It may be somewhat of an oddity but actors have also been inducted in numerous sports halls of fame. Pictured here is Sylvester Stallone who got inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame after his starring and commercially successful role as boxing champ Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” film series.
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The film franchise and Stallone are praised for portraying a most realistic take on boxing during a time when it was very popular. But there are other actors deserving a place in sports halls of fame too, and here we’ve compiled a list of the ten Hollywood actors who we think are most worthy, so buckle up.
- #10- Jeff Bridges – Bowling
- #9- The Hanson Brothers – Hockey
- #8- Vince Vaughn – Dodge Ball
- #7- Gene Hackman – High School Basketball
- #6- Robert De Niro – Boxing
- #5- James Caan – Pro Football
- #4- Ronald Reagan – College Football
- #3- Kevin Costner – Baseball
- #2- Bill Murray – Golf
- #1- Paul Newman – Auto Racing, Hockey, Billiards, Boxing
Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame
#10- Jeff Bridges – Bowling
Often referred in cinema circles as “The Dude”, Jeff Bridges comes in at number 10 on our list. His 1998 film “The Big Lebowski” is a cult classic that is dedicated solely to the love of bowling. This slow paced comedy contains some of the finest bowling moments ever captured on film and Bridges stars as the title character Lebowski. The film has such a cultural following that even a decade and a half since its release, there are still Big Lebowski festivals held annually in bowling alleys all over America.
#9- The Hanson Brothers – Hockey
Next, on Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame, David Hanson, Jeff Carlson and Steve Carlson (pictured here) starred in “Slap Shot”, a drama about hockey. The film was notable for its portrayal of hockey as a violent sport and is often cited as the defining moment in the careers of the lead actors. It enjoys a cult following similar to Caddyshack, and the dialogue “old-time hockey” often comes up on lists of iconic moments in cinema.
#8- Vince Vaughn – Dodge Ball
Next on Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame, Coming in at number 8 is Vince Vaughn with the 2004 classic “Dodge Ball: A True Underdog Story”. Playing the character of “Average Joe’s Gym” owner Pete LaFleur, Vaughn is challenged to a dodge ball match by White Goodman (Ben Stiller) who owns the rival Globo Gym. What ensues is the funniest and most violent take on dodge ball in cinema history. The film is notable for its mild adult humor and was outright banned in numerous gyms throughout the country for its violence. But this did nothing to hinder its popularity and it still continues to influence numerous adult recreational leagues to this day.
#7- Gene Hackman – High School Basketball
Next, on Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame, Oscar winner Gene Hackman is known for playing characters that are very deep and complex with immense clarity and vision. His film “Hoosiers” pits him as the legendary basketball coach of Milan High School when they won the Indiana State Championship finals in 1954. The film is considered among the best sports films of all time and is praised for its cinematography and lead actors. Hackman gives a stellar performance that is consistent in every frame.
#6- Robert De Niro – Boxing
Next, on Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame, There have been dozens of boxing movies over the years, but the only film which manages to keep its own amidst such legendary hits as Rocky is probably Robert De Niro’s “Raging Bull”. Playing the character of Jake LaMotta, De Niro gave a striking performance as a tormented middleweight boxer who has to triumph against all odds and was honored with an Oscar nomination which he won. Raging Bull is also listed in the “Top 100” films in cinema history.
#5- James Caan – Pro Football
Next, on Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame, Before receiving acclaim for his role in The Godfather films, James Caan had largely been in the background for most major productions. His first stellar role was in 971 made for television film “Brian’s Song” in which he played the role of running back Brian Piccolo who suffers from terminal cancer and eventually dies. This is a sad film that recounts the friendship between Piccolo and Gale Sayers, the success of the film also earned it a theatre run.
#4- Ronald Reagan – College Football
Next, on Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame, Before becoming the President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan had been an acclaimed actor. His starring role as George Gipp in the 1940 college football drama “Knute Rockne, All American” earned him the nickname “The Gipper”. The film tells the story of Notre Dame Football coach Knute Rockne and is often heralded as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. It has been preserved by the United States Library of Congress.
#3- Kevin Costner – Baseball
Kevin Costner is perhaps most notable for starring in the number one sports film of all time; Bull Durham. His role as legendary baseball pitcher Crash Davis is better remembered compared to his other role as Ray Kinsella in another sports classic; Field of Dreams. Costner thus deserves a double feature on this list because he has starred in not one but two sports classics, sadly we are technically bound to give an actor only one spot… so sorry Kevin!
#2- Bill Murray – Golf
Few people can be lucky enough to feature in a golf flick which is actually interesting to watch. Bill Murray garnered a lot of positive reviews when he played the role of a golf course maintenance worker in the comedy “Caddyshack”. The film is frequently cited as the funniest sports movie of all time, and raked in a record $40 million during its release in 1980. It has a large cult following and helped boost the careers of Murray and Rodney Dangerfield. The shear genius of the script and plot lines, coupled with Murray’s flawless performance are enough to give him a shot in a golf hall of fame.
#1- Paul Newman – Auto Racing, Hockey, Billiards, Boxing
Next on Actors who could be in Sports Halls of Fame, Paul Newman is the only actor to have (in real life) professionally competed in a number of sports that he had played in films. His portrayal of characters like Reggie Dunlop, Fast Eddie Felson, and Rocky Graziano were nothing compared to his role in the 1969 auto-sport classic “Winning”. After the success of the film, Newman appeared as driver for numerous racing teams in professional events. Most notably; he competed in the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance Race and 1995 24 Hours of Daytona. He truly deserves the number one spot on our list.