Great Athletes, Stuntmen and Wrestler Turned Actors

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1.
Dwayne Johnson
Actor, WWE Raw
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson. His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia...
 
2.
Terry Crews
Terry Crews was born in Flint, Michigan, to Patricia and Terry Crews, Sr. He earned an Art Excellence Scholarship to attend Western Michigan University and also earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to play football. Crews was an All-Conference defensive end, and was a major contributor on the 1988 MAC champion WMU Broncos...
 
3.
Dave Bautista
David Michael Bautista, Jr. was born on January 18, 1969 in Washington, D.C., to Donna Raye (Mullins) and David Michael Bautista. His father is Filipino, and his mother has Greek ancestry. When WCW officials told him he'd never make it in sports entertainment, Bautista pushed himself to achieve his dream of being a Superstar...
 
5.
Arnold Schwarzenegger
With an almost unpronounceable surname and a thick Austrian accent, who would have ever believed that a brash, quick talking bodybuilder from a small European village would become one of Hollywood's biggest stars, marry into the prestigious Kennedy family, amass a fortune via shrewd investments and one day be the Governor of California!...
 
6.
Roland Kickinger
Roland was born in Vienna, Austria. He spent his childhood in Vienna, where he enjoyed swimming and playing soccer. At the early age of 15 decided he wanted to become a bodybuilder. From that day on, Roland dedicated his life to becoming his very best. While training, Roland continued schooling and graduated from college with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management...
 
7.
James Lew
Stunts, Inception
Raised in South Central Los Angeles, James Lew's destiny was to answer a cattle call in Hollywood for the hugely popular Kung Fu television series. He went on to star in the now collectible Hong Kong film, Young Dragon. He made the move to big budget studio films in 1984. John Carpenter handpicked him as the Martial Arts Choreographer for 20th Century Fox's now cult film...
 
8.
Simon Rhee
Stunts, Inception
Master Simon Rhee is a 7th-Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a 4th-Degree Black Belt in Hap Ki Do. He is a World-Class Martial Artist known for his beautiful kicks and incredible forms, and is a many-time Grand Champion of the tournament circuit. Karate Illustrated noted that "Simon Rhee has the prettiest kicks...
 
9.
Philip Tan
Stunts, Inception
Phil Tan was born in Singapore where he spent his childhood and then at the age of five moved to the UK. Phil started off his athletic career as a gymnast where he became the British Youth Tumbling champion and a member of the British squad for many years. Years later after getting into martial arts, Phil also became the Men's British Tae Kwon do Champion...
 
10.
Gary Daniels
Action film star Gary Daniels was a real-life kick-boxing champion. With rugged good-looks, a muscular build and a charming personality, it was a natural for him to move from the world of fighting to that of acting. Born Gary Edward Daniels on May 9, 1963 in Woking, Surrey, England, Daniels was a childhood fan of legendary martial arts film star Bruce Lee...
 
12.
Ray Park
Actor, X-Men
Raymond Park was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He moved with his parents, younger brother and sister to London, England. He was raised in London from the age of seven. His father introduced him into Martial Arts from a young age. Ray always wanted to be in the movies, or be like the heroes in movies but he was most inspired by martial arts...
 
13.
J.J. Perry
Stunts, Warrior
J.J. Perry started his martial arts training in 1975 and began with stunt-work in the late 1980s when he got out of the army. He has had over 24 years of martial arts training and has a 5th-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a 2nd-degree on Hapkido and has experience with all kinds of weapons. He got his black belt for Tae Kwon Do at the age of 12 and competed from the age of 7 till 24...
 
14.
Joey Ansah
Joey Ansah was born in 1982 in Hammersmith, London, England, 2nd in line to an older brother, Ryan, 3 years his senior. He is of mixed ethnicity, with his mother Nicola, originating from Plymouth, Devon, England and his father Kofi, originally from Ghana, west Africa. Joey grew up and spent the first 10 years of his life in Streatham...
 
