many actors, notably OSS veteran Sterling Hayden in WW2, or paratroopers like Rod Serling, certainly exceeded the physical demands of almost any “sport,” but — like pro wrestling — isn’t competitive in the sportsman’s sense of the term.

      I ran four to six miles every morning before breakfast in my 20+ yrs in the Army, and that was just to warm up a bit before the training day began. It may be a tough life — running, rappelling, jumping out of airplanes, running obstacle courses, etc — but I still wouldn’t call it a sport.

    • Tom Brooks

      You better tell the instructors that train these guys to act and the people who build sets they act on. The springs take most of the abuse. And watch when one actor jumps on another supposedly hitting the other with his knee. If you look closely, it is the other knee hitting the mat that takes impact to the springs, not the actors head.

  • PTinKS
  • David_Knight

    “All time”? Here’s a hint: there actually were people before the 1960s, some of them were athletes, some of them became actors. Johnny Weismueller may be the most famous — and he was both a more famous actor and a more famous athlete in his time than most of the people on this list were famous in their time.

  • shank

    left out John Amos. you know, Good Times, Roots, Coming to America. One time Minnesota Viking

    • demonopie

      Never played in the NFL. Made training camps with Broncos and Chiefs was cut. He did play at Colorado State. Did not play for Vikings.

      • xert

        Still the fact that the man could actually ACT makes him more qualified than three quarters of this list.

    • Dennis Moore

      Shank that John Amos was not the same on the vikings.John Amos never played in the NFL.He was cut ny the chiefs in 1967 in the preseason.He was cut by the broncos without ever making the roster cut in 1964 in the second day of training camp.

  • Wes Hansen

    This is one disgraceful piece of “writing.”

    PLEASE tell me the “author” doesn’t make money with this crap.

    Poor writing, horrible research and a complete waste of time. Not to mention insulting to real athletes.

    My eight year old writes better reports for school than Renae’s drivel.

  • kalamawashington

    You didn’t know Mark Harmon played football at UCLA? Where have you been? I bet you didn’t know, either, that his father Tom was also a quarterback at UCLA and won the Heisman Trophy, and played one year with the Los Angeles (yes Los Angeles) Rams before retiring because of injuries sustained in his WWII experiences as a fighter pilot. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for his actions with the 449th Fighter Squadron. And I’m not even an alum of UCLA or a relative to the Harmons, and I knew this. (except for which squadron he flew with).

    • hcliii

      Tom Harmon won the Heisman in 1940 playing for Michigan. His 1939 game at ohio state was so impressive he was given a standing ovation by the buckeye fans. Tom went on to Hollywood to make movies, then served in WWII, and finally become a sports broadcaster. He was in numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials.

    • GoBlue

      Tom Harmon played QB/WR/RB for Michigan not UCLA. He is perhaps the greatest football player in Michigan football history

  • Scott Schnarr

    If you are including people who had no pro career, or almost none… where are Michael Warren , Beau Bridges, and Tom Selleck (Ucla Basketball)?

    • demonopie

      Selleck was a Trojan at USC, not UCLA.

      • john

        Makes sense, as it’s really, really hard to be a Trojan at UCLA…

  • csm_in_dc

    Terrible article. Poor research. Scant facts. This is what we get with “No Child Left Behind.”

    • Heart

      I’m guessing that this is what you get for “free.”

  • Remy

    This is a joke. This article is a joke. On top of what has already been mentioned, how the hell can you mention Jason Lee and not say BRODY BRUSE and Mall Rats?!?!?!?!

    Jeeze. anybody and thier sister can write articles these days. Has Tag problem with the internet

  • Oddly Normal

    You left off OJ! Naked Gun films, Capricorn One, and lots of other appearances for OJ Simpson before he entered the world of legal troubles.

    • Dennis Moore

      Naked gun NOT OJ’S best work.Norwood falling down the stairs in a wheel chair or the other lame Norwood gets hurt scenes.Reggie Jackson as the mind controlled assassin in one of those naked gun movies is Oscar winning compared to Officer Norwood or whoever he was in those films.

  • Oddly Normal

    Another few considerations that only took a few minutes to Google: John Wayne played football at USC back when his name was Marion Morrison, Kris Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxer, and Robert Redford had a college baseball scholarship at the University of Colorado. Wilford Brimley, Sam Shepard, Hoot Gibson and Ben Johnson were rodeo cowboys – so was Tim Holt, who also played polo in college. Woody Strode was a decathlete and football star at UCLA (he battled with Kirk Douglas in Gladiator). Chuck Norris was a bona fide martial arts champion before getting his butt kicked by Bruce Lee and then kicking everyone else’s for the rest of his career. Burt Lancaster was a gymnast who became a circus acrobat before turning to acting – Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) was also an acrobat. James Caan played football at Michigan State, Randolph Scott for Georgia Tech.

    It would have been nice if this list had been a little better researched!

    • msille

      Bob Hope was a boxer named Packy East

    • Bob Pegram

      Clayton Moore was built like that Italian model, Fabio, with a 46 inch chest. I played golf once with “Clay” (how he introduced himself). I shot the best round of my life and didn’t think to ask him if I knew him until the 16th tee. I even said I didn’t recognize him, but his voice sounded very familiar. He asked if I had watched TV in the 1950′s. When I said I had, he said I would “figure it out.” It didn’t dawn on me until later who he was. :-)

      • wayne parker

        Who was that masked man?

    • nocalls

      Ward Bond who played many roles alongside John Wayne, and as the wagon master on the TV series, “Wagon Train” was a football teammate of John Wayne at USC.

      • Dale Hogue

        Ward Bond played first string tackle, John Wayne was a second stringer. In the movies their roles were reversed. Bond became a first string actor late in his career in a television series – “wagon train”, I think, otherwise he was a very important “character” actor in most of John Wayne’s movies.

    • Tom Brooks

      Add one more Johnny Mac Brown played football for the University of Alabama.

    • Gizmo


      • Chris Barnard

        Also the greatest player EVER for the Polk High School panthers, he scored 4 touchdowns in one game for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!

      • James Hoffer

        Black and Gold baby !!!

      • John Treankler

        Ed O’Neill is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Rorion Gracie.

    • jackkemp

      I agree with you “Normal.”
      And Kirk Douglas himself was the NCAA Middleweight Wrestling Champion of the US from St. Lawrence College in Upstate New York.

    • Russell Eberts

      OJ Simpson?? Ronald Reagan??

      • Bob Bigellow

        Actors who, eventually, became (alleged) murderers?

        • Lamdog

          Your ignorance is showing.

          • Bob Bigellow

            Your form of trolling is so rare on the Internet these days.

    • Mike Lipke

      kevin costner hell of a baseball player

    • ktrush

      I think you meant Spartacus, not Gladiator — the former a much better movie.

    • makkabee

      Woody Strode and Kirk Douglas starred in Spartacus, not Gladiator. Your basic point is sound, though.

  • Steven

    I fail to see why this is a big deal. Just a list based off someone’s opinion. Would love everyone else to submit their top 10 and lets see what it looks like. How about it Rant? Can we as readers submit our own list? sheesh.

  • GoBlue

    Michael Landon! He went to college on an athletic scholarship and might have made the U.S. Olympic team in the javelin throw. His sports career was cut short by injury, but what an acting career he had.

  • Alex

    I want to know what big leauges are?

  • Burn_the_Witch

    No mention of Bradshaw’s movie roles? What about Kurt Russell? He was a fairly successful AAA baseball player despite the fact that he’s been acting quite a bit since he was a kid.

    Looks like several other commenters are pointing out the more glaring omissions.

  • slappymagoo

    “Top 25 Athletes Turned Actors of All Time the Author Could Remember Off the Top Of Her Head Without Consulting The Internet Or a Book About Athletes Turned Actors.”

    Title fixed.

  • hollywoodhogan777

    Its hard to count all the mistakes this writer made here. How do you talk about Kareem and not mention Bruce Lee?, How do you talk about the Rock and not mention Miami football, Stratham and not Snatch? Jason Lee and not Kevin Smith movies. Brah don’t u know anything? And the biggest fuck up of all, Ironically? Andre the Giant died???

  • Patrick Fisher

    John Wayne played USC football. I expected him to be #1.

    • Umpire_Sam

      Correct bad editing Harmon over the Duke ?

  • JustObserved

    Let’s not forget Kareem’s role in “Game of Death” with Bruce Lee.

    • denroy3

      Let’s not forget Bruce Lee.

      • JustObserved

        Or chuck norris, he gosh durn Walker, Texas Ranger.

  • Randall Cheuvront

    jason lee got his start as an actor because of kevin smith. this only mentions the pop culture hits that came after.

  • Jm Dcraig

    Why is Terry Crews not here. My first thought was racism but seeing as this is rantsports, its probably just plain stupidity and incompetence

  • Umpire_Sam

    Where is Michel Jordan from space Jam ?

  • Umpire_Sam

    yikes !

    They left off O.J

  • Nick

    Alex Karras gets mentioned without noting that he played Mongo in Blazing Saddles? For shame

  • Denny Chericone

    Sean Connery

  • BigGuy

    History began before 1980.

    The first one on the list should be Johnny Weismuller, the original Tarzan, who 5 Olympic medals for swimming.

    Jim Thorpe was the most famous athlete in the world for over a decade. The only Olympian, at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, to ever win gold medals in the pentathlon AND the decathlon. He was in over 70 movies in the 30′s.

    Many of the circus strongmen in the USA and Europe became silent movie stars.

  • ron

    Why did they leave out Terry Bradshaws role in Blues Brothers

  • provemewrong

    The comments are better than the article!!! LOL. Renae, you suck!

  • Suzanne Castillo Devlin

    The comments were much better then the article. I’ve never see a writer get slam, bam, thank you ma’mmed this bad before.
    Funny but also lots of fun information.

  • cfw

    You blew it by leaving Mike Warren off the list. Bobby Hill in Hill Street Blues tops the list of his many acting credits. As a point guard for John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins, he won two national championships and was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics. I am biased as he was my first basketball hero playing for the South Bend Central Bears when I was in grade school. But c’mon – Jason Lee a skateboarder and all these wrestlers? You didn’t even know Mark Harmon was a QB at UCLA, so I’m sure you have never heard of his father Tom who was a legend at Michigan and the 1940 Heisman Trophy winner. I’d put the top 5 as Olson, Dryer, Harmon, Warren, and Karras in no particular order. Reynolds might have become a top college player, but injuries got the best of him so he’s not in my top 5.

  • harold shelton

    Rafer Johnson, Woody Strode. Rosie Greer. Willie Gault. Joe namath. Terry Crews
    Michael Clarke Duncan.Burt Lancaster

  • doug_w

    Ronald Reagan

  • doug_w

    Chuck Norris

  • tbird9e

    Seems the combination of the comments here and another blogger spending 20 minutes and his own knowledge of athletes/film have come up with a more valuable list – one created with due diligence and thought instead of simple internet search skills that produce a list basically cut and pasted from already existing but poorly thought out and researched ones. Here ya go:

  • Wolf Nation

    How about John Wayne, played football USC, Micheal Warran, on UCLA championship basketball, starred Hill Street Blues, Tom Cruise highschool wrestler??

  • paul Belair

    Enter the dragon!

  • paul Belair

    how did statham get ranked so low!!!he was a better athlete and his films were better and grossed more than most you have ranked above him! Lou Ferrigno? not an actor OR an athlete!

  • paul Belair

    Arnold was not an athlete. just a guy hooked on steroids. how could you forget jackie Chan!!! his films have grossed more than all the other “actors ” you mentioned COMBINED! and his athletic prowess is second to none. he spent 13 years as an acrobat for what was the most prestigious circus of its time. Obvious racism

  • tbird9e

    Look to the Ethics Alarms website for a different and quite thoughtful list that includes many athlete/actors mentioned in the comments here.

  • h_f_m

    You forgot to mention Cannonball Run for Terry Bradshaw. :)

  • Rollingsworth_T_Vestibule

    ALL of Jason Lee’s shows are Hilarious! None of them should have ended. He was even a believable Cop in Memphis. I liked this guy’s acting the first time I saw him as Earl!

  • Vincent Lewis

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also played in game of death I think it was called with Bruce Lee. Was the last movie Bruce was making when he died. Enter the Dragon was the last one he completed. He also liked training with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because was was so tall and long arms made him a challenge for him

  • scwill

    ever heard of OJ?

    • xbj

      Ever heard murderers don’t count?

  • scwill

    the Duke? USC football

    • scwill

      = John Wayne

  • scwill

    Woody Strode? UCLA football

  • DanielG

    Ben Davidson had a longer movie/tv career than several of these folks. Ward Bond (Wagon Train, among others) played football with John Wayne at USC.

    • Bob Pegram

      They were also later drinking buddies.

  • Doug Markwith

    No Terry Crews? This list is bullshit without him.

  • Gvgeyu

    Did not mention the one I like Kareem in – Game of Death, a Bruce Lee film.

  • PeterVan

    Since when is professional wrestling a sport?

  • john

    Where is Terry Crews? President Camacho? Julius (from “Everybody Hates Chris”)? The Old Spice adverts? Pound-for-pound, maybe the best comedic chops of all, not just former jocks.

  • Oi

    How is John Wayne not on this list?

  • Jason Haddox

    No John Wayne? He played football on scholarship at USC.

    And what about Matuszak? Goonies, North Dallas Forty, One Crazy Summer.

    This list is terrible. Although I agree with leaving OJ off of it for obvious reasons.

  • westernread

    Wait! You forgot! Alex Carras was “Mongo” in “Blazing Saddles,” one of his funniest roles. Who can ever forget the line: “Mongo pawn in game of life.” What a classic.

  • SnugglyJeff

    Where is Orenthal James Simpson?

  • not shocked

    Jason Statham’s best apperances were Crank and The Transporter? Who wrote this drivel???? Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels are all time great movies, Crank and The Transporter are all time dog turds. “How are those sausages coming george?”
    “5 minutes Turkish.”
    “It was 5 minutes 10 minutes ago.”

  • Rocco Sacco

    Actor Hugh Laurie is most famous for portraying Doctor Greg House on the “House” TV series, although his TV and film resume is extensive. In addition, he rowed for Cambridge University and in 1977, at the age of 18, won a British national title at the Junior World Rowing Championships. He may have been inspired by his father, Dr. William “Ran” Laurie, who won Olympic gold for rowing in 1948.

  • bob

    I shook my head at the first two choices and then got to Alex Karras, with no mention of “Blazing Saddles,” when I realized this writer has no clue what he’s talking about. No need to continue

    • annabannana

      he obviously just made a list to get paid for the word count – he has neither a handle on sports nor entertainment.

  • xert

    What ridiculous article. When the author flat out admits that he didn’t know Mr. Harmon played football? Geeeeee!

    Johnny Weissmuller? Uh, yeah—he might be considered an athlete.

    Ed O’Neill (an actual actor, unlike most of these and twice the actor as the #1) was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers after a stellar career at Youngstown State.

    Esther Williams (who just died…..). Wow, what a boneheaded exclusion.

    Renae Juska? Whoever you are–you are NOT qualified to rank people. Just don’t do it.

    • Mike White

      Oh, and Johnny Weismuller. Anyone who has to ask who that was is either very young or not appreciative of Tarzan.

  • Jesse Campbell

    you forgot Michael Warren who used to play basketball at UCLA and starred in Hill Street Blues among other series, and specials and movies….

  • Missy

    John Goodman (Dan of “Roseanne” fame, The Big Labowski, The Flintstones, etc). was also a pro football player. I’m surprised he wasn’t listed, too.

    • Mike White

      Is this really true??

  • Mark Russell

    What? You have Brian Bosworth and no Ed O’Neill? And what about Wilt Chamberlain? He totally owned Conan The Destroyer!

  • Cuervo Jones

    This list is utter bullshit. FYI, “reality tv stars” are to actors what back-alley whores are to porn stars.

  • Mark Read Pickens

    Shouldn’t the list have been restricted to professional athletes and actors with more than bit parts?

  • Shevine

    No Patrick Dempsey?

    • Mike White

      What did he do in athletics? Just curious.

  • dagobarbz

    Jason Lee is also famous for being dumb enough to follow L. Ron Hubbard…

  • Alice Mary H

    Stacey Kiebler isn’t an actress – compared to Stratham who is awesome!

  • FUFatherEisenman

    Left out Alex Caras’ role in Blazing Saddles.

  • BernieDcur

    You guys left out OJ. Murderer or not he was a good athlete with a half way decent movie career.

  • Mike White

    Agree with last two comments on OJ (bad guy but great athlete and successful in media) and Alex Caras, but the most heinous omission is John Wayne.

  • chris warner

    Where is the Six Million Dollar Man?

  • Michael Fondren

    Burt Reynolds had his football career ended by a tackle from the former governor of Alabama Forrest James a the Auburn vs Florida State.

  • UJake

    Lou Ferrigno was more than just “a guest appearance” on King of Queens. He showed up semi-regularly for the last 8 years of the show.

  • pasryck

    Jabbar was also in that Famous Bruce Lee film. Does anyone remember the name?

  • Badger1969

    This is not at all well researched – Alex Karras is not listed for Blazzing Saddles, Burt r. is not listed as both Longest Yard movies, Carl Weathers is not listed for Star Wars, the list goes on.

    • Oluseyi

      That was Billy Dee Williams in Star Wars, not Carl Weathers.

      Carl Weathers was Action Jackson.

      • Badger1969

        I stand corrected, thank you

  • Dizzle

    The Rock played defensive tackle for the University of Miami and won a championship with them in ’91. Kinda shorted that for the #2..

  • Joe Methuen

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned Ronald Reagan, who played football and was on the swim team in college. Not only did he go on to star in many movies, he was undoubtedly one of the best presidents the United States has ever seen.

    • makkabee

      Sure, if you love running up the national debt, funding terrorists, and trampling on minority rights.

    • Jennifer Strang

      I would put him undoubtedly as the worst (preseident) of the 20th century. Bonzo’s acting was not much better

  • Bassman

    Don’t forget about Alex Karras as Mongo in Blazing Saddles.

  • Mrspyder

    Bruce Penhall Should definitely be on here over many of these.

  • sdinfoserv

    What a crap designed article! You make me click through each and every one then throw a new advertisment on each I have to close to see.
    Sorry, I’m not going through them. youre an asshat for not just puting them all on a single page.

  • corey2444

    They forgot Jason Lee in “Almost Famous”, being one of his best in my opinion.

