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7 Entertainers Who Used To Be Athletes!

Written by Mollie Davis. Published: November 28 2023


There’s no one set path to stardom in the industry, as proven by these 8 celebrities who were athletes before they found their way to being entertainers!


1. Jon Stewart

Before he was the tenacious host of "The Daily Show", now advocate for veterans,Jon Stewart played college soccer! When attending college at William & Mary, he was was a Psychology major and a proud member of the Tribe men’s soccer team.




2. Uzo Aduba

Another college athlete-turned-star is American actress Uzo Aduba! While she did participate in the performing arts during her time at Boston University, she also won medals as a member of the track team. Uzo earned the title of one of BU’s fastest sprinters when she ran 55 meters in just 7.07 seconds!




3. Tommy Lee Jones

BeforeTommy Lee Jones became an actor, he attended Harvard University, where he was roommates with future Vice President Al Gore and played on the football team. And Tommy wasn’t just on any Harvard Crimson team -- he was a member of the 1968 team that went undefeated!




4. Luke Bracey

Prior to being a rom-com hearthrob and portraying the best friend ofElvis Presley in the 2022 hit biopicElvis, Luke Bracey’s passion was in the rough and tumble sport of rugby. It was as actually one of his rugby buddies that sent him towards the big screen, when his friend’s producer dad invited him to his first audition.




5. Terry Crews

Terry Crews moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting in 1997, but before that, he was an NFL player! Throughout his football career, Terry played for the Green Bay Packers, San Diego Chargers, and Philadelphia Eagles, among a handful of other teams. Before he was in the NFL, he played college football at Western Michigan University on an athletic scholarship.




6. Jason Statham

If you watched The Meg and at some point thought that Jason Statham looked super comfortable in all those underwater scenes, there is a good reason. Prior to becoming one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood, Statham was a star diver, representing Britain's National Swimming Squad and competing at the 1990 Commonwealth Games!




7. Johnny Weissmuller

An Old Hollywood star who got their taste for the spotlight in athletics was 1930s actor Johnny Weissmuller. Before pursuing acting and becoming the most famous on-screen Tarzan (and originating the now-infamous Tarzan yell), Johnny was a gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer and set 67 world records throughout his career in the water. This success led to him being named by the Associated Press as the greatest swimmer to come out of the first-half of the 20th century.