15.
Jason Yee
Jason Yee is an actor and producer who transitioned from an acclaimed career as a professional martial artist. He was born and raised in Boston by his single mom and grandparents. During his school years, Jason was bussed from the South End to Roxbury, where he was the only Asian in predominantly African American schools...
 
16.
Ron Yuan
Actor, Marco Polo
Ron Yuan becomes new series regular on the hit Netflix/ The Weinstein Company's "Marco Polo" created by John Fusco. Yuan Will play Prince Nayan, a fiery eyed descendant of Genghis Khan. Nayan is a converted Christian that rules all of Manchuria and whose closely watched actions will affect Kublai's control of Asia...
 
17.
Arnold Chon
Arnold Chon began his training at the age of 5 at the Jhoon Rhee Institute in Virginia. Arnold received his black belt at the age of 11 while training equally hard in gymnastics. Arnold became an Extreme Martial Arts competitor and conquered the competitive martial arts circuit, eventually becoming a NASKA champion and two time Junior Olympic gold medalist in Tae Kwon Do...
 
18.
Michael Papajohn
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Michael graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 1983. The Texas Rangers drafted him in 1985, but he chose instead to attend Louisiana State University on a baseball scholarship. He was the starting center-fielder on the first LSU team to go to the College World Series in 1986, and again in 1987...
 
19.
Dan Southworth
Dan Southworth is an accomplished actor with wide experience in feature films, television shows, motion capture, voice over, and commercials. Power Ranger fans know him as Eric Myers, the Quantum Ranger from Power Rangers Time Force. Mortal Kombat fans enjoyed his portrayal of Kenshi in the popular web series Mortal Kombat Legacy 2...
 
22.
Daniel Bernhardt
Daniel Bernhardt was born on the 31st August 1965 in Warblaufen, Bern in Switzerland. After finishing high school, he studied architectural design for four years and graduated in Bern. At the same time he opened a martial arts school with his brother. After completing his studies, Daniel moved to Paris and started to work as model...
 
23.
Jason Statham
Jason Statham was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, to Eileen (Yates), a dancer, and Barry Statham, a street merchant and lounge singer. Statham has done quite a lot in a short time. He has been a Diver on the British National Diving Team and finished 12th in the World Championships in 1992. He has also been a fashion model...
 
24.
Henry Kingi
Stunts, Se7en
 
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26.
Chris Gann
Born and raised on a goat farm in Reno, Nevada, Chris is a former world and national champion Jet Ski racer, who has been working as an actor for over 15 years. After graduating from Cal state Sacramento with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Chris moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and had absolutely zero short term success...
 
29.
PeiPei Alena Yuan
PeiPei Alena Yuan, aka "Peppa" is an Actress, Stunt Woman, Choreographer, and Dancer, dedicated to inspiring through her art in the Entertainment Industry. PeiPei is an Artist of Movement and Story Teller. PeiPei's love for technology combined with the love of Sci-Fi and Action Films lead her to pursue a Life in Entertainment in Hollywood...
 
30.
Scott Adkins
Scott Edward Adkins was born on June 17, 1976 in Sutton Coldfield, England, into a family that for generations were butchers. Along with his elder brother Craig, he was raised by their parents, John and Janet (Sanders) Adkins, in a loving middle-class family. Scott attended Bishop Vesey's Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield...
 
31.
Gina Carano
Actress, Haywire
Gina Joy Carano was born under a tornado warning in Dallas, Texas, to parents Dana Joy (Cason) and Glenn Thomas Carano. Her father played for the Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys as a backup quarterback for Roger Staubach and Danny White from 1977-1983. In 1984, he was the starting quarterback for the USFL Pittsburgh Maulers...
 
32.
Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White portrayed Jax Briggs in Mortal Kombat: Legacy...
 
33.
Zoë Bell
As an established and extremely talented stunt double and actress, Zoe Bell has made a name for herself through her unparalleled dedication, skills, and focus. Zoe Bell was born on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, to Tish, a nurse, and Andrew Bell, a doctor. She has a background in gymnastics and martial arts...
 
