At the gala of the Oscar awards The best professionals in the film industry come together, but throughout history there are many the athletes who have tried their luck in this art and who have even been present at such a prestigious ceremony. Many of them have managed to be among the cast of several Oscar-winning films, but one name stands out above all: that of Kobe Bryant, who managed to raise the statuette in the 90th edition thanks to the animated short film ‘Dear Basketball‘written, narrated and starring the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
The legendary player, sadly deceased in a helicopter accident, took the stage of the Dolby Theater in the city where he shone so brightly in 2018 to collect the statuette and give a speech that is history of the awards. “I am a basketball player, I don’t know how to do this. Thanks to the Academy and to all those who influenced the making of the short. Thanks to my wife and my family. This is for you“he said. The short was five minutes long and contained the letter Bryant wrote months before retiring expressing all that he had enjoyed and all that basketball had given him. Under the direction of Glen Kean and with the soundtrack of John Williams, Kobe achieved recognition never before achieved by an athlete.
The professional bodybuilder, also a legend in this discipline, has a very versatile character and throughout his 73 years he has shown that neither cinema nor politics can resist him. Born in Austria, Arnold has participated in dozens of films, especially action films, and including ‘Terminator 2’, which won four Oscars in the categories for best visual effects, best sound editing, best sound and best makeup and hairstyling. Yes, he personally won the Golden Globe for best new actor in 1977.
The Californian was a figure of skateboarding in his youth winning minor tournaments and leaving his name in some of the top rankings for over five years. But with his move to Los Angeles, he realized that he wanted to dedicate his next years to acting. It was not bad for him, as he recorded the series ‘My Name is Earl’ which earned him a Golden Globe nomination and participated in numerous films, both appearing on screen and dubbing the voice in children’s tapes. He was featured in three Oscar-nominated films: “Almost Famous,” “Vanilla Sky,” and “Monster House.” But the success came from the hand of ‘The Incredibles’, which won the best animated film with him among the dubbers.
A player for the Oakland Raiders, now the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders in the 70s, he left football to fulfill his dream of being an actor. He was in a couple of movies before his face was recognized all over the planet thanks to ‘Rocky‘, in which he played the role of Apollo Creed. This production would achieve three statuettes of the ten nominations for which it opted: best film, best director and best editing. Weathers would later appear in three other films in the saga and also in ‘Predator’. After some ups and downs and many movies, we have recently seen him in the Disney series ‘The Mandalorian’.
The controversial ex-boxer suffered several concussions during his short career in the ring and doctors advised him to retire for at least a year. By then, Rourke had already savored a taste for acting and decided to dedicate himself to it, although in 1991 he chose to put his gloves on again and combine both jobs. He participated in numerous action films and reaped a great success with his role in ‘El luchador’, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor. In the end he did not take it (it was for Sean Penn), but he did get the Golden Globe.
The swimmer of the United States Olympic team for the 1940 Games that were not contested by World War II, starred in ‘The Queen of the Sea’ in 1952, a film nominated for an Oscar in the category of best photography.
Figure skater and actress in ‘Only for her eyes’ or ‘Ice castles’, both with great critical acclaim. The first, in which he shared a cast with Roger Moore, was Oscar nominee for best original song, and the second served to achieve a candidacy for the Golden Globe.
Michel Jourdain Jr y Latin Lover
The successful film ‘Roma’ by Alfonso Cuarón brought together both former athletes in the cast. The first, Michel, was a racing driver, while Latin Lover was a professional wrestler. Tape won three Oscars in ten nominationsBest Director, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography.
An English bodybuilder and professional weightlifter, Prowse won the British championship three times and represented England at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. But then he turned to acting and appeared in films such as’A Clockwork Orange ‘, nominated for four Oscars. However, his greatest recognition would come with his face covered, for brought Darth Vader to life in the early ‘Star Wars movies‘. These tapes would get seven statuettes.
Born in Indiana, Alex was an American football player, professional wrestler and also an actor, although in the latter profession he mainly developed roles in television series. In ‘Against all risks’ played the villain in a film that would get an Oscar nomination for best original song.
André the Giant
The Frenchman, whose real name was André René Roussimoff, suffered from gigantism and that gave him the opportunity to achieve success first as a professional wrestler and later as an actor. Among his achievements as an athlete, it stands out that his name was the first to be included in the WWE Hall of Fame, while in cinema he participated in the film ‘The Princess Bride’, also Oscar candidate for best original song.
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Kobe Bryant, Schwarzenegger, Jason Lee…