Inspired by the sports season, I decide to toss together a list of the top athletes who decided to walk away from established careers in the sports arena to pursue greater fame and fortune in Hollywood. While there are many names that can be included here, this list is just how I see it.
And in no particular order...
A seven-time Mr. Olympia in bodybuilding and a power lifting champion, Schwarzenegger walked away from the barbells and body oil to follow his dream of being a Hollywood star. It was a move that made him arguably one of the most famous action stars in movie history. Notable films: Conan the Barbarian, Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, True Lies, End of Days, The Last Stand
Arguably, the greatest running back to play professional football, Brown walked away from the gridiron after playing nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He retired as the NFL's all-time leading rusher, single season, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns, and all-purpose yards leader. He was an all around stud on the field. Notable films: The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra, 100 Rifles, Slaughter, Three The Hard Way, I'm Gonna Get You Sucka, Mars Attacks!, Any Given Sunday
As a professional skateboarder, Lee was prominent influence in the skater world during the late 80's through the 90's. He founded his skateboard company in 1992 and currently maintains a presence on their "classics" team. His segue into film was a smooth transition with appearances in music video and bit movie roles. Notable films: Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Almost Famous, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Vanilla Sky, Dreamcatcher, Clerks II, Alvin and the Chipmunks, My Name Is Earl
After a brief career in the NFL, playing for the Oakland Raiders, and the Canadian Football League, Weathers broke into Hollywood by way of Blaxploitation films and appearances on TV (Good Times and Kung Fu). Notable Films: Rocky, Force 10 From Navarone, Predator, The Defiant Ones, Action Jackson, Happy Gilmore, In The Heat Of The Night (1993)
A member of the national champion 1991 Miami Hurricane football team, with a short stint in the CFL, and following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father by going into the family buiness of professional wrestling, The ROCK became "the most electrifying man in sports entertainment" and revitalized the WWF/E's attitude era. When he decided to unlace the boots, Hollywood was waiting with open arms. Notable films: The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, Walking Tall, Be Cool, Race To Witch Mountain, Fast Five, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Pain & Gain, Hercules
Honorable Mention: Terry Crews
There you have it. Thoughts/comments welcomed.