35.
Buster Reeves
Buster started training at the tender age of eleven in traditional Wado Ryu karate and moved into freestyle, a move which would map out his life for the better. Under the guidance of his Instructors he claimed the British junior title and a place in the "Guinness Book of Records" for the most kicks done at head height in a minute (218...
 
36.
David Belle
David Belle is the founder of Parkour, an actor, film choreographer, and stunt coordinator. Belle was introduced to his acting career in a meeting with Hubert Koundé ("La Haine") and then in the play Pygmalion. Belle starred in "Les gens du voyages" and "Un monde meilleur", followed by "L'Engrenages" and "Femme Fatale"...
 
37.
Richard Norton
A powerful screen presence, Richard Norton wins the applause of international audiences with his engaging ability to play either the hero or the heavy. Rare versatility and focused work ethic have enabled him to build an expanding library of almost 100 film and television titles. The disciplines that brought Norton success originated in his hometown of Croydon...
 
38.
Phillip Rhee
Phillip Rhee is a master martial artist, actor and filmmaker best known for creating the "BEST of the BEST" film franchise with his producing partner and mentor Peter E. Strauss (Executive VP and Mandalay Pictures) and Frank Giustra, a Canadian Billionaire and founder of Lions Gate. The first "Best of the Best" starring academy award nominated actors...
 
39.
Diana Lee Inosanto
Stunts, Spy
Diana Lee Inosanto is the daughter of legendary martial artist, Dan Inosanto and Sue Ann Reveal. She is also the goddaughter of global icon, the late Bruce Lee. Dan was such close friends to the late Bruce Lee, that in honor of his friend, he named his daughter, and first child, "Diana Lee". Born in Torrance...
 
40.
Dan Inosanto
Stunts, Big Stan
Noted Filipino-American martial arts practitioner, who studied "jeet kune do" from fellow martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. Always seeking to improve his knowledge, Inosanto holds numerous belts in various martial arts including Asian, American & Brazilian disciplines such as Muay Thai, Pentjak Silat & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...
 
41.
Tsuyoshi Abe
Tsuyoshi Abe was born and raised in Japan. He studied many martial arts including karate, kendo, and shorinji kenpo until his departure for the U.S. in 1985. He lived in Seattle, Washington and while there, studied in Bruce Lee's martial art, Jun Fan Gung Fu / Jeet Kune Do, under Taky Kimura. Mr. Abe moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to continue his studying of Jeet Kune Do under Dan Inosanto...
 
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43.
Cung Le
Cung Le made his first appearance on the professional M.M.A. stage in 2006, and shortly after won the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship in 2008, setting high standards through his powerful kicks, skillful strikes, and well-timed take-downs. This U.S.-Viet Namese champion, actor, producer and action director is a household name in many parts of East Asia and is equally adored in Hollywood...
 
47.
Matt Mullins
Actor, Divergent
From his humble beginnings of watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Matt Mullins has risen to become world renown in martial arts, and as a star in the CW4Kids show "Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight". With 5 martial art world titles in hand, Matt moved from Naperville, IL to Hollywood and quickly began booking national spots for top brands such as Nike...
 
48.
Don Wilson
Three-times WKO World Kickboxer Champion and many other titles Don 'the Dragon' Wilson, named the greatest kickboxer of all time. Fighter of the year three times in Blackbelt Magazine. Has 10 titles in three different weight divisions. World light heavyweight kickboxing champion for twelve consecutive years.
 
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51.
Marcus Young
With over 35 years of Martial Arts experience, Marcus Young has obtained a 3rd degree black belt and continues his knowledge in various disciplines. He is a National and Internationally recognized champion and specializes in weapons, forms and fighting. From his vast experience in the Martial Arts and athletic background...
 
52.
Matt McColm
Stunts, Argo
 
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55.
Ilram Choi
Ilram's parents are from Korea. But Ilram himself was born in the U.S. As soon as he learned to walk, he began training in Tae Kwon Do. Besides the regular training, Ilram would learn by imitating the better martial artists and athletes, including his father. Ilram would soon make his way into making movies with Homevideo Movies...
 