  • steve

    What about Chuck Norris. Former multiple world championships in Karate and star of Walker Texas Ranger and lead in several movies

    • denroy3

      Bruce Lee, as well. And I’m fairly certain Jackie Chan is a heck of an athlete.

  • Pete Heslin

    what, we get ed marinaro but no michael warren? what gives?

    dude was a two time NCAA champion (along with list member Kareem), a number 14 NBA draft picked & has worked consistently as an actor since 1970!

    no love for officer bobby hill – bad call!

  • Durf hyson

    Well . someone already brought up many of the Olympian/Actors and probably the second most obvious choice for this list if the word “Top” is to be taken seriously . If I am looking for “top” I am looking for those with the greatest success in both careers . Going back in time missing Weismuller is just inexcusable . If you want to stay in the 70′s and later bent the author seems to follow the “top” choice is still missing .

    I’d like to add Paul Newman to the list , probably at the top . Many time champion racer and still winning races well into his late 70′s and a film/acting career second to none has to at least get him on the list . How he got left out is beyond me . This doesn’t even count what else he accomplished to better the world while he was racking up credit in the first two categories .

    • Jer

      These were people who gained success in sports and went on to acting. For Newman, it was the other way around.

      • Durf hyson

        Yes Jer , you are correct . I was wrong to take it as just those with both careers . Putting the athletic career first does leave Newman on the wrong side of the fence . My mistake .

        • Jer

          Don’t sweat it, on a scale of wrongness, that’s less serious than forgetting to put mayo on your sandwich.

    • Cousin Elwood

      Newman throws this inept author a curve (Actor turned athlete instead of the the other way round…) when she can’t hit the fastball of the change up. She should really try a career in typewriter maintenance.

  • Brospeh

    Where is Shaq?

    • Jer

      Doing Gold Bond TV commercials. Why?

  • magnusdei

    What? No Terry Crews? I wonder what President Camacho has to say about this NFL vet getting snubbed.

  • CQ

    The link that brought me here said “Top 10 Athletes…” Too bad I don’t have time to look at 25 of them, so I’m looking at only one of them.

  • matts2

    No Johnny Weissmuller? No Buster Crabbe?

  • annabannana

    lol what a ridiculous list – did you forget eric cantona?

    i’m a little astounded by both – your lack of knowledge of global sports, and your lack of knowledge of the entertainment industry

    almost famous? you actually missed this?
    good grief…

  • Gary

    Vinny Jones spent around 10 years playing top level football/soccer in England for Leeds
    Wimbledon and Chelsea. I know Americans don’t care about soccer but its still a lot more legitimate than pro wrestling and body building. He then went on to star in lock stock, snatch, gone in 60 seconds and x men 3. any reason why he isn’t on the list?

  • Evan Brown

    I was going to lambaste Renae Juska for, well, pretty much everything about this dreck, but have decided that she must be a high school ESL student and this is one of her class projects. Well done, Renae, overall this is excellent work! However, see me after about some areas that need improvement.

  • jb tone

    Ed O’Neill!

  • Jimbalaya

    Joe Kapp- the only football player to play in the Rose Bowl, CFL’s Grey Cup, and the Super Bowl. Still holds the NFL record of 7 TD passes in a game (and not a single one was a spiral). CFL and College Football Halls of Fame. Quite a few screen roles (The Longest Yard, The Frisco Kid, Semi Tough, to name a few) plus television roles. Also coached football at Cal and in the Arena League.

  • Jimbalaya

    One More- Bob Matthias- Olympic Decathlon Champ, with several screen and TV roles.

  • Jer

    Add historian to Kareem’s resume; he co-authored “On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance” and “Brothers in Arms and “Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion” and several others.

  • BigDogJunction

    Terry Bradshaw has an acting resume FAR larger and FAR greater than a few guest appearances on TV sitcoms. LOL

  • BigDogJunction

    Wow! Who the @#$% wrote this.

    Kareem Abdul Jabbar…. how about Game of Death, idiots!? You know… BRUCE LEE.

  • BigDogJunction

    Again… pure stupidity. Athletes turned actors and when you mention Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you mention his “wrestling”.

    You idiots do realize BEFORE he was a “wrestler”, he played football for the 1991 National Champion Miami Hurricanes, right?

  • S. Brian Tucker

    Alex Karras was ALSO a major star in the epic TV Mini-series, “Centennial” – noteworthy for his portrayal of Hans “Potatoes” Brumbaugh.

  • Dr_Zarkov

    This was a puff piece for Schwarzenegger. Kinda lame man.

  • Jennifer L Nedimyer

    Dean Cain

  • ourdayiscoming

    At least number 2, who you didn’t even mention, should be Bill Cosby. he ran track and played football at Temple. Jim Brown should be much higher and where is Joe Namath.

  • Mark

    What about John Wayne?

  • aprilglaspie

    How can this article omit Alex English, who was superb in Amazing Grace and Chuck with Gregory Peck. A natural.

  • atcj0611

    How doe you forget Kareem in Game of Death. He left a giant freakin’ foot print on Bruce Lee’s chest!

  • Buggs Bunny

    Where the fuck is Michael Jordan?

    • Floyd_Lloyd

      Are you really going to remind everyone of Space Jam?

  • atlas750

    Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe and Woody Strode should be competing for the #1 position. Another journalist that should be working at the car wash.

  • Next Generation

    Jamal Wilkes, UCLA and LA Lakers, “Cornbread, Earl and Me”; Michael Warren is an American TV actor and former college basketball player, best known for playing Officer Bobby Hill on the NBC television series Hill Street Blues. And how could you forget Alex Karras’ character slapping the horse in Blazing Saddles. Jim Thorpe. Actor: Wagon Master, White Heat, Yes Sir, That’s My Baby, Road to Utopia … Renowned Native American athlete who excelled in the 1912 Olympic.

  • jurassicpork

    Rosie Grier, Daniel Boone? Buster Crabbe, Tarzan? Hello, guys? Man, what a badly researched article this is.

  • Rokhmon

    A top heavyweight who fought Jack Johnson and who won an academy award for best actor gets no mention?

  • jason

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Chuck Connors of TV’s “The Rifleman” fame. A legit major league baseball star.

    • docweasel

      Read closer, he’s in there.

  • Matt Bumguardner

    What about Slim Pickens? Former Rodeo clown and was excellent actor.

  • Kevin Corcoran

    I really wish that this article and comments section would load even more slowly.

  • CDidioT

    Kareem was also in the Bruce Lee movie Game of Death.

  • LeslieFish

    How about Buster Crabbe? Olympic swimmer and successful B-film actor from the 1930s (“Flash Gordon”) through the early 1960s (“Captain Gallant”).

  • Shawn Westfall

    Dennis Weaver, of “Gunsmoke” and “McLoud” fame. Decathlete, finished sixth in U.S. Olympic trials.

  • James Roswell Quinn

    Top 25 Athletes Turned Actors of All Time ?? Oh Puleeze!

    Not many on your list should appear before …
    Johnny Weissmuller
    Marion Morrison (aka John Wayne)
    OJ Simpson
    Buster Crabbe
    Kurt Russell
    Esther Williams
    Bruce Lee
    Jason Lee
    Burt Lancaster
    Clayton Moore
    Alex Carras
    Robert Redford
    and (in a reverent tone) Randolph Scott !!

    • MC_VMI_95

      Add Toshiyuki “Harold” Sakata who played Oddjob in Goldfinger. He won a silver medal in the Olympics for weightlifting in 1948. Also Michael Landon, track and field scholarship javelin throwerf or USC turned actor.

  • Flameteezy

    No Shaq Attack? but we was Kazzam!!

  • Bob Pegram

    The writer forgot Ed O’Neill who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That is why there were so many football jokes in the show Married With Children. I think that was the title. Not my favorite show.

  • prospero ws

    Another ridiculous yahoo list by some very young 20-something grad student who obviously forgot real athletes John Wayne and Weissmuller. I didn’t know that the Austrian bodybuilder was an athlete, or that he could “act”.

  • Oluseyi

    Liam Neeson (Batman Begins, Taken, The Grey) was a boxer, “Ulster’s amateur senior boxing champion.” He also played one soccer game as a substitute for Bohemian F.C. in Belfast, against Shamrock Rovers.

    The article needs firmer criteria, and then to actually find examples that meet them. There are far too many omissions and oversights, as the comments have chronicled at length.

    Grade: E, for effort.

  • Luccia Rogers

    Alex Karras. Films. “Blazing Saddles,” and, “Victor, Victoria,” come to mind.

  • Cousin Elwood

    How did you miss Mike “Bobby Hill” Warren? Mike was a backcourt star during the longest winning streak in NCAA history and a great actor. You got Andre the Giant, Ray Allen and Hulk Hogan and you missed Mike Warren? And Bruce Jenner? Puleeez. Bad form…

  • Cousin Elwood

    Having now read through all of the posts on this article, I believe the author owes all of us and her English Professors (assuming she went to college) a HUGE apology. This is drivel that wouldn’t pass muster as a third-grade writing assignment. If she had shown it to anyone even remotely alert with a modicum of knowledge on the two subjects of sports and acting, she could have either improved or scuttled this hideous tripe. Would have saved herself a lot of grief. But then I think many of us had fun demonstrating that we know vastly more than a (professional?) writer… Please tell me no one paid for this crap.

  • mobetta

    Terry Bradshaw in at least one film with Burt Reynolds.. classic!

  • ChaseSimms

    Pah-leeze. Snatch is not mentioned for Jason Statham?! Someone should lose their job.

  • ChaseSimms

    “Ironically, Andre passed away in 1993 due to congestive heart failure.”

    Ironic how?

    • Dennis Moore

      Its ironic if he was expecting not to die?Ironic writer choose ironic to explain the giants death

  • ChaseSimms

    “On top of his MOVIE career, he was also featured as George Owens in the TV SERIES, Mr. Belvedere.”

    Haa! Who writes this stuff?!

  • Bob61

    Jim Brown is 13th,and Marinaro is 8th?
    Renae is a fool.

  • Doug French

    Boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb. Fought for heavyweight championship. Roles in “Uncommon Valor” and several other films.

    • tohu777

      Raising Arizona!

  • dzeldaz

    The article said athlete, which does not necessarily mean a competitive sport. The writer is probably a younger guy who thought he was being cool by using his limited time frame instead of doing real research. He had on blinders and now has no reputation as a reputable writer. All you can do is shake your head and pray this writer is not cream of the crop!

  • Holdinweight

    Karreem Abdul Jabbar’s most famous role was Airplane!??????? Maybe you havent seen a little movie called Game of Death Starring Bruce Lee and one the best fight scenes ever between the 2

  • Sean Sopata

    “The first skateboarder to popularize the 360 flip” lolz We’re just making stuff up now?
    Alright, lemme try one:
    Tony Hawk invented the McTwist

  • Kay Mann

    they have curling, and some ribbon dancing thing, so i have to wonder; how long will it be before they admit horshoes, kite fighting, or pole dancing into the olympics?

  • nocalls

    Roosevelt (Rosey) Grier, along with Merlin Olsen was part of the Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line back in the 1960s. He was a good actor on TV shows and a few movies. He even played himself on an episode of “The Simpsons” in 1999.

  • John Von Neumann

    Let’s see who they left out. How about Woody Strode who played in a number of good movies and was one of the first black players in the NFL? How about Errol Flynn who was an Olympic athlete? So BTW was Basil Rathbone. And oh yeah, John Wayne who played football at USC.

  • Carspiv

    How about Canada Lee? Lee was a top-flight welterweight boxer in the late 20′s/early 30′s and was a world-class actor on both stage (“Native Son”) and screen (“Lifeboat”, among many other films)—something practically NO ONE ELSE on this list can claim to be.
    Oh, that’s right. NOTHING exists beyond the last 50 years. History began right around 1960 or so….

    And don’t forget Victor McLaglen, OSCAR-WINNING actor (‘The Informer’) and decent heavyweight boxer during the 1908-1920 time period. Then there was Max Baer, Maxie Rosenbloom, and Rocky Graziano. But again, they don’t count because the writer knows his audience, and those reading this probably think that the world began on the day they were born.

  • Turtle Odge

    Sean Connery? He was a bodybuilder turned actor (before Arnold). Won an Oscar.

    Victor McLaglen? He was a professional fighter who fought to a decision against Jack Johnson. Won an Oscar.

    John Wayne? Back-up fullback on the 1926 USC football team. He won an Oscar.

    Woody Strode? First black professional football player, same year as Marion Motley.

    Ward Bond? Starting lineman on the 1929 USC football team. He was in 7 of AFI top 100 movies of all time: more than any other actor.

    Whoever wrote this article is a lazy ignorant dunce. Journalism at its worst.

  • John Maire

    There seems to be a lot of discussion here about what is a sport or not. So maybe that should be the concern of the next article. How do you define it? Is it only about strength and/or aerobic endurance? I have always viewed things like baseball and golf more as a skill, or set of skills, rather than a “sport”. There are more jobs out there that could be considered a “sport” with respect to their combination of physical performance and skill than there are actual sports. I did a lot of home construction in the 90′s (framing, sheathing, windows-doors, underlayment and decks; each house). If defined in terms of the every day physical out put and skills required; it could be considered a sport. But since it’s not entertainment, it’s not a sport.

  • nowayne?

    If all this article requires is playing for a college then why isn’t john Wayne #1 on this list?

  • Mark

    John Wayne?

  • docweasel

    hey, what about surfer Don Stroud? He starred or co-starred in a lot of movies and was a supporting actor in dozens more, probably more than anyone on this list.

  • focus503

    Terry Bradshaw was also in the Cannonball run.

    “Will you get serious and give me the rest of that beer!”

  • grey briarcliff

    Ronald Reagan played pee wee football. Summer Sanders had a sports news program. Tiger Woods acts like an asshole all the time.

  • bnchy

    Bosworth only played three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks due to a shoulder injury in the 1980’s. LOL!!!!! Bosworth only played 3 seasons because he SUCKED when he had to give up the roids!!!

  • Greg Williams

    terry bradshaw also had a fun turn on ‘married with children’ kelly bundy had to remind him how to open a door. a fun play on his early days in the nfl when he was thought to be not so intelligent….

  • Greg Williams

    seriously, how could you not mention ‘smokey & the bandit’ movie series for burt reynolds???

  • John Toxworthy

    Dick Butkus anyone …
    He did Webster and more and was one of the most feared LB in the NFL, an all-time great.

    • Dennis Moore

      Karras did Webster,Butkus was on something i can’t remember.

  • dredzo

    How could you leave out Alex Karras’ greatest role, MONGO, in Blazing Saddles?

  • Phillip Blackmon

    Does the writer know what the word “irony” means? I don’t see anything ironic about Andre the Giant dying of congestive heart failure. Sad, yes. Ironic, no.

  • Christopher Morrison

    Ah, man… You know this article is in a world of hurt now… they forgot one of the greatest martial art champions of all time; Carlos Ray Norris.

    Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice.

    Come on guys!

  • Edward Paisley

    I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if this one was listed. There were several others that I thought of that others have mentioned but one athletes I expected to see was Chuck Norris as Walker Texas Ranger. But maybe Martial Arts are not considered Athletic, but if you accept that premise I guess there are many more names missed… Bruce Lee, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Rothrock, Steven Seagal, etc…………………..

  • drhubbell

    After joining the “Bob Pender Stage Troupe”, Cary Grant performed as a stilt walker and traveled with the group to the United States in 1920 at the age of 16.

    Burt Lancaster grew up in East Harlem where he developed great interest and skill in gymnastics while attending the DeWitt Clinton High School, where he was a basketball star.

  • drhubbell

    Sonja Henie was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic Champion, 1928, 1932, 1936.

  • rjupback

    Dear editor: if you’re going to do lists like this, please get someone who knows what they’re doing.

  • chazhands

    Where’s OJ?

    • Ferdinand


      • Epiminondas

        Where he belongs.

  • reddot1

    you missed esther williams!

  • Sean Murzk

    A profession so difficult that anyone can do it.

  • Zaney Meyer

    John Wayne should be number one… silly kids

  • SC

    No Burt Lancaster? Gymnast, basketball player, and ACADEMY AWARD WINNER!! After all, it’s one thing to start as an athlete and become an indifferent-to-moderately-good actor, but Lancaster was one of the great actors of his day. Watch the Crimson Pirate, then Elmer Gantry, then Field of Dreams and you see an extraordinary career growing out of athletic prowess and into true acting greatness.

  • Kevin C. O’Shea

    Actor Tommy Lee Jones played football for Harvard and was even playing during the famous Yale- Harvard game that ended in a tie. Can’t believe they missed that…

    • Ferdinand

      Harvard has a football team?

  • Jayson

    Stacey Keebler? Please, this lost all respect even considering her an athlete.

  • smokehill

    If anyone ever decides to do a similar list, in addition to more research I’d suggest making the qualifications a bit more stringent so we don’t include everyone who ever picked up a bat or football in high school or college.

    Seems like the list should include athletes that either played professionally, or at least had a college career of some significance — not just “played.” I don’t know where that would leave Reagan or John Wayne (or most others), but otherwise the list just becomes long and silly. Any Olympic competitors would of course be included, in my view.

    I’d also tend to leave out sports personalities who only got a movie role or two ONLY because they were well-known sportsmen — like Kareem Abdul Jabbar. A great athlete and a truly fine person, but his screen time was hardly noticeable (though I’ll admit he did a good job on Airplane!)

    If you stick to a couple of dozen entries, there needs to be some way to pare this big list down.

  • Joe Dane

    So many athletes left off this list: Johnny Weismuller, Larry “Buster” Crabbe, Herman Brix, Frank Gifford, Roman Gabriel, Bill Russell, Kurt Russell, Don Dysdale, Joe Kapp, Ray Nitchke, Jay Silverheels, Woody Strode and many others. Just because they were a few years back should not be off the list !! Oh one more a former USC football Player Marion Morrison (John Wayne ….Duhhhh)

  • CharlieQuimby

    Shows how very, very thin the competition is.

  • Joe York


    How in the hell can you call any of this journalism when no research has been done other than a look at IMDb??? Alright, I will give Arnold a break with the body building as a legitimate sport, as well as Jason Lee for skateboarding, BUT TO PUT ANY “ATHLETE” ON THIS LIST WHOSE SOLE SPORT WAS PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING BEFORE ACTING IS A SLAP IN THE FACE TO ALL ATHLETES WHO PARTICIPATED IN LEGITIMATE SPORTS.

