15 Celebs Who Were All-Star Athletes

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In this day and age becoming famous for one thing, often means becoming famous for another. Like, you can become a star for recording a hit rap album, then all of a sudden, you have your own clothing line, movie cameos, a cologne named after you, even run for president (ahem… Kanye West anyone?). But one thing we rarely see is our favorite actors, actresses, pop stars, rappers, or other famous celebs also becoming famous for playing a sport. This is because for most, their playing days are behind them. They’re either too old, too preoccupied with their current career, or, could never play in the first place. But for some – unbeknownst to most – had some serious game back in the day.
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Stacy Keibler

Stacy Keibler is a famous television personality, as well as being a former girlfriend of Hollywood hunk, George Clooney. But little do many know, Stacy got her start as a wrestler in the WWE. In fact, despite her current success, her character in the WWE was her real claim to fame.
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Kurt Russell

Hollywood A-lister and leading man for over 4 decades now, Kurt Russell didn’t have dreams of becoming an actor, but rather, a professional baseball player. Russell even played in the minors before realizing he’d reached his potential, to which he then made the decision to go into acting. But that didn’t stop Russell from taking on a number of baseball playing roles in his films.
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Jason Statham

Hollywood favorite bad guy, Jason Statham is one of those guys you just know could hold his own in any sport. Well believe it or not, Jason’s go-to sport was not football, baseball, or even soccer – but diving. Jason was a member of the British National Diving Squad for well over a decade.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Some of our audience is so young, that they have no idea that former ‘Governator’ and Terminator star, Arnold Schwarzenegger was also a professional body-builder. In fact, not just any bodybuilder, but he holds the record for most Mr. Olympia wins – making him the most famous bodybuilder of all-time.
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Vinnie Jones

Gone in 60 Seconds star and famous acting soccer-hooligan, Vinnie Jones was also quite the talented soccer player. He used to play for Leeds United, Sheffield United, and Chelsea. Known for his temper on-screen, Vinnie also had a temper on the field, as he holds the record for fastest red card waved.
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Dwayne Johnson

WWE fame aside, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was one hell of a football star back in college. He was offered a full scholarship, and played defensive tackle for the Miami Hurricanes. He even had his eyes set on the pros, getting some playing time for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, before suffering a career ending injury.
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Caitlyn Jenner

Little do many these days know, but Caitlyn (formerly Bruce Jenner) was a former Olympic gold medal winner. He competed in the decathlon for the USA in 1980. Now he just competes against his daughters for most attention-grabbing Instagram likes.
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John Wayne

Yes The Duke himself, John Wayne played football (as if he would play anything else). Before becoming the most famous cowboy ever, John played at USC, until he had to quit due to too many injuries.
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Bubba Smith

Remember Hightower from the Police Academy movies? Just one look at him and you can tell that he just had to have played pro football. Well Bubba Smith in fact did play as an All-Pro defensive end in the NFL. He’s even a Super Bowl champion.
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Carl Weathers

Apollo Creed (aka Carl Weathers) is no slouch in the athletic department. With a body like his, it’s almost impossible not to play something at a high level. Well playing at a high level he definitely did. Prior to beating Rocky Balboa, he used to be a linebacker for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.
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Dean Cain

Former Superman character, Dean Cain was also a superman on the football field. So good was he, that he even made it to the pros, playing for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately, Dean has to retire due to a serious knee injury. Thankfully, it didn’t sideline him as the Man of Steel.
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Mark Harmon

Ever heard of Tom Harmon before? If not, he’s an NFL legend from back in the day. Well if the last name seems familiar to NCIS’ Mark Harmon, that’s because Mark’s his son. He even played quarterback himself, winning a Rose Bowl with UCLA, his dad’s alma mater.
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Phil Robertson

There’s some people you could just look at and know that they were a force to be reckoned with in one sport or another. Well Duck Dynasty character Phil Robertson is one of those guys. His ruff and tumble exterior matched his interior on his College Football team. In fact, he was so talented that he even had Terry Bradshaw as his backup!
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Burt Reynolds

Before becoming an actor and a Hollywood heartthrob, Burt Reynolds played on his Florida State University football team. Pretty impressive considering it’s a D1, highly ranked school back in his day. Unfortunately due to a series of injuries, Burt had to hang up his cleats, deciding to join the New York acting institute instead.
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George Clooney

Before becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars, George Clooney used to be a star on his high school baseball team. In fact, he was so good, he even tried out for the Cincinnati Reds. Unfortunately they didn’t sign him, so he went on to pursue a career in acting instead. Good eye, George!
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