Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Going back to the earliest days of both movies and television, producers have been enamored with putting sports celebrities on screen. They're some of the most recognizable people in the country and bring along a built-in audience of fans from their athletic exploits.
Of course, there is one issue that's a little hard to get around… most of the athletes that have been tapped to appear in movies can't act. We're taking a look at the most awesomely bad performances by athletes in movies… from ones that are just laughably amateurish to the truly unwatchable; the work by this group would make Lee Strasberg cry.
Shaquille O'Neal, Kazaam
In interviews, O'Neal can be utterly charming and he frequently looks like he's having a good time. Absolutely none of that translates to the big screen, however. The 7-foot-1 basketball player is a genie who emerges from a boombox and tries to help a kid (Francis Capra) who's got father issues. You'd think that a movie with a genie would be at least fun, but it has way too many dark moments and O'Neal's mugging doesn't help any. The movie was so bad that director Paul Michael Glaser hasn't got behind the camera since.
Charles Barkley, Space Jam
It's easy to point out that Michael Jordan is bad in the 1996 mix of animation and live action since he was the star of the show (along with Bugs Bunny, of course), but really, what did we expect? Jordan acted about as well as he ever did in his commercials and the rest of the NBA players, from Larry Bird to Patrick Ewing are equally awful. Barkley, however, as we've now learned from his work as a studio host for TNT has enough personality that he could’ve done better than the stiff performance that he gave.
Dan Marino, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
It's always amazing when athletes can't even play themselves convincingly. In Jim Carrey's breakout hit, Marino — along with a dolphin — is the subject of a kidnapping scheme. Marino's a good looking guy, but that's about the best thing that we can say about his abilities as an actor. When you're outdone by a sea mammal, things are pretty bad. Of course, as much as we don't like his acting, we still like him better than the movie's Mrs. Finkle, the character who famously said, "Dan Marino should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell."
O.J. Simpson, Capricorn One
Back before the Juice had his troubles with the law, he had quite the acting career. Most people remember his turn as Leslie Nielsen's partner in the Naked Gun series, but at one point, Simpson was legitimately trying to act. That's what puts his turn in Capricorn on the list. Playing a duped astronaut, along with James Brolin and Sam Waterston, who is unwittingly part of a fake mission to Mars, Simpson is all caged fury at the outrage of it all. At least the movie has some pretty rad late '70s hairdos going for it.
Wilt Chamberlain, Conan the Destroyer
At least there was logic to Chamberlain's casting in the rushed sequel to Conan the Barbarian… if you're looking for someone even more physically imposing than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt certainly fits the bill. The towering Chamberlain plays a guard named Bombaata who is supposed to help Conan on a quest before killing him. Let's just say that doesn't work out too well for The Stilt. Considering his claims of prodigious sexual conquests, we're sure that Chamberlain had fun shooting the movie… and, really, he doesn’t look any more ridiculous than Grace Jones.
Dennis Rodman, Double Team
How many people can say that they were in a movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme and they were the worst actor on set? Rodman, at the height of his fame for his outrageous behavior, made the Muscles from Brussels look like Robert De Niro in comparison. The plot of the movie runs along the lines of most other JCVD flicks, with Rodman playing an arms dealer. The Worm is tasked with saying such classic lines as, "You look like trouble. I like trouble." There are a lot of explosions and Van Damme does his requisite butt-kicking, even taking on a tiger, but Rodman spends the movie seemingly smirking at the thought that someone's paying him to do… well, whatever it was he was doing.
Mike Tyson, The Hangover
Yes, The Hangover is a very funny movie and, yes, the scenes with Tyson are hysterical. Those two facts do not make Iron Mike a good actor. The former heavyweight champion just plays a slightly less scary version of himself and you get the impression that the mixture of awe and fear on Bradley Cooper's face wasn't a stretch with the real Tyson standing in front of him. As comical as it was to watch — due largely to Tyson's public persona — his reaction at the video of Zack Galifianakis peeing in his pool is on the level of a third grade school play. Just, um, maybe don't tell him we said so.
