Published On: Jun 10 2011 04:41:14 PM EDTUpdated On: Mar 16 2015 02:00:00 AM EDT
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won three consecutive NCAA championships with the UCLA Bruins and went on to win a record six NBA MVP awards, also had acting roles in the movies "Game of Death" and "Airplane." Take a look at other athletes who've dabbled in acting.
Michael Jordan wasn't content with dominating the NBA during his run of six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls. He also played himself in "Space Jam" and "He Got Game" and made cameos on several TV shows.
Who knew Mike Tyson could be funny? But the facially tattooed boxer did just that in 2009's "The Hangover" and reprised his role in the 2011 sequel.
Former NFL running back Jim Brown, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time NFL MVP, also starred in movies. His resume includes "Rio Conchos" and "The Dirty Dozen."
Former NBA player Rick Fox has appeared on the HBO series "Oz," and had guest roles on several television shows, including "One Tree Hill," "Shark" and "Ugly Betty."
Former professional wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has starred in numerous movies including, "The Scorpion King," "Gridiron Gang" and "The Game Plan."
Ray Allen briefly caught the acting bug early in his NBA career, starring in Spike Lee's "He Got Game" in 1998 and then the comedy "Harvard Man" in 2001, but he has not acted since.
Figure skater Michelle Kwan -- who won nine U.S. titles, five world championships and two Olympic medals -- made appearances on "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and "Arthur," provided one of the voices in "Mulan II" and had a minor role in "Ice Princess."
Former All-Star NBA center Shaquille O'Neal has appeared in several movies, including "Blue Chips," "Kazaam" and "He Got Game."
Before he was the governor of California and before he starred in such movies as "The Terminator" and "True Lies," Arnold Schwarzenegger was a champion body builder.
Gina Carano was once the third best 145-pound female mixed martial arts fighter in the world, according to the Unified Women's MMA Rankings. She's also starred in the 2012 action film "Haywire," appeared in "Fast & Furious 6" and has been cast in the "Deadpool" movie set for release in 2016.
Julius Erving, otherwise known as Dr. J, made his acting debut in 1979's "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh" while playing for the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. He's had a handful of roles since, mostly playing himself in TV show cameos.
O.J. Simpson, a six-time Pro Bowl section and the 1973 NFL MVP, dabbled in acting. The former Buffalo Bills star appeared several movies, including "The Towering Inferno" and all three "Naked Gun" movies (pictured).
Best known for his role as Apollo Creed in "Rocky," Carl Weathers also played professional football for the Oakland Raiders and the Canadian Football League's British Columbia Lions.
German figure skater Katarina Witt won two Olympic gold medals in her career. She would go on to win an Emmy for her role in the 1989 TV movie "Carmen on Ice." She also played herself in "Jerry Maguire" and had a small role as a figure skater in 1998's "Ronin."
Retired All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor has played himself in movies like "When in Rome," "The Comebacks" and "Water Boy" and has also portrayed characters in "Any Given Sunday" and 2000's "Shaft" remake.
Retired British soccer player Vinnie Jones has capitalized on his tough guy image to play mostly hooligans and criminals during an acting career that includes roles in the movies "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," "Snatch," "Gone in 60 Seconds" and "X-Men: The Last Stand," and in the TV series "Galavant."
During an MLB career that lasted only six seasons, Bob Uecker hit .200 for his career. He found more success as an actor, appearing in the sitcom "Mr. Belvedere" and the "Major League" movies.
Three-time NBA champion Larry Bird's career landed him in the Basketball Hall of Fame. But he's also tried his hand at acting, playing himself in "Blue Chips," "Celtic Pride" and "Space Jam."
Super Bowl III winning quarterback Joe Namath took time off from the NFL to make a memorable guest appearance in "The Brady Bunch." He also had small parts on shows like "The A-Team," "Fantasy Island" and "The Love Boat."
One of only two people to win Super Bowls as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach, Mike Ditka also has branched into acting, including a comedic turn as himself in "Kicking & Screaming" opposite Will Ferrell.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen made the Pro Bowl in 14 of his 15 seasons. After retiring, he found acting work in TV shows such as "Little House on the Prairie" and "Father Murphy."
Alex Karras (right) was a former football player best known for playing with the Detroit Lions from 1958–1962 and 1964-1970. He also acted, including the role of "Mongo" in "Blazing Saddles" and George Papadapolis in TV's "Webster."
Ed Marinaro finished second in Heisman voting in 1971 and played six seasons in the NFL, including in two Super Bowls with the Minnesota Vikings. After retiring, he turned to acting, including his most memorable role as officer Joe Coffey in "Hill Street Blues."
Former NFL defensive end Fred Dryer recorded 104 career sacks over 13 seasons with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. But TV audiences remember him more for the crime drama "Hunter."
Known more for his radical hairstyles and outspoken personality during a brief NFL career in the late 1980s, Brian Bosworth's acting career has been about as impressive, with roles in low-budget films like "Stone Cold" and "One Man's Justice." He also had a role in the short-lived TV series "Lawless" (pictured.)
Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long is also a well-known analyst for Fox's NFL coverage, but he's also pursued an acting career, focusing mainly on action flicks like "Broken Arrow," "Firestorm" and "3000 Miles to Graceland."
Retired mixed martial arts fighter Randy Couture has found a second career in film, including roles in movies such as "Redbelt" and "The Expendables."
Terry Crews carved out an NFL career that lasted seven seasons. When he retired in 1997, he turned to acting, finding roles in TV shows like "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Are We There Yet?" and appearing in movies such as "Friday After Next," "White Chicks" and "The Expendables." He's now a member of the cast of the sitcom "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
Jason Lee was a professional skateboarder before taking up acting. He's appeared in movies like "Chasing Amy," "Almost Famous" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks," but is most well-known for the sitcom "My Name is Earl."
Pro wrestler Andre the Giant (top) appeared in several TV shows and movies, but his biggest role was as the giant Fezzik in "The Princess Bride."
Andre the Giant wasn't the only wrestler who found acting roles in the 1980s. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper has made a career out of low-budget movies, but is most famous for 1988's "They Live."
Dennis Rodman, a fierce defensive player who won five titles with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, also tried to break into acting, including a role opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in 1997's "Double Team."
Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw has long pursued an acting career, taking on roles in TV shows like "Blossom," "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Las Vegas," as well as movies like 2006's "Failure to Launch."
Legendary NBA player Wilt Chamberlain didn't have a long acting resume, but he played a memorable role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1984's "Conan the Destroyer."
Sonja Henie, a three-time Olympic champion figure skater for Norway, went on to a successful acting career, becoming one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood during the height of her fame.
Johnny Weissmuller (left) was one of the world's best swimmers in the 1920s, winning five Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal. After his swimming career, he became the sixth actor to portray Tarzan in films, a role he played in 12 motion pictures.