Actors, Musicians, and other celebrities are often pigeonholed into a specific niche because of their skills within their respective crafts. However, there are many talented individuals who like to step outside of their jobs and experience some fitness-based activities on a regular basis.
These actors and musicians are big fans of sports and they have all been captured at one point or another playing the sports they love. For some of them, sports were used to relax and escape from everyday life. For others, sports border on the fanatical.
Here are some of the biggest celebrities in the world, both past, and present, who were caught on camera playing the sports they loved the most.
Betty White Brought Color To The Screen And Sports!
Betty White was an acting icon. The beloved actress is mostly remembered for her role as Sue-Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and the hilarious character Rose Nylund on the sitcom “Golden Girls”. White, however, loved sports almost as much as acting.
Betty White loved to play tennis in her early acting years as a form of relaxation. White is pictured above playing tennis with Syrian actor Michael Ansara in 1957.
McQueen Thought He Was Royalty To Hollywood And Sports!
Steve McQueen was a rebellious actor and personality. McQueen’s defiant attitude led him to fame and fortune. McQueen was the highest paid actor for years without making a single film.
McQueen’s wild side emerged after he was given his first bike at the age of 4, a red tricycle. It is has been widely documented that McQueen’s love of sports, particularly watching and racing cars was sparked by his red tricycle.
Fit With Fonda (Jane Fonda)
Jane Fonda is almost as famous for her instructional Aerobic workouts as she is for acting. Fonda began doing aerobics after injuring her foot while practicing ballet. Fonda was dancing ballet for fitness and also as a rehearsal for an upcoming role in the film ‘The China Syndrome’.
‘Jane Fonda’s Workout Book’ inspired ‘Jane Fonda’s Workout Video’, released in 1982. Fonda’s exercise training video was the largest selling video for years with over 1million copies sold).
Touchdown, Burt Reynolds!
Burt Reynolds acted in many classic films such as Smokey And The Bandit, and The Cannonball Run. Both are films featuring mostly action from car chases and car-racing scenes. Reynolds did not just act as an athlete, his early beginnings were as a collegiate football player before he stumbled into acting.
Reynolds’ outstanding college football career was brief due to injuries, but he played well as a Halfback for Florida State University.
Fore! Bing Crosby The Golfer!
Bing Crosby the legendary singer and actor was referred to by many as the first multimedia star because of top record sales, radio ratings, and movie revenue. Crosby made over 70 films and released over 1,600 songs. Crosby also loved many sports and golf was his first love!
Crosby hosted and participated in numerous charity golf tournaments that featured professional and amateur golfers. One tournament Crosby played in is now the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Sammy Davis Jr. Floated Like A Butterfly!
Sammy Davis Jr. danced, sang, and acted his way into the hearts and minds of his fans. Davis Jr. rose to stardom as a member of the ‘Rat Pack’, that featured the likes of Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra.
Davis Jr. was well connected within and outside of Hollywood. His close relationship with Cassias Clay (Muhammad Ali), inspired the above photo of Clay and Davis Jr. before Davis Jr.’s celebrity boxing match in 1965.
Sports And Ronald Reagan Were A Presidential Fit!
Former US President Ronald Reagan served two terms and was involved in some of history’s biggest moments like the Cold War, The Iran-Contra Affair, and the Lebanese Civil War. Reagan faced plenty of scrutiny and pressure but sports helped him stay grounded.
Before acting and politics, Ronald Reagan displayed his love of sports, especially if it was for a photo-op! Here’s he’s seen ice skating but Reagan was also an active football player and swimmer in college.
Marilyn Monroe Was More Than Just A Pretty Face!
Marilyn Monroe was a sex symbol more than anything else. Monroe’s every step seemingly wound up being shown through a camera lens. Monroe was well aware that her beauty sold, even when she was around the sports world.
Monroe was shot skiing on snow or sand, playing tennis and golfing. Monroe brought glamour to every photo. Monroe was not just a poser, she routinely played tennis and went swimming for relaxation.
James Dean, The Rebel And Athlete!
James Dean was a cultural icon, and a heart throb to droves of teenage girls during his brief career, which was tragically cut short when Dean was involved in a fatal car crash in 1955. Dean made a living playing troubled, misunderstood teenagers (‘Rebel Without A Cause’), making him more relatable with American teens.
Dean made everything look “cool” including sports. Dean was popular in school and exceled at baseball and basketball.
Farrah Fawcett Enjoyed Sporting Her Golden Locks!
Without question, Farrah Fawcett gained infamy as a celebrity for her role in the television series Charlie’s Angels where she took on the role of Jill Munroe, private investigator. Cameras naturally were always around Fawcett, particularly when she modeled herself in a bathing suit, or while playing tennis.
