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5 Sportsmen Who turned Actors and Made It Big In Films

How often have you seen sportsmen who turned actors, and becoming a part of the film industry? Well, there are quite many sportsmen till date who when wanted to experiment with new careers, switched to the big screen. Why though? Well, movies allow people to get more recognition and give them a platform where they can showcase their talent in front of the world.

Although a lot of stars have tried doing films, only a few among them have been able to make it big in the films.

These are the well-known sportsmen who turned Actors

1. Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a great martial arts expert who learnt the art in Korea back in 1960’s while he was serving the US Air Force. He later left the service and went on to become a karate instructor. His mastery gained him a huge clientele among which were some of the famous film stars like Steve McQueen and Priscilla Presely. Besides being an amazing sportsmen, Norris has various martial art awards to
his name.

Chuck Norris - Sportsmen Who turned Actors

However, he later decided to try out his luck in the movies. Norris first made a brief appearance in the 1972 film ‘Return of the Dragon’. He had a fight scene with the action star Bruce Lee. His first starring role was in the film ‘Breaker! Breaker!’ Norris went on to do films like Missing in Action, CBS Walker Texas Ranger, and Firewalker. All of them were a hit.

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a former professional bodybuilder. He had the fame of being among world’s top bodybuilders. He had about five Mr Universe titles to his name and six Mr Olympia crowns throughout his career in bodybuilding.

Schwarzenegger landed small parts in various movies after which he bagged the Golden Globe Award for Best Newcomer. He received the award for his charming performance in the 1976 movie ‘Stay Hungry’.

Some of his breakthrough roles are in action films like ‘Conan the Barbarian’ and ‘Conan the Destroyer’. Schwarzenegger is also best known as the ‘Terminator’ for his roles in films of the same name.

3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Dwayne Johnson began his football career by playing for the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. Soon after which he switched his career to wrestling. He gained popularity as a pro wrestler and went by the name ‘The Rock’.

dwayne johnson- Sportsmen Who turned Actors

His career in films began with a brief appearance in the movie ‘The Mummy Returns’. After this he starred in ‘The Scorpion King’. He continued his career in acting with movies like ‘Driver’, ‘Fast & Furious 6’, ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Baywatch’. Johnson has also starred in the adventure movie ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ and its sequel ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’.

4. Jim Brown

Jim Brown is a former top athlete of his time. He was great on the basketball and football field who garnered national attention being a great running back.

Jim Brown - Sportsmen Who turned Actors

He played for Cleveland Browns and has set records while in the game. Brown was selected as the sixth overall pick in the National Football League by the Cleveland Browns.

In 1966, Brown retired from football in order to pursue a career in acting and landed roles in various films. He has acted in over 30 films. Among which some of his amazing roles were in the movies: ‘The Dirty Dozen’, ‘Mars Attacks’, and ‘100 Riffles’. He has also played the role of a football coach in the movie ‘Any Given Sunday’.

5. Andre the Giant

André René Roussimoff is famously known as Andre the Giant was a professional French wrestler and played with the WWF. He was known as the Giant because of his abnormal height and weight. This was due to a hormonal disorder known as Acromegaly.

Andre the Giant -Sportsmen Who turned Actors

His extraordinary height and physique landed him roles in various movies. The most remarkable one was his role in the movie ‘The Princess Bride’ as the giant Fezzik. Andre has also starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie ‘Conan the Destroyer’.


He died of congestive heart failure on 28th January 1993 due to his condition when he was 46.

From Chuck Norris, to Andre the Giant, all of the sportsmen who turned actors, made a massive breakthrough. They later on proved to be great actors and made it big on the big screen as well.

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