When professional athletes come to the end of their athletic career, it's not uncommon for them to try their hand at acting.
However many famous actors, comedians, singers and politicians made names for themselves on the gridiron, either in high school or in college, before moving on to excel in the field of entertainment or politics.
Some of those actors, such as Burt Reynolds, James Caan, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker, to name a few, have even portrayed football players in the movies, bringing an air of authenticity to their roles.
Those four actors are among the 25 athletes chosen for the MaxPreps Hollywood All-Star Football Team. The squad is a collection of actors, entertainers and a few politicians who found some level of success on the football field.
MAXPREPS HOLLYWOOD ALL-STAR FOOTBALL TEAM
WR - David Boreanaz, Malvern Prep (Malvern, Pa.)
star played wide receiver and defensive back for his high school team until a knee injury ended his career following his junior season.
WR – Ashton Kutcher, Clear Creek-Amana (Tiffin, Iowa)
Also attended Washington (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
. Kutcher played wide receiver and linebacker in high school before moving on to play Michael Kelso on That '70s Show
. He has also spent time coaching football at Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)
.TE - Joel McHale, Mercer Island (Wash.)
The star of Community
and The Soup
, McHale was a walk-on tight end at the University of Washington
for two years. He played as a freshman in high school but reportedly gave up football to act in a play.OL – John Wayne, Glendale (Calif.)
Known as Marion Morrison back in 1924, Wayne reportedly played for CIF Champion Glendale as an offensive lineman. He was good enough to play at USC on the offensive line for legendary coach Howard Jones before moving on to a long movie career.OL – Brian Dennehy, Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.)
The character actor had many memorable roles, including parts in Silverado
, First Blood
and Tommy Boy
. He was reportedly recruited to play football at Columbia University.OL – Tommy Lee Jones, St. Mark's (Dallas, Texas)
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Fugitive
, Jones played football growing up and was even a member of Harvard's undefeated team in 1968 as a starting offensive guard.OL – Chris Farley, Edgewood (Madison, Wis.)
The Saturday Night Live
star was known for his pratfalls and he was an agile physical actor despite being overweight. He played on the offensive and defensive line and also reportedly played rugby in college.OL – Ed Asner, Wyandotte (Kansas City, Kan.)
Best known for his role as Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show
, Asner was an all-around athlete in his youth, playing on a championship football team in high school and starting a touring basketball team following World War II.QB – Mark Harmon, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)
star has great football genes as his father is Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon from Michigan. After playing at Harvard School for Boys (which later became Harvard-Westlake), Harmon went on to UCLA where he led the Bruins to a 17-5 record as the team's quarterback.
RB – Burt Reynolds, Palm Beach Lakes (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
An all-state player at fullback as a sophomore, Reynolds went on to a college football scholarship at Florida State. An injury, however, curtailed his football career. He went on to become one of the movie industry's biggest box office draws in the 1970s and was the star of the football-based movie The Longest Yard
.RB – James Caan, Rhodes Prepatory School (N.Y.)
Caan's role as cancer-stricken running back Brian Piccolo in Brian's Song
was not his first time on the football field. He played football at Michigan State University before moving on to study at Hofstra.K – Will Ferrell, University (Irvine, Calif.)
Sports comedy movies have been Will Ferrell's forte with such titles as Semi-Pro
, Talladega Nights
, Kicking & Screaming
and Blades of Glory
. However, Ferrell also played kicker for the University football team, booting 14 field goals and converting 41 of 50 extra points as a senior.Athlete - Jamie Foxx, Terrell (Texas)
An outstanding football and basketball player while in high school in Texas, Foxx threw for over 1,000 yards as a quarterback. He has shown his versatility as an actor, winning the Academy Award for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the drama Ray
and as a member of the comedy show In Living Color
. He also played quarterback Willie Beamen alongside Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday
.DL – John Goodman, Affton (St. Louis, Mo.)
A member of the Affton football team in high school, Goodman won a scholarship to Southwest Missouri State University. An injury ended his career and he pursued acting, even playing a football coach at the fictional Adams College in Revenge of the Nerds
before landing his most recognized role as Dan Conner on the TV show Roseanne
.DL – Ed O'Neill, Ursuline (Youngstown, Ohio)
Known mainly for his role as Al Bundy on Married with Children
, O'Neill has won a whole new set of fans as family patriarch Jay Pritchett on Modern Family
. A standout defensive lineman at Youngstown State, O'Neill received a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969.
DL – Dwayne Johnson, Freedom (Bethlehem, Pa.)
Before becoming professional wrestler "The Rock", Johnson was a three-sport athlete at Freedom before heading to the University of Miami on a football scholarship. There he played on the Hurricanes' 1991 national championship team.DL – Forest Whitaker, Palisades (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
Played Charles Jefferson, the hard-hitting linebacker in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High
, but Whitaker was also a solid player himself, earning a scholarship to Cal-Poly Pomona after playing at Palisades in Los Angeles.LB – Gerald Ford, Grand Rapids South (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Ford was All-City in high school as a center and linebacker. He went on to play football at Michigan as part of two national championship teams in 1932 and 1933. He was the team's MVP in 1934 and played in the College All-Star Game. He had a chance to play for the Green Bay Packers, but chose politics instead, becoming the 38th president of the United States.LB – John Belushi, Wheaton Central (Wheaton, Ill.)
An all-conference middle linebacker at Wheaton Central, Belushi went on to become a comedic actor best known as one of the first Not Ready for Prime Time Players on Saturday Night Live,
and as Bluto in the movie Animal House
.LB – Carl Weathers, Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.)
Long Beach Poly has produced more professional football players than any other high school and Weathers is one of them. After high school Weathers played at San Diego State University, then spent time with the Oakland Raiders and the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Weathers' star turn came in the movie Rocky
where he starred as Apollo Creed opposite Sylvester Stallone.DB – Bill Cosby, Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Cosby played football, basketball, baseball and track in high school, but he flunked the 10th grade and eventually joined the Navy. After his stint in the service, Cosby played football on the Temple football team while studying physical education. While at Temple, Cosby honed his comedic skills and went on to eventually star in one of the most influential comedy shows in television history, The Cosby Show
.DB – Lee Majors, Middlesboro (Ky.)
The Six Million Dollar Man
played college football at Indian and Eastern Kentucky before an injury left him paralyzed for two weeks. He had tryouts with the Boston Patriots and the St. Louis Cardinals but decided to pursue acting instead.DB – Dean Cain, Santa Monica (Calif.)
Before playing Superman
, Cain played football at Princeton after a solid high school career at Santa Monica. He had 12 interceptions in one season for Princeton and signed with the Buffalo Bills before a knee injury ended his career.
DB – Ryan Seacrest, Dunwoody (Ga.)
The host of American Idol
, Seacrest reportedly started at defensive back for Dunwoody for two seasons. Dunwoody was one of the top teams in the state during Seacrest's time there, eventually winning a state title the year after Seacrest graduated.P – Ronald Reagan, Dixon (Ill.)
Reagan played The Gipper in the movie Knute Rockne All-American
, but he also starred on the gridiron at Dixon High School and later Eureka College in Illinois, performing as the team's punter. After an acting career, Reagan went into politics, eventually becoming the nation's 40th president.Coach: Luther Campbell, Northwestern (Miami, Fla.)
The controversial Campbell was a member of the rap group 2 Live Crew but lately he has devoted his talents to coaching football. He recently received his coaching certificate from the Florida Department of Education and is currently the defensive coordinator for Northwestern High School in Miami.