    This list fails to note that DeWayne Johnson had a great football career both in college and pro. Andre the Giant was never an athlete nor was Stacey Keilbler. There is no background of a legitimate sport that required skill and did not have a pre-determined outcome(yes folks, pro-wrestling is fake. They do stunts like cheerleading, which is also not a sport). Not adding Johnny Weissmuller, Esther Williams or Buster Crabbe to this list shows a lack of journalistic integrity and speaks volumes of the lack of research. You didn’t even mention Smokey and the Bandit, the REAL signature movie for Burt Reynolds, nor Terry Bradshaw’s appearance in one of the best Brawl scenes in one of Burt’s films. OJ Simpson should have been on this list before Andre and Stacey, at least for comparison, for the Police Squad movies and The Towering Inferno, yet instead of at least putting him on the list(a former collegiate and pro-football star) albeit his criminal issues surely weighed in on him in your biased view, but to disrespect sports by having an entertainment spectacle with a predetermined outcome masquerade as a legitimate sport is beyond reasonable grasp. Let’s face it. Andre had no athleticism and the only athletics that Stacey has ever done is put her ankles behind her head while George Clooney pile drives her, and even in that feat, SHE WAS STILL AN ACTRESS JUST LIKE IN PRO-WRESTLING.

    You should be ashamed of yourself as you must have had a deadline and thought making up trash and feeding the masses your BS would suffice. THIS IS WHAT CAUSES A SITE TO LOSE READERS AND SPONSORS. May God have mercy on the soul you sold to the Devil by posting such disrespectful garbage while passing it off as journalism.

  • IronMouth

    What about Vinnie Jones, famed soccer player (I know, this is mentioned below)? But whereas a lot of the names on this list couldn’t act their way out of wet paper bag, Vinnie displays a great range of emotion that his onscreen roles have largely failed (as yet) to display. Also, if you check on iMDB, for 2013 and 2014 he has about twenty roles in films and television.

  • Ferdinand

    Pro Wrestling? …athlete??…I think not.

  • zmarket

    I thought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was in a Bruce Lee flick also.

  • pablo

    Chuck Connors should rank allot higher.

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    How could you mention Kareem and forget “Game of Death”!?!?!

  • Mark Shlosberg

    What about Clayton Moore? e was a professional acrobat before being cast as The Lone Ranger. And Sean Connery was a competitive body builder when he was chose to become 007.

    This list might also want to consider a fellow by the name of Chuck Norris, after all he was ONLY the world full contact karate champion

  • Kyle Kazan

    Marion Morrison was a very good football player at USC. He then changed his name to John Wayne and became an actor.

  • laura

    Cathy Rigby was on Broadway…no “Take 2″ option.

  • txsaint

    Um, OJ?

  • samsmom

    How could you possibly know that Jason Lee was a skateboarder and NOT know that Mark Harmon played football? His main role (before NCIS) was in ER. He got voted Sexiest Man Alive for that one. Apparently the author needs a little help with this article.

  • Phillip Hammond

    I can’t believe neither this article nor wiki has anything about his role in “Game of Death” with Bruce Lee. BIG cameo there.

  • emkay

    Body building a sport ????? ha hah aahahaaaa lol

  • emkay

    R Node Roidzenator had great Doctors …yes … but body building a SPORT????

  • Doug S

    Either pathetic “actors” or not-really-top-grade athletes, except for Karras, Schwarzenegger and Connors. Those three really made it to the top of both worlds…the others were just trying to cash in.

  • Kirin

    John Wayne played football for USC and lost his scholarship after getting hurt while body surfing.

  • centinel

    Lots missing here. My first thought was Tom Selleck who played volleyball and basketball for UCLA.

  • Marcel Moreno

    Who put together this list? The fact that Ray Allen is in here and Esther Williams or Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan, anyone?) are not, says enough. What a joke of a list

  • TerryCrews

    You forgot TERRY CREWS!!!! I don’t wanna live on this planet anymore. No, seriously, I’m done. Where the fuck is Terry Crew???

  • Dante

    How about former Southern Cal Trojan football player Marion Morrison, aka John Wayne?
    Also, there was Allan “Rocky” Lane, who lettered in baseball, basketball, and football at Notre Dame ( when Rockne was coach), who starred in many, many B Westerns and by the ’60s found his most famous role…………the voice of “Mr. Ed”.

    And since Buster Crabbe has been mentioned, don’t forget he was also the original Flash Gordon, besides playing Tarzan.

  • Epiminondas

    You idiots left out Steve Reeves!!! He was one of the most famous body builders of all time and portrayed without question the greatest Hercules of them all. What a shame he’s already being forgotten. He definitely should be near the top. See this…

  • jojo

    Alex Karras – MONGO -Blazing Saddles. Ester Williams, John Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe; Chuck Norris. just a few you forgot

    • jojo

      Also Burt Lancaster former Gymnast Circus performer

  • Juan_Leg

    None could ever be considered true acting talents !

    • Cauffiel

      They’re all personality talents.

  • mal

    terry crews?

  • Andre Griner

    Why is it ironic that Andre the Giant died from heart failure?

  • Michael Wilson

    I also thought of Johnny Weissmuller. How about Woody Strode and Don Meredith who played football and Dean Martin who boxed. There are a lot more old actors who were former athletes and became successful actors during the golden era of Hollywood.

    • Epiminondas

      Any one of whom deserve to be on this list.

  • the_other_paul

    Totally missing is the inverse – the actor that made it as an athlete. Keifer Sutherland had a successful season in 1994 as a team roper (rodeo), with two wins and finishing “in the money” enough to be credible.
    But my favorite athlete/actor is Slim Pickens. First a rodeo star, then a rodeo clown – it doesn’t get much more athletic than that. Then appearing in almost 200 movies.

  • Bob61

    “Ironically, Andre passed away in 1993 due to congestive heart failure”
    Evidently,Juska doesn’t know what irony means.

    • AmusedAgain

      Ironically, He keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means….inconceivable.

  • Rusty

    You forgot OJ Simpson!

  • ThomasCollins1

    I didn’t see a list. Is Chuck Connors on it?

    • Bored

      Thomas–Yes, he is. You have to scroll through the pictures to get the list.

  • Z_Lauren_Z

    No OJ? I guess I understand that ;)

  • mush57

    Where are Johnny Weissmiller and Buster Crabbe

  • Flying Dutchman

    Didn’t John Wayne play football at USC?

  • usc440

    O J Simpson….. greatest actor of all times……..

    • Bored

      His glove was a better actor.

  • Sol_of_Texas

    Mark Harmon was an excellent quarterback from UCLA, I recall him beating the Trojans at least one year and lead a bunch of come back squeakers. He had the will to win. He may have inherited that from his Heisman Trophy winning father.

  • Bored

    Terry Bradshaw resembles Chuck Connors.

  • Joe G.

    Alex Karras is best know as Mongo from the movie Blazing Saddles, not Webster’s dad.

  • Joe G.

    Burt Reynolds is well know for appearances in Boogie Nights, Evening Shade, Deliverance and The Longest Yard. Just appearances? He was the star and ever heard of Smokey and the Bandit?

    Stupid author.

    • superturbo

      Can we please also include Cannonball Run in all these Burt Reynolds was famous for comments! It was just as popular in many regards.

  • Kirstin Beall Jones

    An interesting list, but certainly there are many many more. The ones who were pro athletes and then went on to legitimate acting careers (reality TV does *not* count, since they’re basically playing themselves there) are intriguing. There are, of course, lots more, especially if you include college athletics, amateur leagues, and individual sports. Matt Smith of “Doctor Who” was pursuing a career as a pro footballer (the European kind) when he discovered a degenerative issue with his back. So he switched to acting. Peter Wingfield, best known from “Highlander: the Series”, has actual awards for trampolining (look, if you’re including skateboarding…) and runs marathons. Christopher Reeve (yeah, Superman himself) was involved in tons of college athletics, excelling at them even as he kept up his studies and got a whole hockey tournament named for him, and of course after his film career was heavily involved in horsemanship, which of course would ultimately give him the injury that lead (eventually) to his death. Sean Connery, the greatest Bond of them all, was a footballer and very nearly a professional one, except he turned Manchester United down so he could go into acting instead.

    And then dear lord, how do you NOT list Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or any of the other martial arts masters of cinema?

    • superturbo

      Sean Connery was a decent bodybuilder prior to playing James Bond.

  • heynow999

    Where’s OJ? Can’t forget that murdering SOB.

  • Austin

    “successful” career with the Cleveland Browns. No one playing for the Browns ever had a successful career, they suck.

  • Ferdinand

    “Ironically”..???… I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  • thegoodlife

    Who the he made up this list and left John Wayne off??? He played football at USC. And while we are at it Victor McLaglen who was a professional prizefighter who was the first to fight Jack Johnson after he won the heavyweight title. McLaglen also won the Academy Award for Best Actor i1935 for his performance in The Informer. So many more, Sonja Hennie, etc but you included Burt Reynolds?? Comeon.
    Nuff said.

    • Rosemary Foxx

      A professional prize fighter and a Oscar Winner to Boot, and he is not on the list. While, you add WWF actors in the same league. Give me a break. What about Ben Johnson, He was a cowboy and did rodeo’s and trick ridding before he was an actor.

  • James P Smith

    What about Chuck Connors?

  • Garison Fitch

    I have to put in a plug for a man from my home town (Abilene, TX): Randall “Tex” Cobb. Not only did he fight for the heavyweight championship (OK, so he lost), he was also a pretty good college football player at Abilene Christian University before having some good-sized roles in several movies. I also think Chuck Connors should have been higher ranked just because, as the article stated, he played both pro baseball and pro basketball.

  • Yvonne Gordon

    CHUCK CONNORS baseball-basketball/ “the rifleman” : JIM BROWN -running back for CleavelanBrowns, DIRTY Dozen:

  • Larry

    Where is Cam Neely??

  • prospero ws

    Very badly-researched, BS list… omitting all the real athlete-actors in Hollywood
    - this is another of endless singularly bad notes by yahoo undergrad writers and (no editors) – thanks to MS for putting out all this *&&^&%$ as well as comparable software….

    • megaflyx

      I opened this up expecting to see some old B&W pics and history but no, just like you said, Trendy celebs with zero actual worth as an article

  • ThunderdomeTourGuide

    Brian Bosworth over Tom Selleck?

  • Ivan Vackenov

    What no OJ Simpson?

  • Timothy Rector

    What about Paul Reubens

  • Kayzee

    #6. Jason Lee. They didn’t even mention his huge role in Almost Famous…a great movie.

  • chas territo

    DEAN CAIN? Not great, but played Superman for a couple of seasons.

  • Laurence Siegel

    It’s not a bad list. If you limit the numbers, obviously someone will get left out. As far as females are concerned, I would put Esther Williams and other females WAY ahead of Stacie Keebler, who was a wrestler only because of looks, not athletic ability.

  • David Loesch

    I thought immediately of Sonja Henie, Ester Williams, Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe.

  • p_radicator

    The list is ok, the order is way off.

  • chris1059

    You missed about the #1 and #2 for this list, OJ Simpson and Joe Namath.

  • chris1059

    And Bruce Lee.

  • Luis Garcia

    How can you forget to mention GAME OF DEATH?! Kareem vs. Bruce Lee!

  • Magilla Gorilla

    Many others have mentioned more noteworthy athlete/actors or actor/athletes, as may be the case, but here’s some more that I haven’t seen yet who also played pro or college sports: Denzel Washington, Tony Danza, Sean Connery, Forest Whitaker, Jon Stewart, Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lungren, Randy Couture, Quintin Jackson, Howie Long, Joe Namath, Michael Irvin, Jesse Ventura, Roddy Piper, John Cena, Bob Golic, Vinnie Jones, Wilt Chamberlain, Matthew Fox, Lawrence Taylor, Ray Allen, Rosey Grier, Jim Thorpe, Dennis Rodman, Tom Selleck, Terry Crews, Steve Garvey, Mickey Rourke, Tex Cobb, Ed O’Neill, Anthony Quinn, Jack Palance, Jim FItzpatrick, Dick Butkus, Bruce Lee, Steve Austin, Lee Majors, John Matuszak, Joel McHale, Emma Watson, …and on.. and on….

  • blubal42

    You forget Alex Karras as Mongo in Blazing Saddles.

  • Kate

    Mark Harmon – surprised people didn’t know – he was all over the tv in his college days as a star quarterback for UCLA. I remember seeing him numerous times. His father was Tom Harmon, Heisman Trophy winner and TV broadcaster. Mark was an amazing football player, exciting to watch.

  • denroy3

    This list is absolutely terrible. And I mean Terrible with a capital “T”. See comments for a whole list of athletes turned star. I add Kurt Russell a minor league ballplayer. Of course there is O.J., concede that he is out of favor. Bruce Lee? Chuck Norris? Joe Namath? Off the top of my head.

  • chase van arsdale

    Makes sense that Jason Lee was a champion skate boarder since he is from “Surf City” HUNTINGTON BEACH!

  • Ed Noss

    wasnt he in skate 3 ????

  • Mikel Bennet

    Burt Reynolds is well known for smokey and the bandit.. not those other flicks

  • steven jensen

    good job people picking up on some big exclusions one I haven’t seen yet is mike warren ucla basketball , hill street blues among other t v shows

  • James Cooper

    Maybe they are choosing people still alive. Good job people who look up athlete/actors from almost 100 years ago and be all ass hurt they aren’t on the list.

    My favorite actor/athlete is Jesus. He walked a lot and put on a show that makes most people believe he was able to do whatever.


    • Dennis Moore

      From the mouths of babes comes the intellectual equivilant of belching or passing wind.Great James

  • Larry Stauth

    Karras’ “Most famous role” is that of MONGO, in Blazing Saddles, sorry.. maybe someone should actually do their research beyond their own common knowledge.

    • localhost

      Mongo only pawn… in game of life.
      Hello, article author? Go to imdb and see what Alex is “known for”. It sure ain’t the Street Corner Kids.

    • Rosemary Foxx

      What about the gay body guard in Victor Victoria, he had to have some skills to pull that off.

  • Larry Stauth

    Seriously, only female you could find was a wrestler?

    Only on Stacy Kebler? Guess you don’t know who Aimee Mullins is, nor Katy Sullivan.

    Yeah.. all credibility is now gone.

    Wrestling is NOT a sport.. it’s “sport entertainment”. High profile stunt persons, acting out scripted scenes. There is no legitimate competition.

    They also favor performance enhancements.

    They are, in fact, nothing more than a guys version of the soap opera.

  • whatsups

    Joe Namath?

  • Joseph Lynn Parsons

    Alex Karras was also in Blazing Saddles. “Mongo”…who could forget him as that character???

  • Joseph Lynn Parsons

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar …also had a role in Bruce Lee’s last movie.

  • Paul G

    What about John Wayne…he played college football!

  • Larry Lanter

    Infamous now, but OJ Simpson should be in the top 10

  • Chris Reimus

    John Matuszak

    Sloth in Goonies, plus other roles.

  • Bill Herman

    You didn’t know about Harmon at UCLA? Why?

  • Bill Herman

    To me there are sports which generally have physical activity involved with winners being based on points for and against.
    Games are chess, which I am a tournament player, and though somewhat physically tiring I do not consider it a sport. Hide and seek, Monopoly, etc. Games don’t have a lot of hard physical activity.
    Entertainment is dancing, sync swimming, etc. Yes competitive dancing is physical but I don’t think it’s a sport.
    Exercise is jogging, weight lifting other than in competition.

    There are some that are borderline.

    Maybe the olympics can add arm wrestling and Paper, Scissors, Rock and Cow Patty Tossing as new “sports” they all require physical exertion.

    What’s needed is for the brains to come up with more clear cut, new definitions in the dictionaries of the world for sport(s).

  • pacific76

    Kelly Slater, world’s greatest surfer and Baywatch. Also famous for dating Pam Anderson.

  • pgm554

    Tom Selleck played for UCLA at basketball.
    Chuck Norris was a middle weight Karate champion in the 60′s and 70′s.

  • FredZarguna

    You forgot Bradshaw’s appearances in the Bruce Campbell cult classic _The Adventures of Brisco County Jr._

  • appliance5000

    Rowdy Roddy Piper: Starred in They Live – if not the best movie ever made , it’s in the top 25,000. A gross oversight.

    And while I’m at it – Babe Ruth – geez I think he played himself in one movie.

  • jsmithcsa

    I met Bradshaw in person in Bosnia in 1999. He was a great guy and a real gentleman who showed his concern for our soldiers.

    I know Bubba Smith more as an outstanding comedy actor than as a football player.

  • chewie402

    Any list of Chuck Connor’s achievements is not complete without highlighting the classic movie Terror Squad!

  • Siggy Scanlan

    No Jean-Claude Van Damme on this list? Or Chuck Norris? Or even Bruce Lee? All three were very successful martial arts athletes before doing movies. Bruce Lee with Enter The Dragon and other karate movies, Van Damme with Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Lionheart and many others and Chuck Norris in several karate flicks and later a long career as Walker, Texas Ranger.

  • megaflyx

    Johnny Weissmuller…

    • megaflyx

      The original Tarzan, he won some athletic event back in pre-history

  • ifTheGlove

    no Juice?

  • Jim DeBiasio

    How could they leave out Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty Fame

  • woohooman

    Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t belong on the list unless you consider the Miss America Pageant a sport too. At least Lou Ferrigno played in the CFL.

  • woohooman

    Also Mark Harmon barely got mentioned but was the starting quarterback for the UCLA Bruins and was one of the better college QB’s of his time.

  • adidaskidd414


  • Jerry Brown

    OJ, Jessie Ventura, Wilt Chamberlin

  • Narniaman

    Ever heard of John Wayne?






  • v_for_verisimilitude

    Where are Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe? Both won Olympic gold medals for swimming before they went on to massive Hollywood careers – Weissmuller as Tarzan and Crabbe as Flash Gordon.

  • Michael

    Alex Karras doesn’t get a mention for Blazing Saddles?

    • Stu Weinstein

      Really. How can one forget Mongo?

  • Scott J610

    Professional wrestling IS acting, not a sport.

  • William Hunt

    No mention of OJ Simpson? Really?

  • RAD2012

    Could they have found a worse picture of Bruce Jenner??

  • RAD2012

    Stacey Keibler, actress?? Ah, no.

    • superturbo

      Stacey Keibler, a “Wrestler”???! ah no.

