Athletes starring in movies is a longstanding practice, going all the way back to Johnny Weissmuller back in the 1930s. Basketball star LeBron James may play himself in 'Trainwreck,' but we hear he steals the show... like the athletes did in the following movies.
Before a foot injury put an end to Jim Caviezel’s dream of becoming a pro basketball player, he was quite a standout as a college baller.
From Mr. Universe to The Terminator, Ah-nuld turned pumping iron into box office gold, becoming one of the biggest action movie heroes ever. (Big enough for us to forgive the movie 'Junior.')
By the time Johnny Weissmuller donned Tarzan’s loincloth, he was already an internationally known sports legend, having won five Olympic gold medals for swimming and one bronze medal for water polo.
Jason Lee took up skateboarding at age 13. By 18, he was an international skateboarding star, credited with creating the crowd-pleasing “360 flip.” Lee’s acting career began when he took his skateboard tricks in front of the camera, appearing in several music videos before starring in films 'Chasing Amy, 'Almost Famous,' the 'Chipmunks' franchise and NBC's 'My Name is Earl.'
You don’t need us to tell you who Burt Reynolds is. But you might need us to remind you that he was once a standout football star at Florida State University. Unfortunately for him, an injury cut his playing career short. But fortunately for audiences, he decided to give acting a shot.
Often mentioned as the greatest player in NFL history, Jim Brown played 9 record-breaking years at fullback for the Cleveland Browns before starring in over 30 films, including 'The Dirty Dozen' and Tim Burton's 'Mars Attacks.'
Although he once hit a home run off Hall of famer Sandy Koufax, Bob Uecker retired from baseball with a career batting average of .200. This was enough to help him transition from the ballpark to the big screen, most notably as sports announcer Harry Doyle in 'Major League.'
Andre the Giant
Nicknamed "The 8th Wonder of the World," Andre the Giant had a long career as a professional wrestling superstar before playing Fezzik in 'The Princess Bride.'
With 38,387 points, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record as NBA's all-time leading scorer. He also holds claim to two memorable performances on film. The first came as Bruce Lee’s high-kicking foe in the karate classic 'The Game of Death.' The second was as copilot Roger Murdock in 'Airplane!' Do we think his performance in the latter was comedy gold? That’s a big roger — Roger!
During his 12 NFL seasons, Alex Karras played in 161 games. But he really proved what an iron man he was when he punched out a horse as Mongo in Mel Brooks' comedy classic, 'Blazing Saddles.'
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Apparently, what the Rock was cooking was a big-screen career following his popular stint as a professional wrestler. Some resume highlights include Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain' and the 'Fast and Furious' franchise.
Before headlining the action film 'Missing in Action' and its sequels -- or starring on CBS' 'Walker, Texas Ranger' -- Norris was famous for being the first westerner to ever achieve the rank of 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do. What an underachiever.