35 NFL Players Who Turned Into Hollywood Actors 

  • Roman Gabriel. (Photo: Archive)

  • Lyle Alzado in “Destroyer.” (Photo: IMDB)

  • Former San Diego Charger Don Gibb starred in “Revenge of the Nerds.” (Photo: Flickr)

  • Howie Long in “Broken Arrow.” (Photo: Wiki)

  • California NFL star-turned-actor Bill Romanowski. (Photo: Twitter)

  • Dan Marino in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” (Photo: Wikimedia)

  • “Neon” Deion Sanders starred in the reality show “Prime Time Love.” (Photo: Twitter)

  • Detroit Lions’ all-pro Alex Karras played George Plimpton’s locker-room nemesis in “Paper Lion.” (Photo: Archive)

  • Terry Bradshaw played memorably in “Cannonball Run.” (Photo: Archive)

  • Small-screen shoot-fighting star Bob Sapp. (Photo: Twitter)

  • Bill Goldberg became a successful TV wrestler. (Photo: Twitter)

  • Lawrence Taylor in “Any Given Sunday.” (Photo: Flickr)

  • Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin starred in Adam Sandler’s remake of “The Longest Yard.” (Photo: Flickr)

  • The Chicago Bears and Hollywood star Dick Butkus. (Photo: Archive)

  • THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, Cameron Diaz, Brett Favre, Chris Elliott, 1998, TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

  • Former Oakland Raider Bubba Smith in “Police Academy.” (Photo: IMDB)

  • NFL linebacker Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed in “Rocky.” (Photo: Archive)

  • Fred “The Hammer” Williamson of the Chiefs didn’t play in the NFL, but he played in the Super Bowl, which was originally a 2-league exhibition game. (Photo: Wiki)

  • Former pro linebacker Terry Crews as President Mountain Dew Camacho in “Idiocracy.” (Photo: Twitter)

  • Brian “Boz” Bosworth, controversial celebrity-linebacker of the 80s. (Photo: Pinterest)

  • “Little House on the Prairie” star Merlin Olsen. (Photo: Wikimedia)

  • Fred Dryer. (Photo: Archive)

  • Super Bowl winner John Matuszak starred as Sloth in “The Goonies.” (Photo: Pinterest)

  • A Hollywood promo shot of Bernie Casey, who played for the Los Angeles Rams. (Photo: Archive)

  • “Broadway” Joe Namath. (Photo: Archive)

  • Jim Brown. (Photo: Archive)

  • Fran Tarkenton, legendary quarterback and star of “That’s Incredible.” (Photo: Archive)

  • NFL receiver Roy Jefferson starred in “Brotherhood of Death.” (Photo: Archive)

  • Bo Jackson in a terrific recent auto commercial. (Photo: YouTube)

  • A weird 1994 “Saved by the Bell” trading card featuring “Mike,” played by NFL legend Bob Golic. (Photo: Twitter)

  • Ed O’ Neill had only a brief brush with the NFL but became immortal as Al Bundy. (Photo: Pinterest)

  • NFL African-American trailblazer Woody Strode with John Wayne in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” (Photo: Archive)

  • Mike Ditka. (Photo: YouTube)

  • Former NFL’er Frank McRae in “Last Action Hero.” (Photo: IMDB)

  • Reality-TV protagonist and former NFL star Terrell Owens. (Photo: Twitter)

Roman Gabriel. (Photo: Archive)

It is said that during a heart-stopping moment of suspense in the Super Bowl, legendary quarterback Joe Montana turned to his huddled teammates and said “Look guys, up there in the stands. There’s John Candy!”

Actors and celebrities have always taken part in the Super Bowl. But not all of them have been constrained to a luxury box or a concert stage. In honor of the 3 and 1/2 decades since Joe Cool spotted Uncle Buck in the seats, here are 35 NFL players who became large and small-screen performers when their days on the field were over.

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