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57.
Fernando Chien
Born in Taipei, Taiwan and who's real name is Chien Fu-Nan. Fernando was given his "Western" name when he immigrated to Canada. Fernando's passion for acting began in Canada, performing on stage in musical theater productions in college which lead to various roles in TV and Film. In 2002 he moved to Los Angeles to pursue the film business full-time and is where he resides today...
 
58.
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St...
 
59.
Randy Couture
Randy Couture is a collegiate wrestler and fighter turned actor from Everett, Washington. He served as a four time US Olympic wrestling team alternate as a soldier in the U.S. Army, and is also a 6 time world heavyweight and light heavyweight UFC champion and Hall of Famer. He is a graduate of Oklahoma...
 
60.
Steve Austin
Actor, WWE Raw
'Stone Cold' Steve Austin was born in Victoria, Texas, as Steven James Anderson, on December 18, 1964, the youngest of five children. His mother, Beverly Jane (Harrison), remarried to Kenneth Williams, and he took his stepfather's surname. He played football at the North Texas State University. He was worthy of achieving a free education because of his football skills in school...
 
61.
Eddie J. Fernandez
Eddie Fernandez is a Latino stuntman in Hollywood. Eddie started off in the stunt business in 1981 in his hometown of Chicago. He spent his earlier years honing his martial arts, wrestling and motocross skills, among others, which would eventually lead him into his chosen profession, stunt work. Eddie was ready to try or do anything adventurous...
 
62.
Ben Hernandez Bray
Stunts, Limitless
Ben Bray was born and raised in Los Angeles California, and is the oldest of six children. He grew up in a traditional Latino Catholic family, and is of Irish and Mexican descent. Bray, who began fighting at a very early age, has over 30 year's of amateur and professional boxing experience. He helped start The John Bray Boxing Foundation with his brother...
 
63.
Danny Trejo
Actor, Machete
Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses...
 
64.
Sophia Crawford
Sophia Crawford was born in Hammersmith, London, and is one of Triplets. She left England in 1986 and took an incredible journey on a bus overland from London to India. After spending some time in India and Nepal, Sophia headed to Thailand, where she began her movie career. At first she was an editorial model and an extra in American productions such as: Kickboxer and Around the World in 80 Days...
 
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Erik Betts
Stunts, Crash
Born 22 November, 1967 in Boston, Massachusetts, Erik Betts is a self taught gymnast and martial artist since the age of 11. His fascination with movement and the arts was inspired by his favorite comic book hero, Spiderman. Insecure and very shy, Betts could relate to the problems experienced by Spiderman's alter ego Peter Parker...
 
70.
Al Goto
Stunts, Godzilla
 
71.
Jeff Imada
Stunts, Fight Club
Jeff Imada was born and raised in Inglewood, California, USA, where he began studying martial arts at the age of fifteen. At El Camino College and UCLA, he majored in pre-med and minored in music. While in college, he started working as a movie "extra," which led to his becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild...
 
72.
Al Leong
Actor, Die Hard
Asian American actor & stuntman has picked up a cult fan following based around his numerous appearances in high voltage action flicks from the mid-1980s onwards. Al nearly always turns up as a bad guy with his lean muscled physique, incredible agility, amazing martial arts skills, wispy black hair...
 
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Boni Yanagisawa
The daughter of a Japanese Hawaiian Dad and Caucasian Mom from Pasadena, Boni Yanagisawa grew up in So Cal working in her parents' nursery business. No surprise Boni was a girl scout,a cheerleader, homecoming queen and Miss Lake Elsinore. Against her father's wishes, she set out to study martial arts, earning a black belt and opening her own dojo and teaching karate...
 
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Tommy 'Tiny' Lister
Hardly diminutive, 6' 5" Tommy "Tiny" Lister is not just a highly recognizable figure on screen, but also a highly accomplished actor. Originally a professional wrestler known by the names "Zeus" and "ZGangsta" for the WWE (Formerly WWF), Tiny left the world of wrestling in the mid 1980s to pursue an acting career and he has not stopped since...
 