  • m444ss

    re Alex Karras: I wonder why they didn’t mention his very famous and popular role in Blazing Saddles. (Probably because the intelligentsia think the movie, which is a satire against racism, is racist.)

  • captainbuck

    Y’all must have read the IMDB because you FORGOT Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Bruce Lee’s Game of Death film.

  • Sammy

    How is a “reality” show character considered an actor?

  • Sammy

    You forgot Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s fight with Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon.

    • superturbo

      ^Thats; “Game Of Death” not “Way Of The Dragon” (which is the one with Chuck Norris) Sammy?

  • Mark Hackett

    How could you possibly mention Burt Reynolds and not mention Smokey and the Bandit as one of his “well-known appearances”?

  • Jimee77

    How about Sean Connery? 1950 Mr. Universe, and was offered a contract to play for Manchester United. He played football (soccer) for Bonnyrigg Rose and was offered a trial with East Fife.

  • JakaAlreadyExists

    I’m sure Ray Allen wishes you had not given him ANY mention, since his “performance” in ‘He Got Game’ is one of the most uncomfortably wooden to ever be caught on film.

  • Glenn

    Who write’s this crap? The title doesn’t even make sense. Top 25 Athletes Turned Actors of All Time

    I love reading crap.

    But at least have a title that makes sense.

  • Educated Farmer

    you may not like him, but OJ Simpson probably should be in the top 10 in this category.

  • Aerin

    I find it crazy that Jason Lee gets credited for TV but not movies, I always thought Chasing Amy and Mall rats and all those movies were pretty well known at least on an independent movie level? And what about Almost Famous, seriously no one knows him from Alvin in the Chipmunks do people even do research before writing articles anymore?

  • dirtydog1776

    Alex Karras played Mongo in “Blazing Saddles!”

  • Tom Tatum

    Epic Fail for not including Johnny Weissmuller! How about Bernie Casey, with 77 movie and tv appearances?

  • TheSimpleTruth

    How are you going to mention Carl Weathers and not mention LANDO!?!?!?

  • zidar

    I’ve got to give a shout out to Neil Diamond….not an actor, but he was an alternate on the US Olympic fencing team. Yanni was a Greek Olympian in swimming. Michael Landon of Bonanza fame was national high school champ in the javelin.

  • Penny

    What about OJ? He’d built himself a pretty successful acting career — notably the Naked Gun movies — before his third career as a convicted felon.

  • Brian Richards

    They forgot Tarzan. Not much of a list, then.

  • Brian Richards

    What about Esther Williams?

    Williams set multiple national and regional swimming records in her teens. WII kept her from participating in the Olympics. She was considered the more popular actress of the late 40s appeared in many of the more profitable films in the 40s and 50s.

  • whathefunpeople

    Umm Alex Karas also played Mongo in Blazing Saddles what a lazy piece of writing this is. Frame of reference seems to be to the 60′s at best

    • FedSec

      I know, right? Blazing Saddles is considered the Number One comedy ever produced and this author chooses to highlight his role on Webster.

  • Billy Weems

    A seriously stupid list. Alex Karras is Deniro in comparison to Andre The Giant.

  • Billy Weems

    Woody Strode – one of the first four African American pro football players.

  • jerry mcgoldrick

    John Wayne played college football for USC before he became famous in Hollywood. He should be number 1.

  • Robin

    Wait, where’s Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas? They were good athletes, and among the best actors ever. Y’all gotta watch good films before making these types of lists.

  • me

    um u forgot underdog

  • Methos

    Mike Warren, the great UCLA guard who played on the Lew Alcindor team, was a great character on Hill Street Blues. I can’t believe, though, that they left out Weismueller; I loved Tarzan as a kid (I doubt that I would love it now, but that is beside the point). Bernie Casey has had a prolific acting career (two roles come to mind was the soldier in Predator, and as the Star fleet leader turned Maqee terrorist in Star Trek: Deep Space 9. I agree that the article was kind of caught in a time warp, but it got us talking, didn’t it?

  • Bob Berman

    No mention of Jason Lee’s work in the foundation Kevin Smith movies? WTH????

  • daisynet

    how could you miss timothy olyphant? nationally ranked swimmer at USC and starred in Deadwood Justified, the movie Go, Rock Star, the Crazies, Perfect Getaway, Catch & Release, etc etc

  • Kansas guy

    No OJ?

  • Brad Healton

    I was also shocked that Johnny Weissmuller was left out. Also conspicuously absent are the great Roosevelt Greer and Ron Ely (tarzan on TV and Doc Savage).

  • RobNYNY

    Bruce Bennett (Olympic medalist and fine actor who didn’t play athletes after he changed his name and stopped playing Tarzan), Sonja Henie, Esther Williams, Woody Strode (also didn’t play athletes, and was a trailblazing African-American actor), Johnny Weissmueller.

  • DelTonya McBride

    I just want to point out that before Dwayne Johnson was a wrestler he was a standout for Miami (Fl) football in college.

  • DaBig Guy

    Missed John Beradino He is the only person to have won a World Series (1948) and have his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1993).

  • Sean Conners

    1st off,,, skateboarding and weightlifting aren’t sports. they are athletic activities that can be competitive. a sport requires a ball (puck substitute ok) and some from of both offense and defense in the competition.

    pro wrestling is not a sport. it is a semi scripted exhibition / entertainment. it is closer to a stage play than it is a sport.

    and how do you mention terry bradshaw and not mention his movie, which was a pretty big hit in the day,,,cannonball run. this featured co-star role was omitted in favor of bit tv cameos? really?

  • Vaughan

    They forgot O.J…

  • Sambeaux

    Alex Karras….you people are remiss to not mention his role in Blazing Saddles and Victor Victoria.

  • Christopher C

    A professional skateboarder is not an athlete,nor is a diver.By the way einsteins,Kurt Russell played minor league baseball and should sit atop this bogus list.He was actually a professional athlete!


  • Christopher C

    Kurt Russell was a minor league professional baseball player with a 292 career average and should be ,,at least first or second. and certainly had a much more illustrious career than Weissmuller,who was a mediocre actor at best.

  • Mark Shlosberg

    Seems they forgot (or perhaps they were afraid to mention) Chuck Norris

  • TexasR

    You got Ed Marinaro from Hill Street, but you forgot Michael Warren.

  • Aaron A

    >mfw OJ Simpson isn’t even on the list let alone #1. That guy was an acting genius! Not only on the silver screen but in the court room as well!

  • JV

    why no mention for Alex Karras in Blazing Saddles, one of the funniest movies of all time? not politically correct for the writer?

  • Sam

    There’s nothing ironic about andre the giant dying of congestive heart failure.

  • Dago T

    Alex Karras — ’57 Outland Trophy winner for Iowa.

  • Dago T

    If I had written this article I would not have admitted to not knowing Mark Harmon played college ball. I’d have started with a Google search. Oh, yeah, his dad played a little college football, too. Google THAT!

  • Donald Schuster

    Err, John Wayne – USA football… DUH

  • liam judd


  • aventheusiast

    Not an Oscar moment; but one of the greatest athletes of all-time, Michael Jordan in Space Jam.

  • cemab4y

    Karras was unforgettable as “Mongo”, the brutal hulk on “Blazing Saddles”

  • cemab4y

    Burt Reynolds had a great, but small role in “Everything you always wanted to know about sex, but are afraid to ask”

  • cemab4y

    In “The Dirty Dozen” you keep thinking “When is Brown going to run?”. At the end of the film, he runs, dropping the handgrenades. Excellent.

  • cemab4y

    Connors had an excellent role as the father, in the original “Flipper” movie. And he had a great “terror” role as a fighter, in a spooky episode of “Night Gallery”

  • cemab4y

    Mark Harmon is also the nephew of Ozzie Nelson, of “Ozzie and Harriet”

  • cemab4y

    ALSO: Kurt Russell. He was an excellent AAA minor league baseball player. In fact ,when he was a kid actor, he would leave the set after work, and get a helicopter out to the little league field, to play baseball. The young girls started going to the games to see him play. He had an injury in his minor league career, and had to give up baseball. I read that he hit .400 in triple-A baseball.

  • cemab4y

    Burt Lancaster had a career as an acrobat and circus performer, prior to his acting career.

  • IndMind

    How can you mention Karras and not mention “Mongo”?

  • jeff.cox

    John Wayne!!!!

  • Garrett William

    How can you talk about Jason Lee’s career and not mention Mallrats?

  • Jose Canseco

    steven seagal?

  • Ann Witgen

    What about Geena Davis? She was an Olympic archer!

  • shrimpngrits

    I thought niggears wuz prohibited from postin here!

  • Victor Torigoe

    Nothing mentioned about Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit, is the writer of this article 18 years old? Smokey and the Bandit was one of the most popular movies of the 70′s.

  • savvy_liberty

    Um, Bruce Lee? I mean really, he started so much of what we see in movies today and he didn’t even make the list?

  • Dan L

    Alex Karras? Mongo? Helloooo.

  • DarlK

    Andre the Giant, and NOT Chuck Norris? You have got to be kidding me!!

  • alvin691

    The Rock played DL for Miami in the 90′s, and had a serious knee injury.

  • 1978Bronco

    Mark Harmon was a very good QB in college. I think he deliberately chose acting after graduation (smart guy.)

  • American Daegu Warrior

    AS usual, written by a teenager with acne and no sense of finding the facts out the hard way. Instead we get a watered down version of gee, this looks good.

  • English Defender

    It is not “ironic” that Andre the Giant passed away from congestive heart failure. In fact, that’s preciously a cause of death one might expect from a man of his stature.

  • ConsiderThis

    Chuck Noris!!!!!!! How is he not number 1? I fear for the life of whoever wrote this article, Chick will NOT be happy. 8th degree black belt grand master as well as professional middle wight karate championship winner 6 years in a row… achievements only outdone by an even more illustrious acting career.

  • nadadhimmi

    This article is written at the 7th grade level. The author must have graduated from “journalism” school; with honors.

  • Chris

    This article is embarrassingly poorly written. “he was pretty much declared himself a legend. This guy is even in seven films that are currently in post-production so we haven’t even seen them yet.” Please tell me you are not paid to do this.

    • Chris

      And what exactly is ironic about Andre the Giant dying of congestive heart failure? Merlin Olsen was a “pretty” successful football player? He’s a member of both the Pro Football and College Football halls of fame

  • Manicworld

    That list of Jason Statham’s “best” roles is actually a list of his shittiest roles. Try Snatch, Lock Stock, Mean Machine, The Bank Job etc.

  • Observer

    Dennis Rodman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kbro46

    Joel McHale played tight end for Washington in college.

  • Joe Keller

    john wayne… the most iconic male actor of all time and he didnt make the list? shame

  • vcponsardin

    When I see actor/athletes like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Arnold Schwartzenegger all I see is the hard work and extraordinary genius of the inventor of steroids…

  • Zebediah

    ummmmm…TERRY CREWS??!?!?!?!

  • Mike Marder

    I can’t believe I don’t see Larry (Buster) Crabbe included. How could you possibly leave out the king of the serials Buster Crabbe?? A REAL athlete, not a college also ran, Crabbe competed in two Olympic Games as a swimmer. In 1928 he won the bronze medal for the 1,500 meters freestyle, and in 1932 he won the gold medal for the 400 meters freestyle when beating Jean Taris of France by a tenth of a second.. At University of Southern California he was the school’s first All-American swimmer (1931) and a 1931 NCAA freestyle titlist. Crabbe starred at the Billy Rose’s Aquacade at the New York World’s Fair in its second year of 1940, replacing Johnny Weissmuller.

    As Tarzan the Fearless, Crabbe began a career of more than one hundred movies. 1933 King of the Jungle, 1941 Jungle Man, and the 1952 serial King of the Congo, he played typical “jungle man” roles. In 1936, 1938, and 1940 he starred in three Flash Gordon serials. Buck Rogers in 1938, and in 36 Billy the Kid Monogram productions in the 40′s. Crabbe is the only actor to play Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers – the top three syndicated comic strip heroes of the 1930s.

    Crabbe got such exposure from his films on TV, he was picked up in the syndicatedtelevision series, Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion (1955 to 1957), and finished his career as both a seller of swimming pools, and a stint as a stockbroker.


  • Jules

    So where is Vinnie Jones in the lists and posts? The man played professional football (soccer) in the UK for over a decade as well as captaining the Welsh national team. He’s been acting for over 15 years now in films such as Swordfish, Gone in 60 seconds, X-Men: The Last Stand. Not so much a top 25 list as just a list of people remembered at the time of writing.

    • superturbo

      Agreed with Vinnie Jones as well here. Also don’t forget he also famously played for; Wimbledon F.C., Chelsea and ‘Queens Park Rangers’ as well.

      And hey hasn’t this list missed out on listing famous Olympic swimmer; Johnny Weissmuller who went on to play; “Tarzan” in the 1930′s and 1940′s! Who was followed by; Buster Crabbe another Olympian in his own right before becoming an actor himself.

  • burnboll

    You forgot Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s most epic performance, as a sentry bad guy in Game of Death.

  • eric

    you can’t forget that Terry Bradshaw had a guest role on Married With Children

  • Jay Sinclair

    Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s most famous appearance was “Airplane”?! And not even a mention of his role in Bruce Lee’s “Game of Death”! gtfo with that.

    • superturbo

      Ya beat me to it Jay Sinclair, they also did the same here to Carl Weathers with no mention at all of his classic role as Dillon in the film; Predator!

      One could also go on the record and say that this list missed out on mentioning; The Rock’s College Football days as well

  • John Taylor

    What would have been nice would have been a numbered, text list for those who don’t have the patience to sit through video clips.

  • EJ

    John Wayne had more of a football career at USC than the Rock had at U of M. Ben Johnson was a rodeo guy.

  • Kitkatvid

    Might be unpopular to say, but O.J.Simpson had a pretty good acting career. He was in the Naked Gun Movies and was the main actors on HBO’s 1st and Ten. Let’s also not forget the best acting he did I in court.

  • t1oracle

    I don’t see how doing sports in college counts. Plenty of people did college sports and then quit to do something entirely different.

  • MyOpinion

    John Wayne. Played football at UCLA. Arguably the biggest acting icon of the 20th Century.

  • Clayton_Bigsby

    What about James Caan?
    Running back at Michigan State. Tore up his knee and then decided to try acting.

  • Henry Felter

    Hard to believe no one or the article mentions John Wayne, the most famous actor of all athletes.

  • Yamajasti

    Damn,… No Woody Strode?

  • James

    Hey, don’t forget Shaq!

  • superturbo

    Actor Jack O’Halloran who was famous for playing the supervillain “Non” in the first 2 Superman movies was a good Heavyweight boxer with many wins as a professional in the 60′s and early 70′s. Who fought the likes of; George Foreman and Ken Norton before they were World Champions in their own right. All prior to becoming an actor himself.

    Why wasn’t he listed in the top 25 somewhere’s as well!

  • Fred Field

    Fred Field
    Just finished reading “comments” with great sympathy for those who arrive at so many “better” selections, even for #1, that have been omitted. My, hands down #1 is a better actor than ANYONE on your list. Can anyone on your list fredtop playing Othello? Arguably the best such performance of the many. As an athlete, again, arguably the best ever in TWO college sports, lacrosse and football, several times all-american in both, AND, what a voice! Old Man River, in Showboat – come on, I shouldn’t even have to mention his name.

  • Nicholas Cobraetti

    Hulk Hogan over Roddy Piper? No Weissmuller, no Crabbe, but Mark Harmon gets a spot?
    Oof. Try again.

  • SteveRosset

    Tom Selleck was on the USC Trojan basketball team in college.

  • lindseymori

    Body builders are not athletes. They are all about aesthetics not feats of physical strength or skill.

    We don’t call supermodels or beauty pageant contestants athletes. Even though I’m sure many of them work very hard to stay in shape.

    Arnold is no more an athlete/actor than Cheryl Tiegs.

  • philkizer

    Kareem was also in “Game Of Death” with Bruce Lee, just in case you forgot.

  • Kirk

    OJ Simpson???

  • Kenneth Kleefeld

    Paul Robeson should be somewhere on the list, in spite of his being blacklisted for Communist activities.

  • musicman495

    Alex Karas at 23? Behind someone named Stacy Keibler? And you do not even mention his featured movie roles in Blazing Saddles and Victor Victoria, not to mention playing himself in Paper Lion? Try five minutes of research on Wikipedia some time. Sheesh.

  • Kevin Michael Barbaro

    How about Michael Landon? I believe that he was a high school All-American in the javelin and went to USC on a track scholarship. He may have even been the US High School record holder in the event at one time. I may be wrong on the last point but he was a great athlete.

  • carl6352

    strahan diving team. i was under the impression he was a ex sas soldier in britian. diving team?

  • Daniel Cunningham

    Kareem Abdul-Jabar’s most famous role was not Airplane!
    It was Game of Death where he went 1 on 1 vs. Bruce Lee.

  • pcvirginiabeach

    OJ.. he did a terrible thing, but he is also without a doubt one of the very best athletes turned actor- and he did a lot of acting too. It was not just some small bit roles like many of the people above. He was the first rusher to rush for over 2000 yards- and he did it in a 14 game season. He still holds the highest average… he is one of the best football players who that ever lived. He had significant roles as an actor in dozens of movies and TV shows… and was a great commentator as well.

  • pcvirginiabeach

    OJ would be #1…

  • Rucknrun

    I would have expected to see Bernie Casey in there before a bunch of the other picks. He has been in a ton of stuff including Spies Like Us. Classic.

    • Rucknrun

      Howie Long would have been better than some of these guys. I can think of 2 movies he was in, including one where he was the headliner.

  • wamo

    John Wayne. Played college football and I believe that is where he got his famous limping walk.

  • superturbo

    This has been going on for a while now, so after reading ll the suggestions why doesn’t the author just restart this whole shebang and do an amended; Top 50 Athletes turned actor list and include the ones we’re suggesting in there with the proper trivia given about them all!

    This goes for….

    Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bernie Casey, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, OJ Simpson, Alex Karras, Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe, Woody Strode, John Wayne, Jack O’Halloran, Burt Reynolds, Burt Lancaster, Sean Connery, Vinne Jones, Jason Stratham, Terry Crews, Jessie Ventura, Bubba Smith, Mark Harmon, Terry Bradshaw and others etc.

  • tanderson

    Totally forgot to put Tommy Lee Jones

  • MarkRogers77


  • Russell Eberts

    uhhh.. OJ Simpson and Ronald Reagan?!?!?! Who the hell came up with this list??