Fawcett’s activity in sports aided her on-set of her show with co-star Ryan O’Neal, who also was her husband.
Sports, Music, Acting, Frank Sinatra Did It His Way!
Frank Sinatra was New York. Although born in New Jersey, Sinatra’s ‘New York’ is still an anthem in the state. Sinatra’s discography is lengthy and he also has an impressive collection of Golden Globe Awards for his performances on the big screen.
Sinatra was often seen playing golf with his golf partners or swimming daily in the Pacific Ocean. Swimming was therapeutic for Sinatra and where he found his solitude.
Doris Had Her Day In Sports!
Doris Day was born to perform in any form, with anyone. Day acted with legends that included Rock Hudson, Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable, and Kirk Douglas. Day also recorded over 650 songs, and still found time to enjoy the finer things in life, like sports.
Day lived to the age of 97 and it is no doubt due to her taking the time to unwind swinging a golf club, or playing tennis.
Judy Garland Was A Wizard Playing Sports!
Judy Garland is remembered as wholesome, and multi-talented. Garland as ‘Dorothy’ in ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ was probably her biggest role on the big screen but off camera, Garland found little joy in her personal life, except playing sports.
Garland was in no danger of taking over the tennis circuit, nor did she sink many golf balls, but the two sports provided the star with some relief from a tumultuous acting career.
Elvis Shook Up The Sports World Too!
Blue suede shoes, loose hips, curled lips, and swinging guitar was Elvis Presley’s legacy. Debates surrounded where Presley’s talent truly came from, but his performances on stage and screen made the hearts melt of women everywhere without any doubt. ‘The King’ was also a remarkable athlete.
In this photo, Elvis was photographed inside the boxing ring, which was a passion of the King of Rock. His love of karate has also been well documented. Presley’s home ‘Graceland’ was also home to several horses. Riding was not just a hobby for Elvis, his house was named ‘Palomino Rising Sun’ after his favorite horse.
There’s Nothing Funny About Will Ferrell’s Love Of Sports!
Will Ferrell’s comedic genius ignited while starring on Saturday Night Live, extending to his film career. Semi Pro, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Anchorman, all mirror Ferrell’s humor, but Semi Pro also debuted Ferrell’s athleticism on camera.
Ferrell was a kicker for his high school football team, dabbled in soccer, and was captain of the basketball team. Recently, Ferrell playing as Jackie Moon, appeared on the court at an NBA game.
Riding High With Tommy Lee Jones!
Tommy Lee Jones’ laundry list of film credits is too long to repeat! Jones has graced cinematic screens with brilliant performances in The Fugitive, US Marshalls, Men In Black, and No Country For Old Men. The Harvard graduate of English, not surprisingly transitioned into acting, but was quite the athlete too!
While at Harvard in 1968, Jones was a part of an undefeated football season! Today Jones is an accomplished Polo player.
Chris Pratt Was A Guardian Of The Sports Galaxy!
Guardians Of The Galaxy was the breakthrough film for actor Chris Pratt, although his comedic performance on the show Parks and Recreation earned him critical acclaim.
Before Pratt was a struggling salesman, and part-time stripper, the actor was quite the amateur wrestler in high school. Even while rising up the high school ranks as a wrestler, Pratt knew he would be famous when he told his wrestling coach “…I know I’ll be famous!”.
Footie With Jason Statham!
Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels, Crank, Snatch, and The Mechanic, are how most know actor Jason Statham. What Statham fans may not know, is his background in mixed martial arts, and his Diving for England at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Statham gravitated to soccer, regularly playing in matches throughout his career.
Statham played often for the US football team Hollywood United FC, a team started by 80’s group ‘Sex Pistols’ guitarist Steve Jones.
Basketball Love Is Common In Hip-Hop!
Common, soared up the rap music charts with his conscience lyrics and flow. The talented artist also gained popularity as an action film star. Mimicking the hip-hop culture that he raps for, Common expresses his love for basketball as a player.
Common has been in numerous NBA All-Star Celebrity games and in fellow emcee ‘Ice Cube’s ‘Big 3’ basketball league, which features 3-on-3 basketball. The league has ex-NBA ballers, actors, and musicians.
Foxx Of An Athlete!
Jamie Foxx’s career crosses over like an NBA point guard! Foxx’s dreams began on ‘Open Mic Night’, next starring in the widely popular In Living Color, starred in countless box office hits, and climbed the charts singing R&B. Foxx had visions of stars before acting full time!
Foxx played high school football and was the school’s first QB to pass for 1,000 yards. Foxx and the Dallas Cowboys star almost became reality.