Celebrities like movie stars, performers and entertainers often get the reputation of being “soft” and being seen as divas. While some celebs definitely do live up to this, there are a number of extremely popular and successful celebrities who have an impressive history in sports, and here are five of them.
1. Jason Lee
This mustachioed gentleman is without a doubt best known for his role of Earl on the NBC TV show, My Name is Earl. But before becoming an actor on the small screen, Lee was a successful skateboarder and skateboard entrepreneur. He was a pro skater for many years in the 1980’s and 90’s and also created a company that manufactures boards, in which he is still involved in today. He took up acting in the early 90’s and was discovered by Kevin Smith, who helped him get started in the business. Lee is still a big time skateboard enthusiast to this day.
2. Carl Weathers
When most people think of Carl Weathers, they think of his brilliant role of “Apollo Creed” in the Rocky movies in which he played a big and buff boxer. Little do most people know that he didn’t only play a bad ass in movies, he was also one on the football field. Before becoming an actor, he was a football player and was actually good enough to earn himself a brief stint in both the NFL and the CFL before becoming an actor.
3. Jason Statham
No doubt that Statham is best known for his role as a bonafide bad ass in film, but was actually a hugely successful athlete before he ever appeared on the big screen. However he didn’t play football, hockey or wrestling before like you may expect, he was actually a very impressive diver. In fact, he was actually a member of the British National Diving team for over a decade.
4. Burt Reynolds
Before the world famous ever set his sights on acting as a profession, he had his eyes on becoming a professional football player. Reynolds was actually a member of the 1965 Florida State football team (one of the best in the present day). Unfortunately, his first dream of becoming a pro player didn’t come to fruition as an unfortunate injury and car accident prevented him from playing football. Soon after he discovered acting, and the rest is history.
5. Mark Harmon
TV watchers know Mark Harmon as the star of the hit TV show NCIS, among others. But huge sports fans likely know the name Harmon for something different. His father, Tom Harmon was an NFL player who actually won the Heisman Trophy in 1940 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. With this kind of pedigree, it makes sense that Mark Harmon played football, and very well at that. He played quarterback for the UCLA Bruins and actually was voted as an All-American.