    Seriously, how could you leave those two out? I mean, maybe leave OJ out because of how everything turned out with him, but… Ronald Reagan?? I’m not Reagan fan, but the ol’ gipper should’ve made this list.

  • whynotv2

    No Gena Davis? Or are we being quite literal with the “actors TURNED athlete” since she had quite a few movies under her belt before getting into archery and trying out for the US Olympic Team?
    In regards to Jason Lee…I can’t believe you all didn’t mention his most well known flicks… Clerks, Clerks 2, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma.

  • Andrew Velonis

    Where’s the list? I couldn’t find it!

  • Drewski_

    Arnoooooold! LMAO

  • reddot1

    esther williams is missing!!

  • Escher’s House

    Jason Statham is not an athlete and he’s not an actor. He’s a sawed-off scenery chewer.

  • WTF_Disqus

    W.T.F.? Half of those weren’t athletes per say… skateboarding? W.T.F.? … played colleges sports? … W.T.F.? Anyone can play that shit.

  • mark

    OJ anyone?

  • A.J. Stroud

    Lol Jason Lee most well know for “My name is Earl” ?! WTF happened to Mallrats?!

  • RadRacer

    How about One of the RAMS greatest players : #74- Merlin Olsen
    #75 Deacon Jones is the Rams greatest DE ever…..

  • Shawn

    “this is just the beginning to his career”

    Please don’t be so stupid. His career is over.

  • MikeFrom Maine

    How could they leave off Alex Karras’s role as “Mongo? A classic!

  • Kansan

    Sonja Heine was an immensely impressive and successful amateur skater. She also had a hugely successful film career, essentially playing herself in shows for many years.

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  • phrying phish

    If you include bodybuilders (Arnold), how could you miss Mr. Universe, Sean Connery? Probably the best actor in the bunch.

  • ultraaman

    Interesting that this list didn’t include O.J. (Alleged) murderer that he is, he was the most successful of all of the people on this list in both careers save Ahnahld.

  • Davie

    You forgot about “The Duke”, John Wayne… former USC footballer.

  • Rick Fernandez

    Kareems fight with Bruce Lee was far more memorable than Airplane.

  • Alexandria Puffington

    Umm did you even remember Cannonball Run?! Geez do sum research

  • Margie

    How could you not mention Smokey and the Bandit for Burt!!!

  • gendotte

    I can’t believe that you left Mike Warren, the UCLA basketball star out of this. He was in Hill Street Blues. Maybe because he Michael instead of Mile?

  • regnaD kicN

    Wasn’t Charlie Sheen scouted for a pro MLB team? I heard he was a good base baller at one point…

  • EvilEmpireRaiders

    Kareem Abdul Jabbar was in the a movie with……BRUCE LEE!!….The Game of Death, I believe the title was……How could you leave that off your list??!!

  • Techietexan

    Tip for Renae Juska–stick to whatever it is you actually know something about. This is pathetic.

  • Enrique Ramirez

    Does anyone have a clip of The Rock chasing the SDSU Aztec into the stands and then trying to pull him down when he was playing at Miami. That is funny as hell…I think he’s been trying to purge that from the internets

  • larry fafarman

    If we are going to include actors who played college sports, the list is going to get very long indeed.
    Some big-time pro athletes who have acted are Rosey Grier and Shaq O’Neal.

  • paper22

    Mike Warren UCLA point guard in Alcindor era and career character actor

  • Ken Moyer

    Yep, leaving out Johnny Weissmuller was an EPIC FAIL for this list.

  • Ron Garrett

    You forgot Alex Karras’ most noteworthy role: Mongo on “Blazing Saddles”.

  • Ron Garrett

    Duke Morrison (given name Marion Michael) and Ward Bond were both linemen for USC in the 1920s before they went into acting. The studio made Duke change his name to John Wayne. I think they both should be on the list but Duke especially belongs there. He was a bigger star than Stacey Kiebler.

  • Brian

    What about OJ Simpson? Perhaps not a good ending to the story, and not the greatest actor, but he certainly fits the bill of athlete turned actor (turned criminal).

  • Brandon Thomas

    What, no Juice?

  • pjinsocal

    You show Alex Karras but you don’t mention him as Mongo in Blazing Saddles?

  • Steve Baker

    ummm John Wayne? If Burt Reynolds is on this list, which I have no problem with, then John Wayne is a no-brainer..

  • Wendy Rodge

    Yes Johnny Weissmuller! Also Woodie Strode – the 1st African American to play college football, the beautiful Easter Williams – who passed this year, and Sonia Henie – the 3 time Olympic Gold figure skater – who was one of the 1st athletes to successfully market herself as a celebrity!

  • RoscoeT

    They really missed some big actors in addition to Weismulller. John Wayne played football at USC. Michael Landon was a champion track and field athlete, recording the farthest javelin toss his senior year in high school in the state of California and then going on to a track scholarship at USC. There’s probably a lot more that I could think of if I tried, such as Bill Cosby going to Temple on a track scholarship, etc.

  • bigcrush1

    How about John Wayne?

  • Lilly Bowen

    This is one of the most poorly written and researched articles I’ve read lately. Glaring omissions and statements like “I didn’t even know Mark Harmon played for UCLA” Duh. Too bad that the internet is so chock full of this kind of garbage that we have to sift through it to get some decent information. DO YOUR HOMEWORK next time, and don’t embarrass yourself. Sad.

  • hoosiermama

    Liam neeson was an ameture boxer.

  • hoosiermama

    Liam nee son was a boxer before he became interested in theater

  • hoosiermama

    Liam neeson was an ameture boxer before he became interested in theater

  • Bob Brazeau

    Alex Karras most famous role was in Webster??? How about Mongo in Blazing Saddles, bit bigger role. Do better research

  • hoosiermama

    Anyone ever heard of a guy named liam neeson. He was an ameture boxer.

  • cferrante23

    How can one get away without mentioning Kaley Cuoco?? She was a professional tennis player!

  • Mike Lovett

    UH, is this typical of articles on this fudge factory site? I saw a pic of Jason Stathum, so I thought it would be a full blown article on several celebs. As it turns out, it is some dumb blogger’s five NEARLY EMPTY paragraph analysis on sports figures as actors. PIECE OF CRAP.

  • Bitch

    Arnold sucks assholes, Sean Connery should have been #1, he can actually act and was a professional bodybuilder before acting

  • Patrick M. Faley

    And where was OJ on the list?????

  • jafo

    What about OJ… ? Yes murderer, but also athlete and actor.

  • Ronald Clingenpeel

    Who wrote that headline!?!?!?! Do you understand how to write a sentence in the English language? Yes, it does matter, because your headline doesn’t make sense. Please, go back to school and work on this.

  • jonjon_yo

    Why isn’t OJ on the list?

  • Michelle Cannon

    What? No mention of OJ? ;-)

  • Daniel Revas

    Webster the apex for Karras? Must have missed Blazing Saddles…

  • TK

    Notable omission: Terry Crews

  • rgrkovach

    How credible is a list of the top 25 famous actors that became movie stars with no mention of John Wayne? LOL! This “article” has as much credibility as a dorm bull session!

  • SizzMo

    David Janssen (The Fugitive) was a star in basketball and track during high school, and was in line for a college sports scholarship and a career in professional basketball when a pole-vaulting accident tore all the tendons in one knee, putting an end to his sports ambitions. He was able to serve in the Army, and was known for doing much of his own stunt work throughout his TV and movie career, but multiple surgeries did little to alleviate his chronic knee pain. The limp he often displayed in The Fugitive and Harry O was no act.

  • Stachelrochen

    Dennis Weaver (Gunsmoke) was a decathlete in college. Weissmuller was so dominant it was ridiculous

  • Junior Crusher

    jingle all the way is the all time best christmas movie.

  • Raider3

    Body builders and wrestlers are not athletes.



  • Some Guy

    No OJ? He made it big and fell big…

  • Mike Lipke

    what about Dick Butkis tv and movies, football,Tony Danza tv and movies..boxing,Cathy Rigby gymnastics and broadway. Randy Couture MMA movies.

  • Darren Pollok

    You forgot that Alex Karras was Mongo in “Blazing Saddles” and that Jason Lee was in “Mallrats” and “Chasing Amy”, amongst other omissions.

  • Mark Shlosberg

    Seems to me there is an actor named Chuck Norris, who at one time was both the American and the World heavy weight champion in karate … but I guess he doesn’t count.

  • Sailorman

    Alex Karras initial starring role and ‘Mongo’ in ‘Blazing Saddles’.

  • Jdizz

    For those of you saying that pro wrestlers aren’t athletes are just being ignorant. They may not actually be competing in a real sport, but make no mistake, they have to be in peak physical condition to do what they do.

    • Lincoln30

      Pro Wrestlers are more pro-actor then pro-athlete. Sure they have to be in great shape to play their “acting” roles but events with staged outcomes are NOT sports!!!

      • Jdizz

        Right. I said that. However nobody said you have to compete in a sport to be an athlete.

  • Lebowski genmay

    No mention of the role that mad Burt Lancaster forever a star? Smokey and the Bandit.
    Oh and Turd Ferguson (Norm McDonald doing an impersonation of Burt)

  • Thomas J.Stratford

    Aside from Weissmuller, Babe Ruth, made a few silent films in the late 1910′s, and a few cameos in the 30′s and 40′s, and of course there was Chuck Conners. Some Amateur boxers were Jimmy Cagney who and was a runner-up for the New York State lightweight title, and Lou Costello who excelled in basketball and reportedly was once the New Jersey state foul shot champion (his singular basketball prowess can be seen in Here Come The Co-Eds (1945), in which he performs all his own tricky hoop shots without special effects). He also fought as a boxer under the name “Lou King”. Plus there was figure skater Sonja Henie, who was a three time Olympic champion.

  • Russel

    I was shocked when I saw that the rock is number 2 but then I see who number one is and I think it’s fair. Respect

  • Short Sales

    Andre the Giant – classic guy!

  • Bruce Fletcher

    Kareem was in a Bruce Lee movie also(Game of death). He was One of Lee’s Students

  • Jan Banan

    Bud Spencer?
    Terence Hill?

  • john5651

    where was johnny weissmuller who played tarzan or estella warren or esther williams?

  • Michael Allen

    Where do they find these writers? This was an awful article, I’m not sure “pro wrestling or skateboarding” qualify as sports? Some of these guy’s made nothing more then cameo’s so it would be real stretch to call that acting.

  • Bob

    Woody Strode. Look him up.

  • yankee04462

    What no John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Sean Connery, Jesse Venture, Toni Danza, Tom Selleck, or OJ Simpson.

  • JJ

    Merlin Olsen had a “pretty successful career with the Los Angeles Rams”? The guy is in the freaking hall of fame! A first ballot hall of famer at that! Pretty successful? Who is writing this stuff?

  • ConcettaBruce

    Sean Connery was a body builder

  • Jeff Grotke

    OJ Simpson, the naked gun

  • Tim Cogan

    O.J. ????……Mike Warren ?……..Weismueller ??????

  • Bronson Bias

    Elroy “CRAZY LEGS” Hurst – Movie = UNCHAINED, 1953

  • jim j58

    Um, Dennis Weaver, (Gunsmoke, McCloud, Duel) was a track star at the University of Oklahoma and competed at the Olympic Trials.

  • IZ

    Ummmm? What about Vinnie Jones?

  • Sky Marshall

    They left off OJ Simpson. He was a great athlete, a bad actor and an accomplished murderer. He’s a triple threat, emphasis on the word threat.

  • dderigo

    Chuck Connors, “The Rifleman”, played baseball for the Chicago Cubs, basketball for the Boston Celtics and was drafted by the Chicago Bears (but didn’t play). “The Rifleman” ran from 1958-63.

  • Bruce in Mn

    How do you miss John Wayne? Wayne played on the USC football team under coach Howard Jones. A broken collarbone injury curtailed his athletic career.

  • Quinn Hopkins

    No John Matuszak?? Sloth from The Goonies.

  • Eddy LeRoque

    Victor McLaughlin , The Quiet Man
    John Wayne

  • petie3

    A couple nobody mentioned; Freddie Dreier played on the Rams and Giants for at least a decade, Played with Merlin Olson who was DT for the Rams for over a decade and who had his own series.

    • Mydogrules

      The did mention Fred Dryer.

  • jem5

    Terry Crews?

  • Kelly Hamilton

    Mike Henry starred in several Tarzan movies with Rafer Johnson. Also, I thought Tom Selleck was upposed to have been some basketball star, or was that hype? Kathy Rigby starred in some productions of “Peter Pan” and Greg Louganis has also done some acting. Let’s face it, the list is endless!

  • Kragnorak

    This article is ridiculous. Shaq is not included because he’s not a good actor, but then guys like Hulk Hogan are included even though he went from wrestling entertainment to less successful actor than even Shaq. Why are these guys on the list compared to real athletes like boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb who beat Leon Spinks and went on to play villain in many memorable film roles? Is that He-Man flick Hogan was in more memorable to the author than Raising Arizona?
    This list has to be racist against women too. Perhaps the writer should interview almost-Olympian Geena Davis, who is currently advocates for equality in both sports opportunities and gender imbalance in the media.

  • Mydogrules

    Merlin Olsen should be number one, hands down.

  • bigsurmac

    Are we to believe the scribbler of this nonsense was paid an obscene dollar figure for rank incompetence –OSCAR WINNERS and SERIOUS ATHLETES she apparently NEVER herd off — Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Robert Redford, Ben Johnson, Jr. (Professional Rodeo Team Roping champion-1953, Set the Pendleton Roundup Tie-Down Roping record in 1939 which stood for at least 50 years and may still be the record there], Johnny Weissmuller – the premiere international swimmer of the 1920s, Esther Williams, Sonja Henie– THE OLYMPIC FIGURE SKATER

  • ktrush

    No Dick Butkus? No Rosey Grier? But Jason Lee gets in for being a skateboarder? Sheesh. And where’s Esther Williams?

  • ktrush

    BTW, Fred MacMurray was a three-letter scholarship athlete in college. If Harmon’s college stint counts, what about Fred?

  • Tim

    This is absolutely ridiculous JOHN WAYNE probably greatest actor of all time played football for the USC Trojans where’s his recognition and O.J. Simpson one of the greatest running backs of all time and a great actor

  • Richard Vasquez

    I once heard that Jason Lee has a photographic memory. He can read a script just once and nail it.

  • Richard Vasquez

    Get to the chopper!

  • Ted Dascoli

    The person who wrote this article missed quite a few. Didn’t mention the fact that The Rock played college football at Miami, didn’t know Mark Harmon played football at UCLA where he was the QUARTERBACK! Left Leon off, he starred at Loyola Marymont in basketball. Dick Butkus played in some movies and tv shows in the 70s and 80s. Bernie Casey, LA Rams defensive back was in many movies and tv programs in the 60s,70s, and 80s. Chuck Norris!
    Yet they put in a scateboarder.

  • Tim Zhun

    How about Michael Warren? Co-starred with Ed Marinaro in Hill Street Blues, played with Kareem at UCLA as an All American and team captain under John Wooden. As a side note, he’s Jessica Alba’s father-in-law.

  • NakedJusticeLeague

    Alex Karras’ most famous role is Mongo! Get it right!

  • Christopher Scollard

    Terry Crews is missing.

  • Adam Sternberg

    They forgot Johnny Weissmuller. He was a world record holding swimmer with several gold metals and played the original Tarzan in over a dozen movies.

  • Dudley Smooth

    No Keith Hernandez from Seinfeld? C’mon, that is a classic appearance.

  • Bigdawg

    No Mention of THE Greatest NY Jet ever to strap on a pair of cleats Hall of Famer Broadway Joe Namath and the great Ann Margaret in CC and Company??


    I am now going to never read “Rank! sports” again. This is worse than a Chris Chase article, if you know what I mean. To not mention KAJ vs Bruce Lee, and not to mention any of the three, (3!) “Smokey and the Bandit” movies, which actually made Burt Reynolds a household name, (as well as sell about 600,000 Trans Am(s) in only 4 years), leaves me dumbfounded, amazed and unimpressed. Terrible article. I want my 15 minutes of life back.


    Jim Brown in “Mars Attacks” with The Hammer in “Three the Hard Way” and Original Gangstas” etc. This chick is 14 and writing a book report from Wikipedia. Turrrabull.


    Johnny St. Jaques on “Laverne and Shirley”? Yeah one season (11 episodes) on that show is infinitely more impressive than being a star for six years on, (at the time) the most highly acclaimed show on television in more than four decades, earning 98 Emmy nominations (See? I can do Wikipedia too!)

  • Chris Smith

    No OJ Simpson? Thought he was hilarious in the Naked Gun movies.

  • Happy Camper

    What about OJ Simpson? You don’t have to like him, but you can’t deny he had better acting and athletic careers than most of these others.

  • Da’Marea-Thomas R. Mayo

    dont forget that the rock played at the U in the 80s around the same time as Michael irving

  • Stephanie

    How about John Wayne, Burt Reynolds, Richard Dean Anderson, Chuck Conners just to name a few.

  • James Thomas Canfield

    How the hell do you even think that Kareem’s best role was in Airplane?!! Where’s the mention of his fight scene in Deadly Game with Bruce Lee?? (His teacher)

  • michael s

    Jason Statham in “Snatch” and the shotgun movie. Snatch one of my favorite top 10 films.

  • michael s

    As for Burt Reynolds, is somebody charging by the letter? Smokey and the Bandit. Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

  • michael s

    And maybe you could be a little more generous with Chuck Conners. What teams and when?

  • Richard Smith

    Alex Karras most notable role? BLAZING SADDLES!!! ” Mongo only pawn in game of life”

  • michael s

    I agree on Arnold for number 1, actor and athlete.. But he is Mr. No Class. If I were him, I’d cover every mirror in the house on father’s day.

  • Steve Stevenson

    I recall that Karras was a pretty good actor, particularly in the TV version of Michener’s “Centennial”.

  • Geoffrey Sorkin

    Professional “wrestlers” are not athletes. Professional “wrestling” is not wrestling it is bad reality TV. In fact, Professional “wrestling” is the reason why the only way wrestlers can get respect in this country is by switching to mixed martial arts after college.

  • Lamprey69

    I can’t believe “The Duke”, Mr. John Wayne was left off of this list!!!!!!

