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Top 15 Athletes Who Would Make Great Actors

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15 Athletes Who Could Easily Become Actors

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We see it all too often -- athletes end their professional playing days and pick up scripts in order to begin a new career in the acting realm. It's not necessarily a bad thing that athletes are deciding to further their careers on TV or on the big screen -- sometimes they are actually surprisingly successful.

Shaquille O'Neal would make a great actor if you watched him during his playing days. He had a way with words with media members and seemingly always made people laugh. Although he made a terrible movie during his playing days, he rebounded and became an actor in various TV shows and a movie or two following his career.

Movies and TV shows are more likely to give a small role to a former athlete than an aspiring actor because of the interest it will drive in fans. It's always exciting to see a former player that used to be tearing it up on the playing field on the big screen or on your favorite sitcom.

This whole movement of athletes to the acting world has made me realize that there are some athletes today who would make great actors once they retire. I mean, if Shaq can make his own movie, why can't other athletes get a shot at making movies and appearing on television shows.

Who is your favorite athlete today? Have you ever thought of how that athlete would fair in the movie industry? Usually if they are a well-known athlete, they will excel on the screen because of pure popularity -- just ask Michael Jordan how Space Jam went for him.

Let's take a look at 15 athletes today who could easily become actors. Most of these guys have had television cameos and commercial appearances, but all could star in movies of their own -- or at least play a major role.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at

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Peyton Manning

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Manning's days in the NFL are numbered, but that doesn't mean he has to stay out of the spotlight. He was a hit on Saturday Night Live when he was the host and he does like a million commercials.

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Chael Sonnen

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His trash talking makes him look like a natural in front of the camera -- and you know those lines have been rehearsed.

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Richard Sherman

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Richard Sherman is also a trash talker that would be a hit on the big screen. He's a bit over-the-top, however, so he might make a good soap opera star.

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Ray Allen

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Ray Allen was already in a pretty successful movie. Maybe he has more to come once he actually retires.

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Cristiano Ronaldo

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Ronaldo is the perfect, stereotypical big time pretty boy. If there was one athlete who loves to flop and who cares more about his looks than the game, it's Cristiano.

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Chris Bosh

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Bosh's photo-bombing antics would get put to great use on television.

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Derek Jeter

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Derek Jeter is the coolest guy in sports -- or so he seems like it. He has the calm, cool and collected attitude to be a natural in front of the camera -- and he has already shown that.

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Lance Armstrong

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He made a cameo in Dodgeball and it worked out well. However, that's not the reason he would make a great actor, it's because he lied to America about his performance-enhancing drug use and was great at selling the lie.

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Kobe Bryant

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Kobe Bryant made an appearance on Modern Family, but one line isn't a great barometer. However, he has the look of a stone-cold killer at times and the Mamba would make a great villain.

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Chuck Liddell

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Liddell has appeared on Blue Mountain State and has been in various commercials, but looking like John C. Reilly with a mohawk doesn't hurt his acting chances, either.

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LeBron James

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LeBron acts every time he takes a "charge".

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Tom Brady

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Tom Brady has a fiery personality and that would get him to the top in the movie industry.

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Mike Tyson

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Okay, so Tyson is no longer an athlete, but he got his acting career off to a good start as everyone's favorite part of The Hangover movies.

Warning: this video may contain Tyson-sized profanity.

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Brett Favre

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Brett was the man in There's Something About Mary, but I'm sure he has more acting skills in him.

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Alex Rodriguez

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Slimy, sneaky and great at lying. Sign him up. He did make a small appearance on Entourage.