77.
Spice Williams-Crosby
Born on a ranch in North Hollywood, California, Spice rode her horse to kindergarten, grew up playing in her father's medical offices, eventually hitting the road as a musician, singer, and dancer under contract to 20th Century-Fox Records. Overcoming a seven-year drug and alcohol problem, at the age of 26...
 
81.
Clayton J. Barber
Stunts, Creed
Clayton J. Barber grew up with movies from Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, whom inspired him to do martial arts. He chose, when 10 years old, Tae Kwon Do, for its acrobatic nature and its speed, and has achieved a black belt. Other skills of his are gymnastics and dance. Unfortunately, he lost his first 6 tournaments...
 
82.
Danielle Burgio
Danielle Burgio's diverse talents have led her down an exciting path from Broadway dancer to top Hollywood stunt woman, to up-and-coming actress of the moment, and as that path continues to wind and take its turns, the future can only be golden for this very talented young woman. At an early age, Danielle left the confines of Greensboro...
 
84.
Chuck Jeffreys
Stunts, Gladiator
Born William Charles Jeffreys (III) on July 23, 1958 in Washington, D.C., Chuck Jeffreys found his interest in the martial arts at the age of 8 and started training in Western Boxing and Tae Kwon Do. He began training in Northern (Tien Shan Pai) Shaolin Kung fu in the early 70s. He was well known for his kung fu demonstrations in Jr...
 
85.
Michael Worth
Actor, Our Father
Born in Philadelphia, Michael came from a line of German sailors on one side and American Delaware Indians on the other. As a 10 year old Michael directed his first film entitle The Tire. It was shot with a super-8 camera his mother bought him. He continued making short films into his late teens. During his early teens...
 
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Gary Stretch
During the early nineties, Gary Stretch was the glamor-boy of British boxing. His good looks coupled with KO power in his fists ensured he was big box-office. He also made money strutting his stuff on the catwalk as a male model. Some said he earned more as a model than actually fighting, and his appearances...
 
89.
Don Thai Theerathada
Since breaking into the industry in 1993, Don "Thai" Theerathada has been involved in many aspects of creative filmmaking, having worked as an actor, stuntman, stunt coordinator, fight choreographer, and second unit/action director on over 50 feature films and television shows in the action, adventure...
 
90.
Eddie Perez
Stunts, Deadpool
Eddie Perez born in New York, a city where you can stay indoors all day and watch the world pass you by, or get up and participate with all it has to offer. Eddie Perez chose the latter. An active kid, who spent his summers with family in Puerto Rico, Eddie achieved the honor of Eagle Scout at the age of thirteen...
 
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Johnny Nguyen
Stunts, Spider-Man 2
Johnny left Vietnam at the age of 8, uncertain of what destination lied ahead. As a boy, he already loved Hong Kong cinema. Johnny would soon start training in martial arts and now has over 18 years of experience in Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Japanese Aikido. Johnny is now also an expert in Wushu, which he does for over 10 years. Johnny has won a gold medal from Pan America Form and Sword...
 
96.
Hector Echavarria
A Martial Arts champion in his native Argentina, Hector Echavarria, brings to the Hollywood film industry a background of business success, acting experience, and martial arts expertise. In addition to producing and starring in his own films, Hector has become an industrial force- with his own clothing line...
 
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Marko Zaror
Marko Zaror Aguad (Santiago, Chile) is a Chilean martial arts action star and fight choreographer, currently residing in Los Angeles, California, and Santiago, Chile. His career began as a young boy with a passion for martial arts and fighting, inspired by Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jean Claude Van Damme...
 
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Michiko Nishiwaki
Michiko Nishiwaki is a multi-talented lady. An actress, martial artist, stunt woman, fight choreographer, and Japan's first Woman's Bodybuilding and Power lifting Champion. She held these titles for three consecutive years. While still keeping her femininity and not bulking up with the aid of anabolic steroids or other drugs...