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Top Five Athlete Performances in Movies

Nine times out of 10, athletes make terrible actors. However, Kidzworld found a couple of exceptions with these slam dunk performances! Check out Darius Miles in The Perfect Score; Shaquille O'Neal in Blue Chips; Michael Jordan in Space Balls; Terry Bradshaw in Failure to Launch; and last but not least The Rock in The Scorpion King!


#5. Darius Miles :: The Perfect Score

Darius Miles

Back in the early part of this decade, Darius Miles was one of the most popular young players in the NBA. Drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers right out of high school in 2000, the innocent and skinny teenager wowed crowds with his charisma and high-flying slam dunks. In 2002, he landed a starring role in the teen flick, The Perfect Score. D-Miles starred alongside up-and-coming actors like Scarlett Johanson and Ericka Christensen. Miles played a high school basketball star that joined a group of students who cheated on their SATs. Darius had some comedic moments throughout the movie and even some serious scenes. Although his performance wasn't exactly Oscar material, it was solid enough to make this list!


#4. Shaquille O'Neal :: Blue Chips

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal has appeared in half-a-dozen films in his life, but his best performance came in his first film Blue Chips. The 7'1" Phoenix Suns center starred alongside Nick Nolte in this movie about the recruiting process for colleges and how far they will go in order to sign the player they want. Shaq plays Neon Bedeaux, a top center prospect from Louisiana. Shaq held his own on screen and provided the audience with a few laughs. Shaq has one of the most engaging personalities in the sports world. He is a natural on camera. But that doesn't mean all his movies turn to gold. Shaq's 1996 movie Kazaam bombed at the box office and was the subject of ridicule among the fans and the media.


#3. Michael Jordan :: Space Jam

Michael Jordan

Before Space Jam, the legendary Michael Jordan must have appeared in hundreds of commercials. It was a natural transition to go from the small screen to the bug screen. In 1996, MJ played himself in this Looney Toons movie, that also starred comedian Bill Murray and Bugs Bunny. Although Air Jordan is no Denzel Washington, it was impressive that the former Chicago Bulls superstar was able to acts alongside a cartoon. Besides the basketball scenes, MJ had a lot of lines throughout the movie and we think he did a pretty good job. Now that Mike is retired from the NBA, we hope he goes back and does another movie!


#2. Terry Bradshaw :: Failure to Launch

Terry Bradshaw

Back in the 70s, Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers was arguably the best quarterback in the league. He was also a very charismatic person off the field, who landed minor roles in movies during his playing career. It is no wonder, he went into TV broadcasting when he retired in 1983. In 2006, Bradshaw landed a starring role in the romantic comedy Failure to Launch starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker. Terry played Al, the father of McConaughey's character. Throughout the movie, Terry's character tries to kick his son (who is in his mid-30s) out of the house. This performance was impressive because usually sports stars play athletes in movies, and Bradshaw went against the grain and played a regular role.


#1. The Rock :: The Scorpion King

The Rock

Come on, we all know wrestling is fake! That is why it is no surprise, that a former WWE wrestler takes the top spot in this countdown. A dozen years ago, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, was the most popular name in professional wrestling. The Rock was also a former football star at the University of Miami, where he played alongside the great Warren Sapp. In 2002, while still in the WWE, The Rock starred in the box office smash, The Scorpion King. The Rock stars as a desert warrior rises up against the evil army that is destroying his homeland. The movie was critically acclaimed and earned several awards. People were calling The Rock, the next great action star. Since that movie, the Rock has starred in several successful films such as Gridiron Gang and The Game Plan.


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Who is the Best Athlete Actor?

  • Michael Jordan.
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