From the red carpet of a film premiere and the launch of a new clothing line to the bright lights of a football stadium or hockey arena…wait, what? Celebrities are often known to have a variety of talents with just as many interests, which often explains the launch of modeling and singing careers as well as clothing, cologne or other product lines. But what about celebrities whose first talents were on the football field, hockey rink or the basketball court?
While we rarely ever think of celebrities as athletes (why would we?), there are quite a few talented actors in Hollywood who, believe it or not, first became known as star athletes. In fact, some of the most memorable artists, actors and celebrities over the years were recognized for their athleticism and skill in the arena long before ever taking the stage or silver screen.
So who are these celebs, what sports did they play and how did they ever end up in Hollywood? From punk rockers and rappers to A-list actors and comedians, we found 23 celebs who traded in their chances at turning pro and somehow, by the hands of fate, ended up on the stage instead. So sit back and relax as we get things rolling with one of Hollywood’s favorite sitcom stars.