It's hard to imagine, but the many cast members of The Expendables 2 haven't spent their entire careers dominating the big screen. TV has been a starting point for many an action hero — and even continues to be to this day. How did the macho men of The Expendables find their ways into your living room's magical picture box? Check out these notable milestones:
Sylvester Stallone appeared as a killer detective in the 1975 Kojak episode "Dead Lift."
Jason Statham has never appeared on a TV show (besides media appearances), but he did star in this 2003 Kit Kat commercial that more than makes up for his lack of small screen credits.
Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared as a maniac killer bodybuilder in the 1977 The Streets of San Francisco episode "Dead Lift."
Liam Hemsworth broke out in Australia with the soap opera Neighbours, but his 25 episode run on the fantasy drama Elephant Princess trumps all.
Dolph Lundgren appeared as a terrorist henchman in the 2010 Chuck episode "Chuck Versus the Anniversary."
Bruce Willis made it big from his stint on Moonlighting, but before that, the actor appeared as a man who accidentally phones home and speaks to his alter ego in the 1985 Twilight Zone episode "Shatterday."
Jean-Claude Van Damme has never appeared on a TV show (besides media appearances), but he did star in this string of Japanese chewing gum commercials in the '80s.
Terry Crews is an established TV star, with both Everybody Hates Chris and Are We There Yet under his belt. Before that he was a star of the NFL. Before on screen fame, Crews appeared as "T-Money" on 1999's American Gladiators-esque BattleDome.
Randy Couture appeared as a Priority Plus driver in the 2003 King of Queens episode "Fight Schlub."
Chuck Norris starred in a handful of movies in the '80s, but the actor went full on meme during his run on the infamous Walker Texas Ranger.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: CBS]
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Roberts hospitalized for pregnancy
Julia Roberts, who is due to deliver twins sometime in January, was hospitalized in Los Angeles Saturday after experiencing some early contractions, Reuters reports. According to a report in People magazine, Roberts, 36, was accompanied by her husband Danny Moder to an undisclosed hospital and was hooked up to a fetal monitor. When the contractions eventually stopped, Roberts hosted an impromptu bedside baby shower the next day, People said. Roberts' condition was not serious but her doctors plan to keep her under observation for a few more days, advising the Oscar-winning actress to stay in bed until she gives birth, the magazine added.
Judge allows police video of Rip Torn at trial
A judge ruled a video showing actor Rip Torn cursing at police officers after his drunk driving arrest in New York last January can be shown to jurors at his trial, which is set to begin next week. The 45-minute police videotape, released to the public Tuesday and screened for Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert Stolz at a pretrial hearing last Thursday, shows Torn slurring his speech, swearing at police and at times, nodding off, Reuters reports. "Go to hell, you guys. I'm telling you, you guys are all going to jail," Torn bellows in an expletive-laced outburst, knocking down a chair while refusing to take a sobriety test at the police precinct. "Take these cuffs off me." Torn was taken into custody after the car he was driving crashed into the back of a taxi in Greenwich Village on Jan. 13. A police officer described Torn's appearance as "disheveled, his hair messy (and) his eyes glassy and red." The 73-year-old actor has pleaded innocent to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Stern criticizes FCC head
Shock jock Howard Stern made a surprise call in to San Francisco's 810 KGO-AM Tuesday during an interview with Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell, berating him for undermining free speech, Reuters reports. "I don't think that you personally hate me ... I think what you've been doing is dangerous to free speech. I think things have gotten way out of control," Stern said, referring to the FCC's proposed plan to fine stations a total of about $2.5 million for airing incidents on Stern's show. The fine includes the $495,000 penalty against Clear Channel Communications Inc. for an incident that led the company to drop him from six stations. Stern recently signed a multimillion-dollar deal to take his show in 2006 to Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., a subscription service to which decency rules do not apply.
Hilton, Ritchie give Simple Life a third shot
Rich girls Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie are packing up their bags for a third installment of the hit Fox show The Simple Life, Reuters reports. This time, the pair will tour major cities and take intern jobs, including a stint on Wall Street and in a classroom. Richie, daughter of singer Lionel Richie, told Reuters she is hoping the big-city tour will mean she won't ever have to put her arm inside a cow again. "I'm just over doing manual labor, we don't want to get dirty any more," she said. Meanwhile, Richie's best friend Hilton has been recently linked with Australian tennis star Mark Philippoussis, The Associated Press reports. Hilton's spokesperson told AP, "They are good friends who met through mutual friends" but wouldn't comment any further, while Sydney's Daily Telegraph cited sources saying the Wimbledon finalist had ended his 10-month relationship with pop singer Delta Goodrem earlier this month.
USA loves Rhames as Kojak
USA Network is planning to remake the 1970s CBS detective show Kojak with actor Ving Rhames (Dawn of the Dead) attached to star as the bald-headed, lollipop-lovin' cop made famous by the late Telly Savalas. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the cabler had initially envisioned doing a series of Kojak TV movies with Rhames because the actor's busy feature schedule would not allow him to commit to a regular series. But USA executives were so pleased with the first film, which wrapped production in August, that they were able to work out a schedule with Rhames to allow for the production of eight additional one-hour episodes, beginning January in Toronto.
Freddie Prinze Jr. follows in dad's footsteps
Big-screen star Freddie Prinze Jr. is moving to the small screen with a half-hour sitcom for ABC. According to Variety, the show will feature Prinze as a Puerto Rican man living in a household of women--something the 28-year-old actor said he has personally experienced. "When I was 14, my grandfather passed away, and I became man of the house, whether I wanted to be or not," he said. His father, Chico and the Man star Freddie Prinze, committed suicide in 1977, less than a year after his son was born. Prinze said he was initially thinking about tackling an hour-long drama until his wife, ex-Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar, reminded him of how terrible the hours can be.
Stephen King names pet peeves of 2004
Author extraordinaire Stephen King has compiled his list of Pet Peeves of 2004, published in his Entertainment Weekly column, the AP reports. King's list, which appears in EW's Oct. 29 issue, rates his bugbears with "annoyance levels" ranging from minor headache to head-splitting migraine. Britney Spears, for example, rates a minor headache while ads before theatrical movies rate a head-splitting migraine. Real estate tycoon and The Apprentice star Donald Trump received a moderate to severe headache. "One can avoid the TV show, but lately the Donald's face is everywhere, and the hideous comb-over always floats above it," King writes. King notes that although pop culture is full of pleasures, it also has its share of annoyances: "For every pretty, talented Elisha Cuthbert there is a Paris Hilton (and her little dog, too)."
BIFA nominations announced
Nominations for the British Independent Film Awards, now in their seventh year, were announced yesterday, Reuters reports. Scarlett Johansson, who was nominated for her role in Girl With A Pearl Earring, is the highest profile name in the best actress category, which includes Anne Reid (The Mother), Eva Birthistle (Ae Fond Kiss), and Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake). Meanwhile, Geoffrey Rush (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers), Paddy Considine (Dead Man's Shoes), Phil Davis (Vera Drake), and Ian Hart (Blind Flight) will compete in the best actor category. Pics are in the running for Best British Independent Film include Vera Drake, Dead Man's Shoes, Touching the Void, Shaun of the Dead and My Summer of Love. Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 received a nod for Best Foreign Film.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.
The exploits of Lieutenant Theo Kojak, a plainclothes detective with the Manhattan South branch of the New York Police Department. One of the more realistic police dramas of its era, dealing with current, and sometimes controversial, issues of crime and law enforcement.