In today’s modern era of social media and the internet, pro sports figures are just as much entertainers as they are athletes. This means that (for some athletes) a natural way to go after their career is over is to move into show business, whether they be TV, movies or more. Here are four athletes who made the seamless transition from sports to show biz.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Before becoming the biggest action star of the 80’s and 90’s (and being the governor of California, Arnold was a big time bodybuilder and actually won the Mr. Olympia contest 7 times and is one of the biggest legends in bodybuilding. His giant physique made him a no-brainer to begin starring in action movies even though his line delivery was quite funny. While most would think him to be a one-off, Arnold actually parlayed his bodybuilding success into a great film career that without a doubt helped him in his political aspirations as well.
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Think of this guy as almost a modern day version of Arnold, but going to even bigger heights. After beginning as a football player in college, “The Rock” then went to the WWE where he would become one of the most famous and popular wrestlers of the 90’s and 2000’s. After a few small film roles, The Rock is now one of the most sought after stars in Hollywood and is among the highest paid actors alive. He has also proven to actually be a good actor as he is capable of being the action star, but also appearing in roles as the comedic relief such as he accomplished in his role in Pain & Gain.
3. Terry Crews
While he is mostly known first and foremost as an actor, he actually had a fairly successful 6 year career in the NFL before arriving in Hollywood. He broke into show business with his role in Old Spice commercials and acting in “Everybody Hates Chris”. He has shown his extreme versatility as an actor by not only being able to play the action star in The Expendables, but also by being able to show his softer and comedic sides in Brooklyn Nine Nine and his unforgettable performance in White Chicks.
4. Michael Strahan
Now this is one that was very shocking to me and seemingly came out of nowhere. After Strahan retired from football as one of the single best pass rushers in history, he made a quick foray into show business. He soon became a media personality not only on Fox NFL Sunday, but secured a spot alongside Kelly Ripa on the syndicated television show called Live! With Kelly and Michael. He got the spot after Regis left the show and Michael was chosen as the replacement as he had appeared on Regis and Kelly over 20 times and had great on-screen chemistry with Kelly. He also regularly appears on Good Morning America.