Howie Long, Firestorm
The longtime Los Angeles Raiders defensive lineman did a credible job as one of John Travolta's henchmen in the John Woo actioner Broken Arrow. That's where Long's acting career should've ended. Instead, he signed on to play the lead in a movie about the leader of a team of wild firefighters who has to rescue people trapped in a fire started by an escaped killer played by William Forsythe. The fact that someone actually bought that pitch is irrelevant and it's hard to fault Long for taking the payday, but the preposterousness of the plot is matched only by the football star's terrible line delivery. The best part of the movie is that it's mercifully short, clocking in at just 89 minutes.
Terry Bradshaw, Failure to Launch
Let's forget for a second the stretch of casting Bradshaw and Kathy Bates as Matthew McConaughey's parents. Let's even put aside the fact that the movie's awfulness has more to do with the nonexistent chemistry between McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker than anything the four-time Super Bowl winner did. The question that truly needs to be addressed is who the heck thought the idea of having Bradshaw naked in the movie was a good idea? God love him for being down for it, but the image of the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback's naked rear-end is one of those things that you can't unsee. Bradshaw got his start in acting doing cameos in his buddy Burt Reynolds' films and luckily, he doesn't go too far out of his way to get parts. Why people feel the need to occasionally give him one is a whole other question.
The question of Khloe Kardashian's parentage has reared up again - incarcerated sportsman O.J. Simpson's manager believes his client could be the reality TV star's biological father. Kim Kardashian's sister has been fighting paternity speculation for years, because she bears little resemblance to her siblings - and now she faces a new round of questions following Norman Pardo's new claims.
He tells In Touch magazine that Khloe's mum Kris Jenner and Simpson were more than just friends when her then-husband Robert was the former American football star's legal representative.
Pardo has no definitive proof that Khloe is O.J.'s daughter - but he insists she could be.
He tells the publication, "It's all going to come out sooner or later. Khloe could be O.J.'s kid."
And Simpson's manager reveals his client has never denied the fact he may have fathered Khloe: "Whenever I bring it up, he giggles."
Pardo insists O.J., who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in a Nevada prison for kidnapping and armed robbery, had plenty of opportunity to get close to Kris in the years leading up to his murder trial, during which he was represented by Robert Kardashian.
The manager adds, "They all took their vacations together. There was a lot of partying going on back then."
And Pardo reveals the truth about Khloe's paternity could be revealed next month (Dec13) if a judge grants Simpson's request to be released pending a new trial.
He has hinted that O.J. has plans to share more information about his relationship with the Kardashians as the 20th anniversary of the death of his wife Nicole approaches in 2014.
Simpson was acquitted of his wife's murder.
Australian actor Liam Hemsworth helped raise more than $500,000 (£333,330) for charity this week (ends24Nov13) by hosting a special premiere of his new movie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Miley Cyrus' former fiance and the film's director Francis Lawrence headed to the town of Knoxville, Tennessee on Tuesday (19Nov13) to screen the film and raise funds for a number of good causes in the state.
The premiere at the Regal Pinnacle Cinema was attended by a number of teenagers with special needs, and Hemsworth spent time with the youngsters and posed for pictures with them.
Organiser Carol Fusco says, "The benefit premiere helped raise a record-breaking $558,000. It beat the former record that (the) Twilight premiere raised of $470,000 when Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart attended in 2009. The funds will go to agencies in East Tennessee such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, Second Harvest food bank, and Emerald Youth Foundation Just Lead programme and to purchase mobility equipment for special needs kids. It all goes to at risk children and children with special needs."
Hemsworth was also given a special honour during his time in Knoxville as he was presented with a 'Walking Stone', which will be placed in front of Regal Pinnacle Cinema to show he attended a premiere there.
Other stars who have received similar honours there include Jessica Simpson and Taylor Lautner.
Australian pop star Cody Simpson has reportedly struck up a romance with the stepdaughter of legendary record producer David Foster. The 16 year old has been linked to Gigi Hadid, whose mother is model-turned-reality TV star Yolanda Foster, who wed her songwriting husband in 2011.
Simpson and Hadid, who is also carving out a career as a model and has appeared alongside her mother on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, reportedly began dating earlier this year (13) after initially starting out as friends.
A source tells Usmagazine.com, "They've been friends for a while, it turned romantic this year. They are very adventurous and like to party with friends. It's very easy between them."
British boybands Mcfly and Busted are uniting to create a supergroup for a U.K. tour next year (14). The two acts teased their plans to join forces last week (ends10Nov13) and on Monday (11Nov13), they held a press conference in London to give fans the details.
