Hollywood's most famous athletes-turned-actors

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Hollywood's most famous athletes-turned-actors

Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce Jenner) turned herself into a household name as part of the infamous Kardashian clan, but she also has an impressive athletic resume! The former Olympian won a gold medal for decathlon at the Montreal Summer Olympics before making headlines in 2015 after coming out as a transgender woman. When she's not busy breaking Twitter records or hitting red carpets, Jenner can now be found on hit reality shows 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' and 'I Am Cait.'

(Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

Believe it or not, Chuck Norris' rise to fame didn't come from those epic memes that you always seem online, but from his highly-successful martial arts career. The athlete-turned-actor got his big break in 1972 as Bruce Lee's nemesis in 'Way of the Dragon' and the rest was history!

You may recognize Lou Ferrigno as the original 'Incredible Hulk,' but legendary actor actually got his start as a storied body builder! He rose to fame while starring in a 1975 documentary that chronicled his quest to beat rival Arnold  Schwarzenegger called 'Pumping Iron.' Since his 'Hulk' days, the athlete-turned-actor has appeared in various movies and TV shows, including playing himself in feature film 'I Love You Man.'

(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

With six NBA Championships and five MVP awards, everyone wishes they could play like Michael Jordan, but he also had quite a knack for acting. 'MJ' starred in the 1996 cult-classic 'Space Jam,' which was set during his first retirement from basketball. The live action, animated Looney Tunes film is the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time, so it's safe to say the camera loves Jordan. We wouldn't mind an acting comeback from what some may consider the greatest of all time!

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's biceps don't lie! The wrestler-turned-actor was a star athlete at the University of Miami before signing with WWE. Johnson is considered by many as the biggest superstar in the wrestling league's history, so it's no surprise that he was welcomed by fans in Hollywood. He's appeared in several kid-friendly fares and 'Fast and Furious' movies.

(Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images)

Before becoming an actor, Jason Lee made a name for himself as a professional skateboarder in the late '80s. Lee took on some minor acting roles in the early '90s and it's safe to say he was bit by the acting bug! He catapulted to fame in Kevin Smith's cult-hit 'Mallrats,' but he's best known for his leading role in hit show 'My Name Is Earl.'

(Star Max via AP Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger's colorful career may be hard to beat! The Austrian-native has a long list of accolades to his name, but he got his famous start as a body builder when he was just 15 years old. While Schwarzenegger is known for his starring role in 'The Terminator,' he actually made his big break in the 1982 flick 'Conan the Barbarian.' But being a world-famous athlete-turned-actor clearly wasn't enough for 'The Terminator,' because he also served as California's governor from 2003 to 2011. The former politician returned to acting after serving two terms and is set to reprise his breakthrough role in 'Legend of Conan.'

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Kareem Abdul Jabbar might be considered one of the greatest to ever touch a basketball in the NBA, but he also holds many acting credits to his name. He made his film debut in Bruce Lee's 1972 film 'Game of Death' and has acted in numerous TV shows and movies since then. Of course, Jabbar gets major kuddos for appearing in hits like 'New Girl' and 'Full House.'

(Photo by Camerique/Getty Images)

Sylvester Stallone may have won America over with the 'Rocky' franchise, but let's not forget his rival, Apollo Creed. The big role turned Carl Weathers into a household name, but there's a reason why he played the part well! The athlete-turned-actor had a brief stint in the NFL where he played for the Oakland Raiders in the early '70s. He pursued a career in acting after retiring from football in 1974. 

'Princess Bride' enthusiasts recognize Andre the Giant for his role as Fezzik, but did you also know the French athlete-turned-actor had a famous feud with The Hulk? Yes, the Hulk Hogan. Andre made his wrestling debut in 1973 and he was inducted to the WWF Hall of Fame 20 years later. He appeared in many TV shows and films, including 'Zorro.' But let's be real, he'll always be Fezzik in our hearts!

(AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)

When surfer Kelly Slater isn't busy dominating some of the most dangerous waves in the world, you can find him saving lives in Hollywood! The surfer played Jimmy Slater in 27 episodes of 'Baywatch' in the early '90s. While the hunky athlete hasn't announced his retirement yet, we hope he gives acting another shot!

(AP Photo/Bob Edme)

It's safe to say that Shaquille O'Neal was made for Hollywood! After a successful NBA career, the retired athlete shows no signs of slowing down with numerous film appearances, two reality shows and four rap albums. Maybe he can give former teammate Kobe Bryant a few pointers? 

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

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When it comes time to hang up their cleats, some professional athletes take their talents elsewhere – to Hollywood. Many have transitioned from the bright lights of stadiums to the bright lights of movie studios. And let's be real, some have done it better than others!

You may know him as Fezzik from "Princess Bride," but there's more to Andre the Giant than meets the eye. Did you know he had a famous feud with Hulk Hogan during his prolific wrestling career? Yes, the Hulk.

Speaking of the Hulk, before former body builder Lou Ferrigno became a household name as the original "Incredible Hulk," he starred in a 1975 documentary that also featured real-life rival Arnold Schwarzenegger.

With all the success these athletes-turned-actors have garnered, we wouldn't be surprised if Kobe Bryant decides to make the same move. After Kobe left fans devastated by his recent retirement bombshell, can we make the same suggestion to him? Let's be honest, the world isn't ready to let go of the Black Mamba yet!

Check out Hollywood's most famous athletes-turned-actors that are MVPs in the studio and on the field in the slideshow above!

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