Nowadays it seems that the big trend is rappers turned actors but another trend was professional athletes who got into the acting game. For some it amounted to a gimmick but some have had a lasting legacy on Hollywood.
5. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan appeared in only one major movie, Space Jam. However he had the Looney Tunes, Bill Murray, Wayne “Newman” Knight and other ballers like Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing to back him up. Michael has to help the Looney Tunes defeat an army of aliens who want to put them into an intergalactic zoo. Of course he and the Looney Tunes win and an entirely new generation was introduced to the Tunes. Thanks Michael!
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Just like Michael Jordan, Roddy Piper has only been in one really memorable movie, They Live. However, that is one of the most kick ass movies brought to us by director extordinaire John Carpenter. Roddy Piper plays Nada, a drifter who gets involved in a resistance movement agaisnt alien invaders brainwashing us with subliminal messages. In the course of this he gets into one of the greatest fight scene ever with Keith David and drops some of the best one liners ever. Roddy went on to a number of TV roles on shows like Highlander and Walker Texas Ranger.
3. Vinnie Jones
Vinnie Jones is a former soccer (or football to everyone outside the US) player who has become a character actor specializing in “right hard” roles. He’s been in such films like “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”, “Snatch”, “Gone in Sixty Seconds”, “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “The Condemned” and “Midnight Meat Train”. He also gave an awesome parody of himself on the brilliant show “Extras”.
2. Jim Brown
Jim Brown rocked the NFL for nine years, breaking records on the Cleveland Browns. After football he got into acting and his first major role was in The Dirty Dozen. He’s near and dear to the KICK ASS Movie Podcast’s heart as Fireball in The Running Man. He was also in the loved by some, hated by others, Mars Attacks!. He’s also had a number of small roles here and there.
1. Carl Weathers
Carl Weathers is probably one of the rare cases where people have forgotten that he was an athlete. He played football in college for San Diego, was in the CFL and played in the NFL on the Raiders for John Madden. After this he has had a number of great roles, most notably his legendary portrayal of Apollo Creed in Rocky I-IV and of course Major Dillon in Predator with Arnold, which gives him one degree of sepeartion with Jim Brown. He was also in Happy Gilmore as golfing legend Chubbs Peterson and was in a bunch of Arrested Development episodes as a cheapskate parody of himself.