  • Veto F. Roley

    No Johnny Mack Brown? After he led Alabama over the Washington Huskies in the 1926 Rose Bowl, he hung around Hollywood and became one of the first cowboy stars. Also, you left out Jim Thrope who appeared in a few movies and was considered the best American athlete from 1900 to 1950.

  • mike dyer

    let me see here, John Wayne played tackle for USC, Dan Blocker (bonaza) played for hardin simmons. There are others but how do you leave the “Duke” off

  • Brad

    No O.J.???

  • dofaust

    Weissmuller, Wayne, Lancaster??? …to mention only a few…. another graduate student journalist…


    were is O j simmson

  • Mark Mulcahy

    USC Trojans who did not make the list: John Wayne, Ward Bond, OJ Simpson, Buster Crabbe, Mike Henry, and Tom Selleck…. There are others, I’m sure…

  • Tom

    Wow! I thought maybe Babe Ruth would be number one. And he’s not even on here? What about O.J. Simpson?

  • truth_bomb

    No Terry Crews?

  • António Pedro Nobre

    Well, quite surprised this list miss LOTS of notorious athletes turned actors, only to name a few:

    O. J. Simpson – Rated No. 40 NFL Player of all-time by as of 2009 season, stands alone as the only player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a 14-game season, would make a remarkable acting career with roles in films like “Towering Inferno”, “The Cassandra Crossing” or most notably the “Naked Gun” triology.

    Jean-Claude Van Damme – Was a successful world class Kick-boxer before becoming an actor.

    Bruce Lee – (Omg, how could you forget him???) Another brilliant martial artist, who developed his fighting career in the US, before becoming an actor.

    Chuck Norris – Professional Middleweight Karate champion, title which he held for six consecutive years. In 1969, he won Karate’s triple crown for the most tournament wins of the year, and the Fighter of the Year award by Black Belt Magazine.

    Vinnie Jones – English footballer (oh, sorry, you guys call it soccer, right?) who played for the Welsh national team, has played major roles in over 50 films, including Guy Richie’s “Lock stock and 2 smoking barrels” and “Snatch” (Both starring the above mentioned Statham), “Gone in 60 seconds”, “Swordfish”, “EuroTrip”, “X-Men: The Last Stand” or even the voice of Jonesy the dog at “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”.

    Eric Cantona – Top French footballer (ooops, sorry, soccer again) of Manchester United fame, who played in several French and British films, including the epic “Elizabeth”

    Even Steven Seagal was an achieved Aikido master, although with an unremarkable competitive record.

  • seutonius

    Terry Crewes

  • phillipkslick

    What about OJ Simpson?

  • John Johnson

    Chuck Norris…world champion in karate.

  • IpseCogita

    Half of these folks were never really actors, they were just faces to put in a movie to get attention.

  • Aaron R

    What about OJ? How can you have this list without him? I didn’t see likability as a criteria. How can he not be in the top 5 of athletes turned actors of all time? Dumb list!

  • Sam Spear

    Cam Neely as Sea Bass?

  • walthester

    What? Are you in high school? How old are you? Alex Karras’ best-known role was Mango in Blazing Saddles. Not a very complimentary role, but a big character in a ground-breaking film. You didn’t even mention it. WTF?!?

  • walthester

    Dwayne Johnson also played TE for the ‘Kanes. Just a bit more research would be good.

  • mackthefinger

    OJ deserves to be on this list. Top 5 even.

  • Women Love Cool J

    No OJ Simpson??? Really??? What a biased poll!!!

  • Women Love Cool J

    Just so that you know. A professional wrestler is NOT an Athlete, they are ACTORS!!! If you are going to list “Rock”, at least talk about his football career at Florida State. Oh I’m sorry, he sucked at football!!!

    • epm54338

      Agree with you about so-called wrestlers. Ditto for bodybuilders. NOTE: The Rock played for the Miami Hurricanes.

  • AvaJayne

    John Wayne

  • dumdum21

    John Wayne should have been number one.He played football for USC. He got hurt that’s why walked the way he did.

  • World Issues Truth

    filtering the nonsense…

  • Charlie Davenport

    Didn’t have time to look at all, but Burt Lancaster, a former trapeze performer, would have to be #1

  • Danton Steele

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  • Dennis Wemus Grubb

    Whoa………………How in the world could you leave off Tommy Lee Jones, who played college football at Harvard?? He was a great football lineman in Junior High and High School back in West Texas and his intensity in films decpicts the way he played on the gridiron! He was always a very intense player, to say the least.

  • Mikael Nykvist

    So much is wrong with this list, many has already mentioned Weissmuller. But seriously, only a few have mentioned Chuck Norris. He was the undefeated karate world champion for 6 or 7 years and he have been in or behind the camera of over 40 films, and in TV series. Someone I don’t think anyone have mentioned is Wilt Chamberlain (possibly the greatest basket player of all time), he’s not been in that many movies but that’s the case with many on this list. Many more that could be mentioned but I will not take the time.

    • miserableoldfart

      Bill Russel was a regular on a tv show for a while, and very good at it.

  • Richard Garrick

    John Wayne?

  • Postcaptain

    Skateboarding???? Skateboarding???? Pleeeeeeeeze!!!!!!!!.

  • miserableoldfart

    Duh, Have you ever heard of Paul Douglas or Bruce Bennet???

  • Kal Tourette

    Kareem’s biggest movie is Game Of Death moment vs Bruce Lee

  • Gregg Hanano

    Joel McHale was on the Northwestern football team and even has a bowl ring!

  • saphojunkie

    “Hi, your article is retarded. Sincerely, former minor league pitcher Billy Bob Thornton.”

  • Alex Rahaman

    Hugh Laurie of ‘House’ rowed for Cambridge against Oxford – a huge televised event

  • Steve Smith

    arnold most memorable.. “batman” FFF what about CONAN!

  • Damon Defconone Kaiser

    umm, honestly how do you leave out John Wayne? (football USC)

  • David Fps PuertoRico Alayon

    where the fuck were guys like terry crews or steve mcqueen? terry crews played for the nfl and steve mcqueen was a professional race car driver…… who gives a fuck about bruice jenner? this article really was written by a 15 year old teeny bopper nitwit

  • James Walker

    Although he was not a professional athlete he was still pretty good… “The Duke” was a pretty good actor.

  • sascards42

    I’ve seen high school newspaper articles that were better researched and written than this article. The author throws out tv show and movie titles as the persons most well known role and leaves out the actual most famous. Alex Karras being the best example of this. Blazing Saddles? Victor Victoria?

    How about Howie Long?

  • Artist Patrick

    What no OJ?

  • Nathan Burk

    Jason Statham’s best films are Crank and Transporter??? No mention of Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, or the Italian Job??? And, btw, what is ironic about Andre the Giant dying of congestive heart failure? Buy a dictionary and put some actual thought into an article intended to be consumed by millions. :(

  • libuster

    You idiots, Alex Karras’s most famous role was Mongo in Blazing Saddles.

  • Zona

    Without reading one comment…you guys went with…OH YEAH, BUT YOU FORGOT………

  • epm54338

    John Wayne (football USC), Michael Warren of Hills Street Blues (UCLA basketball during the Wooden era). Ward Bond, appeared in many John Wayne movies, but also Gone With the Wind, Young Mr. Lincoln and Sgt. York was a lineman on USC’s first National Championship football team.

  • epm54338

    Also Johnny Weissmuller (5 Olympic gold medals and a bronze). He was one of the greatest swimmers ever. He played Tarzan in the movies and also had success on television. As did Buster Crabbe, who also won Olympic gold in the pool and later starred as Flash Gordon in the movies and also worked in television.

  • Paul Long

    So Burt Reynolds never played Bandit in Smokey and The Bandit? Whoever did these stories sucks at looking at history WOW

  • dl

    Dick Butkus!

  • HM

    What about Terry Crews

  • gt

    You forgot Michael Warren . Also with Hill Street Blues. As a college basketball player, Warren was an All-American at UCLA, where he and Lew Alcindor (later to be known in his professional NBA career as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) were members of the 30-0 1967 and 29-1 1968 Bruin teams that won two NCAA championship titles under legendary coach John Wooden. Warren, the smallest Bruin starter at 5′ 11″, averaged 12.4 points as a junior in 1967 and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team and All-American in 1968, one of three on that UCLA team along with Alcindor and guard Lucius Allen, considered by many commentators to be the best team in college basketball history. Alcindor and Warren later crossed paths when Michael was an extra in the hospital flashback scene in the 1980 film Airplane!

    He should have been included…Bruce Jenner is an actor??

  • gt

    Terry Crews

    Pro Sports Career: Defensive end & linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins & the Philadelphia Eagles from 1991 to 1996.

    Notable Acting Roles: Damon in Friday After Next (2002) -Julius Rock in Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009

  • gt

    Esther Williams
    Before she became the star of MGM musicals like Million Dollar Mermaid and Neptune’s Daughter, the Los Angeles native earned three national championships in breaststroke and freestyle competitions as a teen.

  • gt

    Rosey Grier (aka Roosevelt Grier)

    The Penn State alum and former NY Giants and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle was at Robert Kennedy’s side when he was shot in 1968 and helped apprehend Sirhan Sirhan immediately afterwards.

    He has appeared in films like The Thing With Two Heads and Skyjacked, wrote a book on needlepoint, appeared as a regular on The Daniel Boone Show and The White Shadow, and has even performed at Carnegie Hall as a singer.

  • Rob Smith

    Harmon not only played football at UCLA! But was the starting QB there and was the son of legendary Michigan Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon. Yeah this article missed a bunch. Karras’s was not only Mongo, but played Babe Didrickson’s husband in another movie.

  • lifacs

    Professional wrestling IS acting and bodybuilding is not a sport!!!

  • ( )

    No mention of Buster Crabbe.
    An American athlete and actor. He won the 1932 Olympic gold medal for 400m freestyle swimming before subsequently breaking into acting. He starred in a number of popular films in the 1930s and 1940s. He also played the title role in the serials Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers as well as Tarzan the Fearless

  • RobMitch

    How the hell did Terry Crews not make this list? No offense to Stacy Keibler or Burt Reynolds, but she isn’t a professional actor and he isn’t a professional athlete. Terry Crews, having accomplished both of those things, should easily make the top ten of this list.

  • benghaziBill

    Paul Robeson

  • MnVoiceofReason

    Don’t forget that Heisman thug who killed his wife and her friend.

  • CruisingTroll

    Johnny Weismuller: 5 Olympic Gold Medals, 1 Bronze. 52 US National Championships. 67 World Records.


    ’nuff said.

    Light years ahead of anybody else on the list except for The Guvahnator.

  • smrstrauss

    And John Wayne attended USC on a football scholarship.

  • Lanny Stricherz

    Had to be a Republican who composed this list. As Drained brain said, anyone who would leave Weissmuller off the list completely, but then also have “Ahnuld” number one and Jim Brown only 13 and Kareem even lower than that has to be prejudiced in some way.

  • John Treankler

    One more reason to invalidate this list: no Sir Sean Connery

  • rabbit

    who the f wrote this? a little informed….I’d say.

  • Michael A. Cramer

    Hmmm. Jim Brown should be near the top of this list. Johnny Weismuller, Buster Crabbe, Esther Williams, Sonia Henney, and John Wayne are all missing. They include dubious sports like wrestling and dubious actors like Brian Bosworth (looking at the rest of this list I don’t know why Shaq was left off). But worse by far–unconscionable–is that they left off Paul Robeson. None of the actors on this list come close to his stature as an actor, and few come close to his stature as an athlete.

  • Edwin

    Wrestlemania films? Dafuq?

  • Edwin

    Whomever wrote this, I’m sorry if you’re legit retarded….but damn they let anyone write in this shit.

  • CrabMan

    What about OJ Simpson? He make 2 lists… both ‘famous’ and ‘infamous’ Many think that he was doing a lot of acting during his court cases

  • ldj5000

    uh… o.j. simpson. hello? did some good acting in the court room too.

  • Eldridge

    Terry Crews??!!!??

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Beside Johnny W. they forgot Buster “Flash Gordon” Crabbe who won several gold medels (swimming) in his day.

  • CrazyWorldFullOfGreed

    An athlete as a sportscaster or playing themself in a movie IS NOT ACTING. They must be playing someone else to prove they are actors. Just like an actor that is identical in every role is paid as an actor, but they aren’t (we can all name several). Anthony Hopkins is an actor. Shaq is not.

  • CrazyWorldFullOfGreed

    Jim Brown is righteous! A role model in front of and away from the camera.

  • James Barry

    Carl Weathers – you leave out Action Jackson and Predator?
    Kareem was in a Bruce Lee film !!!

  • Mnuel M. Mendes

    Hey, you forgot Vinnie Jones… at least “Snatch” you must know… he was a professional footballer or soccer in England and played in some of the best teams, as Chelsea FC and some others… as a actor there’s also “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, his first appearance, as The Juggernaut in X-Man – Last Stand from 2006… and for more check IMDB… not the wikicrapedia.

  • Stuart Fearnes

    jenner has also had more facelifts than Nancy Pelosi

  • kachuks

    Will never forget him playing Ted Bundy.

  • Canton Hall

    How do you mention Alex Karras and NOT give him credit for playing Mongo in “Blazing Saddles”?

    Also, I didn’t see Ed O’Neill on the list. He played in the NFL for a short while (Steelers I think) and then went on to star in a number of shows and movies (Married with Children, Dutch, Little Giants, and now Modern Family)

  • djson1

    Sorry, but Jason Lee doesn’t deserve to be on this list.

  • spenser

    Gary Collins, end for the Browns, played in numerous TV shows.

  • ProVergent Media Strategies

    Whoever wrote this piece is lazy. Don Drysdale appeared in several TV shows in the 1960′s. John Wayne is the most famous actor that was a former athllete (USC football). And how do you leave out Alex Karras in Blazing Saddles?

  • Mical Turner

    You know, I might despise OJ Simpson as a person…but he probably should be on this list. Just because he is a lowlife doesn’t exclude the fact that he did act in a ton of stuff after playing football. Just saying.

    • Hud

      Simpson was one of the first people I thought of too. Surprised he was forgotten about. I do despise the murderer though.

  • Jerseysmelltours

    Weak even for this illustriously bad skank/script. If not for the NFL guys there is no list.

  • LoneWolf Charlie C

    At least Jason Lee made the cut! My name is Earl!!!!

  • Guest

    No Kareems most famous role was in Bruce Lee’s film The Game Of Death.

  • silksoul

    Who in the hell wrote this list? So they listed what Burt Reynolds was best known for, but left out Smokey and The Bandit, which really shot him up to the top? Really? Kareems most famous role was in Bruce Lee’s film The Game Of Death. Carl Weathers did Predator, its like they want to list the least popular roles or something, like these guys didn’t do movies in the 70′s and 80′s. Dwayne Johnson was just a wrestler, never mind the fact he played on the University of Miami’s national championship football team . You should deem yourself an incompetent writer and just fire yourself lol.

  • Scott Johnson

    great topic. Ridiculous execution.

  • pat conroy2

    Well that goes to show you that platelets can’t act. That’s spell check for ya!

  • J. E. Scarpaci

    I can’t believe you forgot to mention that Carl Weathers also played Carl Weathers in Arrested Development.

  • Craig Martinkovich

    How about Kurt Russell made it to AA minor league for the Angels before acting, I think he got career ending injury and could arguably be considered one of top three actors in your top 26.

  • Nolan Hughes

    So the best actual actor comes in at #19 on this list?

  • Mr McManus

    what no OJ Simpson

  • Wowyouaredumb

    The fact that Ray Allen got an honorable mention shows that this list has nothing to do with the quality of the acting work.

  • ArchieLeach

    If body builders count then Sean Connery should be the top of the list, he was a former Mr. Universe too.

  • Emery

    How do you mention movies Burt Reynolds is best known for & don’t even mention “Smokey & the Bandit. & what about Tony Danza, wasn’t he a boxer before he started acting.

  • channelcat

    How about John Wayne?

  • Richard Talbert

    its not right that Johnnie Weismeiller isnt on this list …before Mark Spitz was even born ,there was only ONE othe Olympic swimmer that garnered over 4 Gold medals ..and his 1940′s portrayal of Tarzan in the black and white film era is by far the best of any other person to play the Edgar Rice Burrough’s character. In fact ,weismeulller even created the famous Tarzan yell that still is used today

  • David C Johnson

    this article was poorly researched before it was written,Burt Reynolds in “Smokey and the Bandit”ring a bell?How about Alex Karras as “Mongo”in “Blazing Saddles”Two very iconic movies that even people in their twenties know about

  • D23

    How do you guys leave off Cannonball Run from both Reynolds and Bradshaw’s film list? Probably one of the best movies both were in compared to some of the garbage films you listed, lol

  • Luckyca

    They sure are loose with the term ACTOR. I did not see OJ there lol.


    What about Vinnie Jones? c’mon man, and if your gonna do one or two role people then Lennox Lewis as well.

  • JakeJ413

    Bruce Jenner should be #1 based on “Can’t Stop The Music” alone.

    • Hud

      Jenner should be #1 in freak land. Tyson #2.

  • Ole Buck

    What about John Wayne? Played football at Southern California. Bob Hope was a professional boxer (under the name Packy East) Pretty sure as soon as the writer gets home from middle school today she will read about the error of her ways.

  • Edward Walsh

    Burt Lancaster. His years as a circus performer qualify him as an athlete. And there is no comparison of his body of work to any of the 25 other athletes/actors mentioned.

  • Bear

    Thanks for bringing in Johnny Weissmuller. A much better athelete than actor, most to of the scenes of him swimming were actually shown in real time — not sped up. Who could leave out the creater of the “Me Tarzan – You Jane” school of acting.

  • Tim Murphy

    The order of those athlete/actors is preposterous. Lou Ferigno? Really. Mike Tyson has better acting ability and he’s nuts.

    • Hud

      If you grew up with only 3 TV channels and watching him play The Incredible Hulk you would understand.

  • Jeffery Hamilton

    Who is the writer for this rag? May I suggest seeking the services of a professional copy editor? Please? Internet benefit: rapidly disseminated information; internet drawback: any idiot with an internet connection can pretend to be a journalist, no education required!

  • AF

    Uh OJ Simpson

  • Bilal Chebbani

    Where’s OJ Simpson??

    • Spider1952

      In jail.

  • 4thINFSgt

    Kareem was also in “Game of Death.”

  • Hud

    Wrestlers are already actors. And it is an insult to all real athletes to call them athletes.

