16 wrestlers turned actors who pinned sci-fi to the mat

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

They're big, they're bulky, they're living, breathing special effects even when unenhanced by so much as a single pixel of CGI. They're professional wrestlers, and they have a long history in sci-fi, fantasy and horror films.

Check out 16 of the most memorable wrestlers turned actors below.

Harold Sakata

Sakata, who wrestled under the name Tosh Togo, was best known as Goldfinger's henchman Oddjob, the guy with the deadly hat, who was so loyal that he continued to fight James Bond even after his boss left him behind to die.

Tor Johnson

The immense wrestling star of Ed Wood movies Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 From Outer Space later headlined one that might have been even worse: The Beast of Yucca Flats.

George "The Animal" Steele

Later, when Tim Burton needed another actor who could be Tor Johnson reincarnated for the biopic Ed Wood, he turned to ... Tor Johnson reincarnated.

Jesse "The Body" Ventura

Future governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura was one of the several tough guys who fell to the Predator before another future governor got to take the alien marauder down.

Andre the Giant

His fleeting film career included the one role for which he'll always be remembered: the slow-witted, warm-hearted giant Fezzik, from The Princess Bride.

Rowdy Roddy Piper

The wrestling star's films included John Carpenter's alien-invasion thriller They Live, including this highlight of a scene that was not exactly a startling departure from his ring activities.


Joanie Laurer, who wrestled under the name Chyna, played the villain in Illegal Aliens, a film that was (trust us) even dumber than this trailer makes it look. That's one hell of an explosive microwaved fork.

Jeep Swenson

Wrestler Jeep appeared as the steroidal Bane in what is likely the single lowest point of Batman's film career, the Joel Schumacher travesty Batman and Robin.

Hulk Hogan

The highlight of his film career was probably his bout with Rocky Balboa, but here he steps out to challenge the titular monsters of Gremlins II.

Dwayne Johnson

As "The Rock," he was one of the crossover stars of the sport; as himself, he has a thriving film career that includes the Mummy spinoff The Scorpion King.

Captain Lou Albano

He's a major wrestling character, and he played one of the greatest characters of all time—Super Mario! Even he's not strong enough to wrestle that laugh track to the ground.

Tyler Mane

In another film, when he needed to recite lots and lots of dialogue, Sabretooth was played by Liev Schreiber. But here in X-Men, Tyler Mane does a fine job as a mutant of fewer words.

Bill Goldberg

It's not every wrestler who gets to beat the living crap out of Jean-Claude Van Damme, as Bill Goldberg does in Universal Soldier: The Return.

Triple H

In Blade 3, Triple 3 played a character he calls "The Terminator of Vampires." That would be, ummm ... sunlight, right?

Kevin Nash

"The Russian," an unstoppable thug who beats the living snot out of the Punisher, may have been the single toughest bastard the vigilante ever fought in the comics. As played by Kevin Nash, he wasn't exactly an Amway salesman.


The psychotic murderer Kane plays in See No Evil isn't just killed at the end; in the last scene of the film, a stray dog ambles by the corpse and pees in his empty eye socket. Now, that's just rude.

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