Busted stars James Bourne and Matt Willis will hit the stage with the four boys from McFly, Tom Fletcher, Harry Judd, Danny Jones and Dougie Poynter, for an arena trek in April and May 2014.
Former Busted rocker Charlie Simpson, whose departure in 2005 led to the band's demise, will not rejoin the group.
The tour will kick off in Glasgow, Scotland on 19 April (14) and end on 9 May (14) in Manchester, England. The new supergroup will be known as McBusted.
It was ladies night at the Soul Train Awards in Las Vegas on Friday (08Nov13) as Tamar Braxton and Janelle Monae took home top prizes. Braxton was named Best R&B/Soul Female Artist and she also picked up Song of the Year for Love & War and the Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award. The singer also performed a three-song set during the ceremony.
Monae, who was recovering from a throat infection that prompted her to delay the start of her new tour, claimed the prestigious Video of the Year Award for her Erykah Badu collaboration Q.U.E.E.N.
Other winners included K. Michelle, who was named Best New Artist; Ashanti (Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance for Never Should Have); Kendrick Lamar (Album of the Year for good kid, m.A.A.d city); Miguel (Best R&B/Soul Male Artist), and Robin Thicke, who landed Song of the Year for his summer anthem Blurred Lines.
Meanwhile, Keith Sweat was honoured with the Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award, and scored the event's highlight by performing with Faith Evans, and R&B legend Dionne Warwick was gifted the Legend Award following tribute performances from Ron Isley, Ruben Studdard, Chrisette Michelle and Gladys Knight.
The superstar quartet each sang a snippet from one of Warwick's hits and then came together to sing her 1985 tune That’s What Friends Are For.
Another performance highlight came at the top of the show when Jennifer Hudson teamed up with Evelyn 'Champagne' King, Chaka Khan and rapper T.I. for a hits medley, while Big Daddy Kane and Slick Rick performed The Show with Doug E. Fresh.
The awards ceremony, hosted by Anthony Anderson, was held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
British boy bands Busted and Mcfly are planning to join forces next year (14) to create a new supergroup. The two acts have announced plans to stage a press conference in London next week (beg11Nov13), telling invited media outlets, "The ultimate pop supergroup is coming!"
The project won't be a full union of both bands - Busted star Charlie Simpson has taken to Twitter.com to confirm he will not be a part of the get together.
Simpson quit the group in 2005 and his departure led to Busted's demise.
The big plans for next year won't be too much of a surprise for fans - McFly and Busted performed together as McBusted at McFly's 10th anniversary shows in London earlier this year (13).
The new supergroup news comes less than two weeks after McFly star Tom Fletcher announced he was set to become a first-time dad in 2014. The pop star's wife Giovanna is pregnant.
Bosses of hit animated comedy The Simpsons paid tribute to late star Marcia Wallace with a special dedication on the show's opening credits on Sunday (03Nov13). Wallace, who voiced schoolteacher Edna Krabappel in the longrunning cartoon, died last month (Oct13) at the age of 70, and producers of the show honoured her with a touching moment in a new episode, which aired in the U.S. on Sunday night.
In the famous segment on the show's opening credits in which Bart Simpson scrawls cheeky lines on his classroom chalkboard, viewers saw him write "We'll really miss you Mrs. K" at the start of the episode, titled Four Regrettings and a Funeral.
Before the broadcast, Fox network aired an old episode of The Simpsons featuring Wallace's character in a prominent storyline.
Justin Bieber is North America's nominee for the Worldwide Act honour at the MTV Europe Music Awards in the Netherlands on 10 November (13). He will be up against One Direction, who will represent Europe North and Australia/New Zealand's candidate Cody Simpson, along with seven other acts from across the globe. Last year's (12) winner was China's Han Geng.
U.S. TV presenter Carson Daly is engaged to his girlfriend Siri Pinter, according to a report. Pinter was spotted wearing a diamond sparkler on her ring finger while out with Daly in Los Angeles on Saturday (05Oct13) and a source tells Us Weekly magazine The Voice host recently popped the question to his longtime love.
Daly and Pinter have been together for six years and have two children, aged one and three.
The TV personality, 40, has previously romanced Jennifer Love Hewitt and Tara Reid, while he was also linked to Christina Aguilera, Jaime Pressly and Ashlee Simpson.