For the most part when an athlete appears in a movie it’s kind of as a joke. Take OJ Simpson playing Nordberg in the Naked Gun movies. Or you could argue that guys like Roger Clemens and Brett Favre were total jokes in Kingpin and There’s Something about Mary. And don’t even get me started on Dennis Rodman.
But once in a while an athlete gives it a little more. He or she give it their best effort. And those efforts are actually pretty acceptable when you think about it.
So anyway, here are eight real and acceptable performances by athletes in film….
Jim Brown – Any Given Sunday
One could go with his earlier stuff back when he was actually playing football but I have to say I liked him in this flick. He was serious, bare bones and played a part of someone he could relate to. Now if only he played a lacrosse coach in a different movie. Now that’d be something.
Bubba Smith – Police Academy
It’s a shame that Bubba wasn’t really in anything else. But come on. Hightower is one of the most classic characters in any movie ever. OK maybe not ever but Bubba certainly held the fort in this role.
Carl Weathers – Rocky
Weathers, the former football player did a kick as job as Rocky’s most feared opponent. He brought a nice blend of Muhammed Ali and a Tommy Hearns. Or something like that combo. I also loved him as Chubbs in Happy Gilmore.
Andre the Giant – Princess Pride
People never talk about his performance in that movie. Aside from just staring at him as a giant, he actually acted quite well. “Anybody want a peanut?”
Bob Uecker in Major League
This wasn’t a huge stretch for Bob given that he’d already been in broadcasting. And let’s not forget that he was the star of Mr. Belvedere!
Lawrence Taylor – Any Given Sunday
Well you could have gone with his “don’t do crack” line in Water Boy but that wasn’t exactly tough. Even though he didn’t have that many lines in this movie I thought that Taylor was actually quite awesome.
Ray Allen – He Got Game
Look, Ray Allen is a terrible actor. He put his hand to his nose like 600 times during this movie. He also seemed to be reading a lot. Still though, to actually tolerate an entire movie with an NBA star as the star, it wasn’t that bad. Much better than Michael Jordan in Spacejam.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar – Airplane!
“The hell I don’t!” This is far and away one of the funniest and most appropriate roles an athlete has ever played.
Wilt Chamberlain – Conan the Destroyer
Ah yes, people always forget about the Stilt and his horse in this movie. Plus you have to love that his weapon of choice is a big wooden club.
*By the way, Harold Sylvester is the best acting Athlete of all time.
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