Remembering Rowdy Roddy: Wrestlers as Actors

When one talks about athletes in movies, you’ll often see major sport athletes playing themselves, or in some way playing a role involving their sport. But, when you need a gigantic bad guy, a brute character or just a general badass to raise hell and take names, there’s no one more qualified than pro wrestlers. Everyone likely remembers Hulk Hogan battling in Rocky III, or seeing The Rock in the Fast And The Furious movies, but there’s a lot of little known stars who made big performances on screen. Here’s a look my five favorites who rocked it on the big screen: 

5. Kurrgan
Unless you were a big wrestling fan, you may have forgotten Robert Maillet’s run on the WWF as Kurrgan in The Oddities faction, but you probably saw him as the guy who beat up Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes, or as the giant monster in 300. A perfect giant villain.
4. The Big Show
Any fan of Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy knows that Captain Insano shows no mercy! A great cameo from The Giant/The Big Show

3.  Rowdy Roddy Piper
Piper “retired” in the prime of his career in the late 80’s to head to Hollywood, and ended up as the star of They Live the following year. Piper passed away earlier this month, which led to plenty of reminiscing about his famous line from that film: “I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

2. Andre the Giant
Princess Bride fans will recognize the former WWF Champion and headliner of Wrestlemania III for his role as Fezzik.
1. Tosh Togo
After a successful stint as an NWA champion in the 50’s and 60’s, Togo made his fame as “Odd Job” in the James Bond films – one of the best henchman roles of all time.