Total Recall: Best Football Playing Actors

In preparation for the Super Bowl, we've assembled a killer lineup of gridiron-to-screen stars.

by |

Mark Harmon

He's played law enforcement officers so many times that some people might assume he was born with a badge, but Mark Harmon actually started off on the football field, where he was UCLA's starting quarterback for two years in the early 1970s. After graduation, he made the jump to acting, scoring guest roles on a number of 1970s series, including Emergency! and Laverne & Shirley, as well as a part in 1978's Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. In the '80s, his career really took flight, thanks to high-profile TV gigs on St. Elsewhere and Moonlighting (not to mention being named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive); during this era, he booked roles in a number of films, including The Presidio, Stealing Home, and the cult classic Summer School. These days, he's settled into a five-year run as the star of the CBS drama NCIS, but he's still making movies -- 2009 is scheduled to bring us Weather Girl, a co-starring vehicle with another 1980s survivor, Jon Cryer.

Carl Weathers

As a linebacker, Carl Weathers didn't last long with the Raiders. So, like Doug Flutie and Andre Rison in his wake, he headed north, logging time in Canadian Football League with the British Columbia Lions (and you thought all CFL teams were called the Roughriders!). After his retirement in 1974, Weathers made appearances on a number of TV shows before landing his most famous role as Apollo Creed in Rocky. His subsequent career has consisted of a mix of TV and movie roles, most notably Action Jackson and Happy Gilmore. He also had a memorably loopy stint as an acting coach on Arrested Development, as well as a fake Saturday Night Live commercial in which he promised to follow in the footsteps of his Predator costars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura and become the governor -- of any state that would have him.