  • wazel

    Hulk Hogan? Lolz. He went from bad acting in a ring to worse acting on a screen..

  • Fred Boak

    All those guys and no mention of John Beradino (“Steve Hardy” on General Hospital)?

  • Barry Bunes

    First where is Bill Cosby saftey at Temple University.Second the best role Alex Karras had was in Victor Victoria the second was MUngo in Blazing Saddles

  • Frank Ripley

    What about Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan

  • Vin Smith

    …Even though I am 69 years young, and Hogan is a bit younger, I was a Little Hulkster!

  • Vin Smith

    …Maybe I’m wrong–I frequently am–but I think when writers working the sports blog beat get assignments, or dream them up by themselves, they end up doing absolutely shoddy research. To write a story entitled “Top-25 Athletes Turned Actors of All Time,” it makes sense to not miss some truly top athletes who have had wonderful careers as thespians. Some of these twenty-five, like Brian Bosworth are marginal choices.
    How can you forget Bernie Casey? All American track and field athlete at Bowling Green University; finals in the 1960 Olympic Trials in the high hurdles. That was before his eight year NFL career, spent with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams; a Pro Bowl appearance in 1958.
    As an actor, he worked with none other than Martin Scorsese, in the film, Boxcar Bertha. He has had over thirty-three feature film roles to date, and was the lead actor, playing Mike Harris, in Harris and Company, a high quality NBC television show. Some of his films include Guns of the Magnificent Seven, Brian’s song, an early performance playing the Chicago Bears team captain, He played Felix Leiter in the James Bond Film, Never Say Never Again. Then there was his high school teacher in the cult classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Star Trek, Deep Space Nine. Many more… I think I am writing this, because not only was Bernie Casey a fine NFL star, but he is one of the best actors ever to come out of the sports world. And you not only left him off the list, you probably never even heard of him. Shame, shame, shame….

  • Donald J Luchetti

    The author of this article is in 7th grade for the third year in a row
    now and his athletic prowess as always the last to be picked on the
    playground has rocketed the author to superstar status and the worlds #1
    hack writer. I mean who would of ever thunk that Bruce Lee excelled in
    martial arts and Jason Lee rode a skateboard when he was six! Kudos my
    Hemmingway muse, Kudos!

  • Derek

    Howie Long was in “Broken Bow”?

  • AlphaMikeFoxtrot

    How do you miss Alex Karras’s most famous role? Mongo not know, Mongo only pawn in game of life.

  • Morris

    The words “cameo appearance” come to mind for so many of these people.

  • Pathfinder50

    1926 Rose bowl MVP, Johnny Mack Brown of Alabama starred in 160 movies from 1927 to the mid 1960′s. No one on your list has that kind of resume.

  • Christopher Campbell

    How can the writer of this article not mention Kareem’s epic fight with Bruce Lee in Game of Death?!

  • UncommonSense

    The rock went from Actor to Actor….

  • michaelraffaele

    Fake Wrestling and Body Building are not sports.

  • gonz

    Vinnie Jones?

  • Changolote

    Alex Karras’ greatest role for which he is remembered is Mongo in Blazing Saddles.

  • mike

    Plus, they apparently don’t recognize Esther Williams as being female, because in a later frame, they describe another female as “the only” female to make the list.

  • David Derks

    Too bad they left off Sonja Henie, who won 3 gold medals at three Winter Olympics and was a top movie star in her day.

  • revmac28

    Re: Wilt Chamberlain’s lone silver screen. Wasn’t he in Airport and a Bruce Lee movie?

    • Mark Phillips

      Kareem A Jabar in the Bruce Lee movie.

  • Allen Poe

    As I recall Rosy Griers’ had his TV series debut in the show Daniel Boone or was it Davy Crockett. Well there were coonskin caps in it anyway.

  • Chris Crawford

    Where is Ed O’Neill on this list? He was a former Pittsburgh Steeler and played numerous acting roles in TV and film. Al Bundy, on Married with Children, and in Wayne’s World, etc.

  • Sterling Graham

    Okay, this is absolutely the last time I’ll be sucked in by a top ten or top anything list in which every freakin’ page is overloaded with ads that take forever to load. I’ve got better things to do than sort through someone’s opinions. That’s it! Goodbye lists and good damned riddance!

    • scook84


      <3 Muah!

  • Jordan Lange

    There was more than one female on the list….. proofread your work please.

  • Blackie

    Left out Bruce Bennett.

  • Blackie

    Left out Woody Strode

  • Travis Wommack


  • David John Wynyard

    What kind of list would exclude Woody Strode? We cannot take the list seriously.

  • Lisa Magnooty

    how the heck can you leave “Mongo” out of the credits for alex karass?

  • GT Nuke

    What about Shaq in Kazaam? That was a classic dud, but it was acting.. sort of…

  • g_mantwo

    Going by the comments below, there must have been at least two lists since a lot of the people they supposedly left off are now on the list. Perhaps the author made changes after reading of his/her omissions?

  • Justin Ahlquist

    mike ditka? BTW plagiarism even in journalism is sad. We all know you just copied and pasted from the numerous sites.

  • pussylicker69

    John Wayne played football at USC.. pretty bad when you leave #1 completely off the list.

    • Michael Balch

      Top 5, but not 1. Maybe with some smedge of a professional career, but #1 can’t have not made it past college.


    that was the 1969 super bowl dimwits

  • Otterman

    Oh, c’mon … where are Olympians Sonja Henie, Vera Ralston, Buster Crabbe, and Herman Brix (aka Bruce Bennett), all of whom had long and successful careers in the movies? Not to mention Mike Henry, Glenn Morris, Annette Kellerman …

  • homelessguy

    Esther Williams should be much higher – even though this generation
    never heard of her. she was a major movie star with over 30 pictures -
    and a life long athlete and well-known around the world for decades.
    Arnold is certainly #1 (like him or not). Merlin Olsen should be #5.
    Esther should be #3 or something. Brown, Williamson, and that other
    black guy are good choices. They have substantial careers in film/TV.
    The wrestlers I would leave out too – they are actors. Its not a sport -
    unless they were in sports prior – not just wrestling.
    What about Michael Jordan? Honorable mention – not enough film work.

  • Debbie Hutton-Loyer

    No Kurt Russell? He played 2nd base for the AA club California Angels until he tore his
    shoulder muscle, which forced him to retire in 1973.
    Ed Marinaro best know for Laverne and Shirley? Far from it. He’s definitely best known for Hill Street Blues.
    And nobody has mentioned Liam Neeson. He was a boxer in Ireland.

    • Michael Balch

      Vinnie Jones belongs in Top 3 with Schwarzenegger and Neeson.

  • Powermad

    Where is Vinnie Jones?

  • Kate

    Was I the only one that noticed they seemed to think Esther Williams was not a female?

  • Perry Anderson

    This list is incomplete. Number 1 should be John Wayne and it
    isn’t even close. The Duke played football at USC before injuring himself
    and getting started in the motion picture industry. To put anyone else before him is ridiculous!

  • MSUFan

    “Ironically Andre passed away in 1993 due to congestive heart failure.”
    First of all please learn the proper application of irony. Secondly,
    even if there were something ironic about someone’s death, it seems a
    bit tacky and unprofessional to mention it when it isn’t at all relevant
    to the article as if it’s the punchline to a joke. I am disgusted.

  • Fred

    Arnold is numero uno!

  • zchris87v

    No need to mention Dwayne Johnson playing for the 1991 Miami Hurricanes, when they won the national championship?

  • BongoFury

    Broken Bow? Isn’t that Broken Arrow?

  • Darling Me

    How about Paul Robeson? And Sonje Henie?

  • JGlackin

    At least a passing nod or honorable mention for Woody Strode? He was a decathlon athlete and football star at UCLA (Same backfield as Jackie Robinson). He had a movie career from 1941 until 1995.
    Go watch “The Professionals”. The man was a great actor.

  • John H. Holliday

    Namath is the most over-rated athlete in history.

    • Michael Balch

      The only hall of famer with almost twice as many INTs as TDs ride on the backs of his teammates to a very controversial Super Bowl victory. He doesn’t belong on this list and he doesn’t belong in the HoF

  • John H. Holliday

    Jenner… ha,ha,ha,ha… he’s the white Michael Jackson.

  • John H. Holliday

    Karras was great in “Paper Lion”.

  • help-4-youcom

    The Hulk is my hero. Makes me want to exchange my viagara for steroids.

  • help-4-youcom

    Stacy Keibleer makes great cookies now. The gang at help-4-you love them.

  • help-4-youcom

    Bubba Smith ….. Justin Biebers next boyfriend. Watch as Bubba takes the Beavers virginity in the a-hole.

  • help-4-youcom

    Is Bert Reynolds still alive? He must be old as dirt.

  • help-4-youcom

    Jason Lee professional skateboarder? Okay that I can believe.

  • Jack Czyzewski

    Vinnie Jones. Hello?

  • gunniesack

    Okay seriously F**k OJ
    Where the hell is Alex Caras?
    He had a Television show more memorable than most of these guys
    playing George Papadopoulos. on Webster

  • Knight

    Stacy Keibler is the only female on the list? So what is Esther Williams?

  • Kevin Young

    The Rock a not an athlete. He was a wrestler. Are tey fit? You bet, but they’re simply lousy actors who are physically fit.

  • The Spirit Bear

    Y’all left out Smokey & The Bandit, White lightning, Gator McKlusky, and Hooper on Burt Reynolds, (I’m sure I forgot a couple too) and Hooper on Terry Bradshaw also.

  • The Spirit Bear

    Renae Juska, the credited author of this story must be young, and doesn’t do enough research. Having said that, the stupid website wouldn’t even let me get all the way through all 35, I was on #7, when it popped up a commercial with a :27 second timer, and I clicked off to another tab to wait it out, since I hate commercials. When the ad was done, it refreshed the page and was back on Ray Allen again. I’m not going back through all of them to see the last six. Fuck that. This website is more concerned with commercials than with information. Fail. Big time fail. Uber fail. Get it?

  • Eric

    “Keibler is the only female athlete on the list of successful athlete actors.”
    …which might come as a surprise to #31, Esther Williams.

  • Eric

    “Ironically, Andre passed away in 1993 due to congestive heart failure.”
    Does the author know what “ironically” means? There is, literally, nothing ironic here.

  • SactoSteve

    Alex Karras had a memorable part in the iconic comedy “Blazing Saddles”, when, as “Mongo”, he punched out a horse.

  • rick

    You put The Rock on this list because he was pro wrestler? Um, yeah, and he was also a standout on the 1991 National Championship University of Miami football team.

  • Colin Wright

    Astonishing. Did I miss John Wayne somehow? He played football for USC.

  • William Moore

    You left out Phil Robertson the star or Duck Dynasty. He was a good enough quarter back at Louisiana Tech that the great, and I do mean great, Terry Bradshaw sat the bench as their second string quarter back.

    • Michael Balch

      That’s because Duck Dynasty is crap…

    • antonius

      Yeah, he’s an actor on a “Reality Show”.

  • big z

    forgot, the circus performer and gymnast, Burt Lancaster

  • David Nathaniel

    Listing professional wrestlers as athletes is one thing, but then listing their wrestling pay-per-views to their subsequent acting credits is just poor writing and hokey (Hulk Hogan, Stacy Kiebler). There are way better options than the ones listed here. Not to mention, guys like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were known for their martial arts prowess, which they then used to parlay into making action movies, for which they were also known for that same prowess. Kinda seems like cheating to me. It’s like listing body builders who were famous on the screen for having huge muscles… Oh yeah, this list did that, too (Arnold, Lou Ferigno)… Also, the movies that they listed some of these stars as “being known for” made no sense. Lou Ferigno being “known” for I Love You, Man, where he plays himself? or Jason Lee being known for Alvin and the Chipmunks (how about EVERY Kevin Smith movie, or Vanilla Sky? This list reads as though it were written by a 12 year-old boy, and researched on IMDB’s “known for” section.

    Personally, I was hoping for something that might actually surprise me, like the fact that Vinnie Jones was a professional footballer (soccer player) before getting injured and turning actor in films such as Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels; Snatch; Gone in 60 Seconds (2000); Swordfish; and X-Men. Pretty lame list.

  • Obvious

    Howie Long was in Broken Arrow, not Broken Bow

  • Charles Grimmett

    Karl Mulden {Pro Football – Movies} and John Barandino {Major League Baseball and General Hospital} are two you missed that had sufficient careers as both athletes and actors. A shame you missed them!

  • Beckwith

    One — or two — appearances in a film makes these guys actors?
    Give me a break!

  • Eric Fisher

    (Number 16 Stacy) “Keibler is the only female athlete on the list of successful athlete actors”. Which will come as a shock to Number 31: Esther Williams. Unbelievable. And props to the editor who missed it as well.

  • Jillian Jonsson

    My beef is with Swazeneager and Ferrigno. Are body builders athletes? I don’t think so. Being able to lift a bunch of weight doesn’t make you an athlete, just a big bodied person. Wrestlers are athletes because it takes a world of athleticism to do what they do but they are already actors to begin with so you can’t really say they are athletes turned actors.

  • Chuck

    I assume these are on no particular order – and how does ONE performance put youont he ‘Top’ list?

  • Coral Northover

    Two words this article is missing: Michael Jordan.

  • Way up North

    Forgot Don Meredith quarterback with the Cowboys. Did a lot in the 70s and early 80s with 8 episode on Police Story and a bunch of TV movies mainly playing a cop.

  • Christopher Nugent

    Renae Juska Your errors and omissions are too many to list. Try a little research or tell your editors to WTFU

  • teachersaide

    Mark Harmon was also a regular on St. Elsewhere, in the beginning. As was Denzel Washington.

  • LindsEy Barnes

    What about Matthew Wilig? He went to USC and played in the 1989 Rose bowl. He played offensive tackle in numerous NFL teams for 14 years. He’s in at least 10 movies and has numerous TV appearances.

  • disqus_qxzsEkCYOU

    Uh perhaps the greatest of all time is missing! Marion Robert Morrison A.K.A. John Wayne played football for USC before injury cut short his athletic career.

  • Duke OfGirth

    Geena Davis!

  • Michael Balch

    Where the hell is Vinnie Jones and how is he not Top 5 or even on the list? A huge European footballer and an even bigger actor.

  • jason jenkins

    If you’re going to include professional wrestlers then Rowdy Roddy Piper definitely deserves to be mentioned simply on the strength of his performance in John Carpenter’s cult hit THEY LIVE. That movie looks more and more prophetic each day and Piper was great. Who can forget such classic lines as “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass and I am all out of gum”?

  • Duke OfGirth

    Geena davis

  • Anton

    Who wrote this article? First off they had Esther Williams at # 31 then
    Stacy Keibler at # 16 but on Stacy Keibler it said she was the only female
    athlete turned actor…. WRONG, you goofed on your own article, I believe you
    are supposed to proof read before you submit to fix any errors that the reader
    will catch, I know, I used to write for TIDBITS years ago. Also, I don’t know
    how Renae
    Juska figured out the order, obviously AHH-nold should be #1, no argument
    here, I doubt anyone would question Schwarzenegger being first. But to put Bruce
    Jenner ahead of Johnny Weissmuller is insane. Jenner is a famous actor for what
    again? While Weissmuller was famous for
    a half a century as Tarzan in Movies from 1929 – 1948 and then decades longer in
    reruns on T.V. just no real order to the list. Poorly written, you can tell
    Juska is an amateur writer, this may be her first job…. Come on Renae, you
    can do much better, apply yourself more to what you are writing, put more heart
    into it…

  • Ismael Nunez


  • Miminka

    It is mentioned twice that there is one female athlete that made the list but the list contains two (Esther Williams and Stacey Kiebler). How is a person who can’t even count allowed to write?

  • Ken Bradshaw

    John Wayne?

  • mary

    John Wayne and Ward Bond

  • simmss

    What about Chuck Connors who was a decent actor and also played with the Celtics and a Pro-baseball team.

  • Alexandre Bret

    Theres only thing you need to know…Im Joe Namath…It was vapor lock!

  • Ellie4

    Howie Long’s movie was not “Broken Bow” it was “Broken Arrow” with Travolta and Slater

  • truebyufan

    The Rock also played college football at Miami. He would have been a pro player and high draft pick had he not had knee issues.

  • magusxxx

    Didn’t look through all 900+ comments… But the most glaring omission seems to be Sean Connery who was a professional bodybuilder.

    • J- Dub

      If we’re counting bodybuilders (which we shouldn’t), then Steve Reeves was not only a very successful actor, but also a very successful bodybuilder. Don’t think Sean ever won anything — but great actor yes.

  • Doug

    Broken Bow? Broken Arrow!

  • J. C. Smith

    Ed O’Neil should be on the list.

  • Daddy Love

    Howie Long was in “Broken Arrow,” not “Broken Bow.”

  • Angus Dorbie

    Jason Lee is the human lead of Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was not a voice only part.

  • Kreg Atterberry

    This writer lost me when he claimed Joe Namath played in the 1970 Superbowl. That was Joe Kapp and the Vikings against Hank Stram’s Super Bowl winning Kanas City Chiefs.

    • Lawrence H. Rosen

      Namath and the Jets won Super bowl III in January 12, 1969.

  • RickEll

    I won’t bother to repeat all the mistakes below: just to add that Howie Long starred in BROKEN ARROW. How in the WORLD do you not google that and get it right?
    What a crap article and waste of my life thank you very much Renae Juska; now go get a job that you can actually do.

  • deeeeep

    I feel that at some point most actors were athletes.

  • Andy Sprouse

    shouldnt count pro-wrestlers, thats all an act anyway

  • Starr Smith

    What about Sonja Henie? Sonja Henie (April 8, 1912 – October 12, 1969) was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic Champion (1928, 1932, 1936) in Ladies Singles, a ten-time World Champion (1927–1936) and a six-time European Champion
    (1931–1936). Henie won more Olympic and World titles than any other
    ladies figure skater. At the height of her acting career she was one of
    the highest paid stars in Hollywood. Quoted from Wikipedia.

  • Karl Erik Jünger

    Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy)???

  • Keith

    fuck click through lists

  • John Smith

    Howie Long was NOT in “Broken Bow” It was “BROKEN ARROW” with John Travolta and Christian Slater!!

  • Jamie Ashby

    I don’t know who wrote the piece on Andre the Giant, but the word “ironically” is misused.

    Or, to quote Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • BearcatPhotog

    Namath’s Super Bowl win was in 1969, not 1970.

  • crygdyllyn

    You really have to include Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, and Burt Lancaster. They all
    were circus performers, and great athletes.

  • reardensteel

    Wasn’t Richard Dean Anderson a pretty decent athlete in his day?

    • Debbie Hutton-Loyer

      Yes, he played hockey. According to his bio, he broke both of his arms in separate incidents and that kept him from becoming a pro hockey player.

  • CathyStripeLester

    Is bodybuilding a sport?
    They listed Bruce Lee but not Jackie Chan or Jet Li, both of them magnificent athletes. Gilbert Roland learned bullfighting from his father and could have been a pro if the family had stayed in Mexico. And what about Burt Lancaster, who was a gymnast and later became a circus performer? He did his own stuff in “Trapeze!” Personally I’d put Lancaster at in at No. 1 because he was not only a real athlete but a better actor than any of the others on the list.

  • Jack Jackson

    No mention of “Blazing Saddles” on Alex Karras’ CV….Was google broken?

  • Jack Jackson

    Sheesh! No mention of “Branded” for Chuck Connors?! It’s his No. 2 TV show…No mention of ‘Cowboy in Africa’ either. You must be using yahoo for searches.

  • Jack Jackson

    No Kevin Smith movies mentioned in the Jason Lee bio…and no St. Elsewhere for Mark Harmon. You guys need to hire some editors who have actually watched TV and films.

  • JuneBugg Moore

    Archie Moore- Undefeated Light-Heavyweight Boxing Champion- MGM’s Huckleberry Finn, Batman tv series, The Fortune Cookie, The Carpetbaggers, Bonanza tv series, Family Affair tv series, Breakheart Pass

  • DJSdad

    Several of the names I see mentioned in the comments as “missing” are on the list, curious if the list changed or if people just didn’t go through it. There are plenty of people who were well known, or not so well known, athletes with successful acting careers. The biggest one I noticed though is Ed O’Niell of Married with Children and Modern Family. He was drafted by the Steelers as a linebacker in the mid-70′s. Certainly more deserving than Brian Bosworth who was about as terrible of an actor as there has ever been. This list is a joke.

    • Tim Marshall

      Bosworth actually played in the NFL. O’Neill did not.

      • DJSdad

        And most of the people on the list did not play in the NFL, with very few having ever been pro. What exactly is the point? Look through the list again, it is athletes turned actors. Few of them were known as athletes by most people. Bosworth was a terrible actor with almost no career, Ed was not as good of a football player, but certainly has the better credits on his acting resume. Playing in the NFL had nothing to do with the list.

  • Mann D. Lifeboats

    How could late Alex Karras’ role as Mongo in “Blazing Saddles” ever have been omitted?

  • Dreamer012778

    Let’s face it whoever wrote this article has no clue and cannot even accurately mention movie titles, example Howie Long, it was Broken Arrow, NOT Broken Bow

  • RAMBunctious Fan

    the “apparent” research done for this article is half-assed at best…Howie Long was not in “Broken Bow”…no such movie…try “Broken Arrow” with Travolta and Slater…this is one of the reasons the media can’t be trusted with correct info…lazy, lazy, lazy…and no one to proofread and fact check.

  • SGT Ted

    Alex Karras first big role he had was as Mongo in “Blazing Saddles” a HUGE Mel Brooks film. Not even mentioned here.

  • Rake Maker

    Jason Lee an athlete? Are you kidding me? A skate boarder is no more an athlete than a golfer, skeet shooter or croquet player! Ever see him run on My Name Is Earl? LOL ok next question……..

    • Tim Marshall

      You clearly have no clue what it’s like to skateboard.

    • v11

      go back to watching the only three sports your little brain can comprehend baseball,basketball, and football … you freakin idiot

  • Vern Green

    How on earth is Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris so low on this list with other guys who barely even had an athletic career and other athletes who barely had an acting career. Noobs.

  • WillProuty

    Ed O’Neill? Hello? Signed by the Steelers, then cut in training camp. Also known as Al Bundy, or Jay Pritchett from Modern Family. This article is a fail.

    • Tim Marshall

      I love Ed O’Neill, I’m not sure why it’s a fail to leave him off the list since he never actually played professional football and only played for a short time at a small college in Ohio.

  • Clarence Espinosa

    The biggest omission of all was perhaps the most famous athlete-turned-actor, former boxer Bob Hope.

  • White_Lightning

    John Wayne is still number one. Played football for Stanford, and the Chicago Bears,
    before hitting the big screen.

    • Tim Marshall

      Wayne played for USC(and lost his athletic scholarship because of injury) and he never played for the Bears.

  • Liadan

    Sonya Henny, Gina Carano, Cathy Rigby…some you left off the list. And you say Stacy Keibler is the only female on the list, but then name Esther Williams.

  • J- Dub

    I’m going to get a lot of hate for this one, …
    But bodybuilders are not athletes.
    Being a narcissistic, drug toting, freak does not imply athleticism.
    This list is a joke for including them especially giving arnold top-billing.
    Oh, … and if we’re going to include them, where’s Steve Reeves?
    That was a bodybuilder that actually could participate in sports and had a very successful acting career.

  • Jeff Smith

    Agree; certainly within the “Top Ten”. Also within consideration, Reynolds was a “Top Five” Box Office Draw for at least four years…not bad; he should be higher.

  • patrick

    Howie long was in :Broken Arrow.. not “broken bow”.. sheesh

  • Antoine Desormes Jr.

    The name of the movie Howie Long was in is called “Broken Arrow”.

  • Jack Jackson

    Your editor’s generational gap is showing. IF Arnold is #1 where is Sean Connery who essentially performed the same feat…Turned a Mr. Universe level body into an acting career? I would argue that Connery is the overlooked #1 since his career actually included an Oscar. [something Arnold's work will never earn] Arnold did parlay his award into 8 years as the CA governor but that’s the citizen’s of California’s problem.

  • lbyrne2009

    KAreem was also the second to last opponent with Bruce Lee in Game of Death. He studied under him.

  • lbyrne2009

    Burt Renoylds best feature wasn’t them, but him in Smokey and the Bandit.

  • MnVoiceofReason

    Pro wrestlers and college football players is stretching it a bit…

  • ItGeekBoy

    The title is misleading.
    It should be titled:
    “The 35 top actors who were also athletes.”
    Top 35 Athletes who were actors would include:
    Babe Ruth
    Roger Clemens
    Mike Ditka
    Ray Nitschke
    Julius Irving
    Mike Jordan
    Lawrence Taylor
    Mickey Mantle

    I am not saying anything about “acting skills” but they are some pretty awesome athletes that also acted.

    ‘just sayin’ :P

  • Daniel De Kok

    You bring up Alex Karras’ acting care and NOT mention Mongo in “Blazing Saddles”? Are you KIDDING me?

  • Christina

    Whether all athletes were mentioned in this article or not, it was such a breath of fresh air to hear something that celebrated a person’s life…very uplifting!! Good Job Rant Sports!!

  • Leo Atrox

    Gina Curano? If you’re going to have other martial artists and wrestlers, you should add Gina Curano to the list. Both her athletic and acting accomplishments are greater than Stacy Keebler’s.

  • ChiCity4life

    Jason Lee? Where’s the Kevin Smith movies? He was in 6 of them for christ’s sake

  • Bart

    For Howie Long, it’s “Broken Arrow,” not Broken Bow. BROKEN ARROW!

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    You say “only female athlete” after you’ve already shown Esther Williams.

    Paul Robeson.

    John Matuszak.

  • Mark Mays

    Worst article on this subject ever, not even fact checked or edited. The Rock was on the Univ of Miami football team. You put two women on the list then say the wrestler was the only female. You left out most of these subject’s most important works as well.

  • Carlos

    No Michael Jordan ???

  • Aaron Winchester

    Who ever wrote this is an idiot!

    First WWF is not a sport but a TV show.

    Jason Statham’s best movies Were Snatch and Lock Stock and two smoking barrels!

    How do you write about Burt Reynolds and not talk about the movies he really know for Smokey and the Bandit Hooper or The Cannon ball run movies?

    Jason lee you leave out all of his Kevin smith movies?

  • shaggles

    Rachel Skarsten played hockey.

  • Albert Pride

    No Robert Urich? No Micheal Warren? Seriously? Really? I’m alright with some of the ones listed, not all of them, though…Glad to see Chuck Connors name in here…

  • Bradley Earl

    “Broken Bow”? WTF! Do your homework, “Broken Arrow”

  • minxcomix

    How could you not include Babe Ruth? He acted in several films.

  • Walt Schumate

    Hey, the Babe appeared in a couple of movies.

  • callmeBob

    Jim Brown is also a Racist!

  • Tricia Hope

    Wow…whoever wrote this is really not very into the subject. “Just the beginning” of Schwarzenegger’s career was about 20 years earlier than what was discussed here. Think Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer and you’re getting closer. Or you could just take it all the way back and mention Hercules in New York in 1969. He was listed as Arnold Strong, Mr. Universe. However, going back to Conan the Destroyer…Andre the Giant appeared in that as well. Pffft…kids these days.

  • Alex Johnson

    How can someone write something like this, mention roles Burt Renyolds is famous for, and not mention Smokey and the Bandit? I know the sequels were crap but that first one was great. Shame on you!

  • NotYourSexyBoy

    How is it even remotely ironic that Andre the Giant died from congestive failure?

  • Kyle Mansfield

    What about John Wayne? He played football and did a little acting.

  • Bill

    Why wouldn’t John Wayne top this list. The order is all messed up also. Besides Arnold who has more credits than Norris? Where’s Ronald Reagan? Bruce Lee should be near the top.

  • Gary22

    There are a couple of other “minor” omissions. Like USC Football teammates Ward Bond and John Wayne that were recruited to play in the Movie “The Knute Rockne story and never looked back. Ward Bond made over 230 movies and John Wayne was well, John Wayne..

  • anya

    yea, this list is not even close to being complete. this person who wrote it should do some more research. i would mention some names, but i think everyone else has them covered

  • anya

    you know i will add some names i will only do those in the martial arts area so’s not to embarrass the writer of this story more than others here have.

    Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van Damme, Donnie Yen,

    Josephine Siao, Connie Chan, Yuen Qiu, Cynthia Rothrock, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi,

    Maggie Cheung, JeeJa Yanin, Chow Yun Fat, Kathy Long, Bridgett Riley, Richard Norton,

    Gary Daniels, Benny Urquidez, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham,

    Lucia Rijker, Karen Sheperd, Joe Lewis, and Michiko Nishiwaki

  • anonymous

    Howie Long starred in “Broken Bow”? … is that the sequel to “Broken Arrow?” I stopped reading there.

  • George Markunas

    I guess they’re saying Esther Williams wasn’t female?

  • Jon

    OJ really…OJ

  • Bryan Chappo

    Why is Shaq not mentioned also…he’s been in quite a few commercials as well and Kazaam and they mentioned #15 i think for his role in Blue Chips but failed to mention Shaq’s role in the same movie whos role was second only to Nick Nolte in that movie….

  • Shawn K. Duffy

    OK, seems like half the people that you guys are mentioning as not being on the list , are actually on the list. SO, read the whole list. Yes, John Wayne, Ronald Regan, Kirk Douglas were missing (among many others). The one that came to mind for me was Geena Davis – she is a world class archer and just missed the Olympics a few years ago. I am thinking if you can have skateboarders, body builders, WWE raslers, etc. – you can have Archers?

  • Peter

    What about Tom Selleck??? USC Basketball and Volleyball All-American.

  • squidb8

    WWF(now WWE) wrestlers work hard to maintain their characters, they aren’t actually athletes. They’re entertainers, though many of them are athletes in their own right. However, the matches are already known to everyone but the audience. Every move has been practiced as if it were a dance recital. The whole damn thing is a dance recital, sorry to destroyed anyone’s illusions to the contrary.

  • squidb8

    When I think of Jim Brown I remember him as Slammer in I’m gonna get you sucka.

  • MoJoDad

    I knew Howie Long was in “Broken Arrow”. He was in one called “Broken Bow” also?? Must be a sequel, lmao.

  • Thomas Humphrey

    What About “Duke” Morrison A.K.A. John Wayne……DUH!!!!!!!

  • Jared S.Eddo

    Attn Renae Juska!!!!! Howie Long was in Broken Arrow……. Not Broken Bow!!!! Enjoy your internship not doing your homework!!!!! Annoying!!! Is that mean enough!!?? Give the guy props for *^%#*’S Sake!!!

  • coley

    If the athlete only really made a cameo here or there on a show that’s mediocre, then don’t call them an actor. If it was difficult to find suitable candidates, then shorten your list!

  • Mick Reilly

    I am going to say being a wrestler is kind of like being an athlete, but starring in wrestling events on TV does NOT constitute an acting Career(If it does, then the Wrestling is acting and thus not a sport)

  • Ron Baker

    Chuck Norris at 28 and OJ at 27? huh?

  • Craig Eldridge

    If you’re going to put people with college athletics in here, then they clearly missed one of the biggest actors of all time, John Wayne. He should be number one, no former athlete could ever compare.

  • Chuckster

    What about Dean Cain.. Didn’t he play for the Jets before he became Superman (unless you’re considering because he played for the Jets he wasn’t eligible?)

  • dharmasyd

    The Terminator should have a biop film about him entitled “Chicksengroper”.

  • Allen Jordan

    Alex Karras: Did we forget he was Mongo in Blazing Saddles?

  • Markie Colombini

    Micheal Jordan? Space Jam was a big hit back in the day!

  • My Big Toe

    The movie that Howie Long was in was called Broken Arrow, not Broken Bow. Broken Arrow also had John Travolta and Christian Slater…

  • Ryan Crinnigan

    70 clicks for this lame-ass slide show? You’ve gotta be kidding me.

  • The Equalizer

    You can definately tell the age of this writer. No Summer School for Mark Harmon, No Conan for Arnold Swartchenager. What about Donald “The Ogre” Gibb! (Revenge Of The Nerds for those that don’t know)

  • Ethan

    Where is my guy Shaq??

  • TechSci

    This List is incomplete without Buster Crabbe
    -Olympic Gold medal swimmer (1932)

  • TechSci

    This list is incomplete without Buster Crabbe!

    -Olympic Gold Medal winning swimming Champion (1932)

    Starred in ‘Tarzan the Fearless’ serial (1933)

    Starred in several ‘Flash
    Gordon’ and ‘Buck Rogers’ serials (1936-1940)

    Starred in more than 100 movies

    Starred in ‘Captain Gallant’ television series (1955-1957)

    Guest starred in
    an episode of the 1979 series Buck Rogers in the 25th

    He was the only actor
    to play Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers – the top three syndicated comic
    strip heroes of the 1930s.

    Enough said!

  • Terry Hickey

    I thought you guys might be serious about this. Some of them I agree wholeheartedly with, but there are some glaring omissions, Kirk Douglas who was a boxer and wrestler and Burt Lancaster who was a circus trapeze artist not to mention Johnny Weissmuller who was an Olympic swimmer Buster Crabbe another Olympic swimmer Sonjia Hennie Olympic figure skater. Come on guys if you’re going to do a list of athlete actors at least get some actors that made a name for themselves and were good at it.

  • Matthew J

    No mention of Steve Reeves? C’mon, there would have been no Arnold without Steve.

  • kyleharding

    Every list on this website is made by lames. Horribly ranked, sometimes badly researched, and idiotic insight and opinions. Ray Allen as “honorable mention”on a list of 35 is unforgivable..not to mention shaq, and Jordan, while not great actors still put more entertaining stuff then these guys on soap operas and stuff no one has ever heard of and people that aren’t even athletes. Good ideas for articles to gain interest but horrible quality

  • ramubay

    “Keibler is the only female athlete on the list of successful athlete actors.” The writer forgot they listed Esther Williams who was much more successful as both an athlete and an actress (she was actually one of Hollywood’s Top Movie Stars). If the writer doesn’t pay attention to their own list why should anyone else?

  • Ridiculous

    Seriously… John Wayne is not on this list. Pretty much makes this list, well, stupid.

    • Liquidfx Xboxdude

      that can be on your list.

  • Blind RedHat

    Athletes who made cameo appearances playing themselves should not qualify for this list.

  • unclesamonmars


    • grizzled1two

      “Mongo only pawn…in game of life”

  • Grant Fricks

    This is missing many movies and tv shows done by various performers. Some are their best known roles. For instance, Chuck Conner played in 2 other series, Branded, and the Rifleman, his best known role. The author, at best, did not know anything out of a cradle when these series from the 50′s and early 60′s were on. But come on, Wikipedia would give you the filmography. Some lazy work here.

  • Jon Matthews

    No Kurt Russell, are you kidding me? He played in the minor leagues and made it up to AA, before he became a full time actor. Beau Bridges also played basketball for 2 years at UCLA under John Wooden.

  • Bryan Bailey

    Howie Long was in “Broken Arrow,” not “Broken Bow.”

  • Jim O’Brien

    How did Kurt Russell not make this list?! He was Snake Plisken and Jack Burton AFTER signing with the Angels!!

  • damercer2850

    Gee, here’s a few you missed:
    Mike Warren – Bobby Hill on Hill Sreet Blues among others – All American point guard on back to back NCAA Basketball champs at UCLA. Bill Cosby – running back at Temple University. And #1 – Marion Morrison – BKA John Wayne, who played football at USC.

    • jdubtrey

      Yeah, I was just about to post about Warren.

  • Parody Parody

    This article is a complete joke. Most good actors exercise all the time in order to look good for the camera, and they probably did a lot before becoming famous too! Heck, I saw Danny Devito running once, why isn’t he on this list?

    The list really should have been limited to ONLY people who were a part of a professional sport (yes sport, so Hogan, Rock and all their G-String buddies don’t count) to be included.

    With that said, I still don’t understand why Michael Jordan didn’t make the list at all. Not only was Space Jam an awesome movie for any kid of the 90s, but he was also the best Basket Ball player ever!

  • choc chippie

    are you kidding Bruce Lee changed the movie industry and defined a generation.. He was the biggest star of the early 70′s

  • Jen Novotny Erhart

    Above and beyond the glaring omission of former hockey player Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver), I have one question: if Stacey Kiebler is “the only female athlete on the list of successful athlete actors,” does that mean Esther Williams was really a man?

  • Jay Oatman

    Your site sucks really bad. Scripts are too long. Not coming back……….

  • Johnny Bliss

    what about Ed O’Neill ????