Wilt Chamberlain interrupted his conquests of 20,000 women long enough to join Arnold Schwarzenegger in the "Conan" sequel, "Conan the Destroyer." As the treacherous Bombaata, Wilt fared somewhat worse against Conan than he did all those times against Bill Russell.
Athletes acting out
Shaquille O'Neal isn't the only athlete who's answered a call from Hollywood. Here are our favorite athletes who are also actors.
Former NFL defensive end Bubba Smith is best known cinematically for his role as Moses Hightower in all but one of the "Police Academy" films. Smith was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Aug. 3, 2011. He was 66.
When Rick Fox landed in Los Angeles to play basketball for the Lakers, he found something else as well: a Hollywood career. When he wasn't helping the Lakers to three championships, he was seen in the HBO prison series "Oz." Since retiring from the NBA in 2004, Fox has shown up in many TV series and movies, including "Ugly Betty" and "Meet the Browns."
1971 Heisman finalist Ed Marinaro left his six-year NFL career behind him and carried a badge - for seven years on "Hill Street Blues" as Officer Joe Coffey. Since 1978, Marinaro has appeared in dozens of TV series and movies, including "Blue Mountain State" and "Gift of Love: The Daniel Huffman Story."
UFC fighter Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson reprised the role of B.A. Baracus, made famous by the legendary Mr. T, in a movie adaptation of the classic TV series "The A-Team." We pity the fool who didn't see it. (What, you thought we were going to pass on dredging up that reference?)
The Super Bowl III-winning quarterback did many TV guest spots and even had his own show, "The Joe Namath Show," as well as appearing on "The A-Team." On the big screen, his most famous project was "C.C. and Company," a 1970 film also starring Ann-Margret.
FOX NFL broadcaster and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw has made many on-screen appearances as himself, but his most famous role was in "The Cannonball Run." He also had a cameo in "Smokey and the Bandit II."
A first-round draft pick out of San Diego State in 1969, Fred Dryer enjoyed a 12-year NFL career with the New York Giants and LA Rams before retiring in 1981. Dryer took bit parts to earn his SAG card before landing the title role in "Hunter" from 1984 to 1991.
Former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras starred alongside his wife, actress Susan Clark, in the TV series "Webster." He also had a classic role as the dimwitted Mongo in "Blazing Saddles."
Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson
The flamboyant Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Fred Williamson claimed he'd use his trademark forearm blows to knock Green Bay Packer receivers out of Super Bowl I, only to get knocked out himself. That ignominy didn't seem to hurt his subsequent acting career, as he appeared in several movies and TV shows, including "CHiPs" and "Pushing Daisies," and later became a producer and director.
Dwayne Johnson played college and Canadian League football before becoming a pro wrestler known as The Rock. He scored his first leading role in a movie in 2002 with "The Scorpion King." He reportedly was paid the highest salary ever for an actor in his first starring role: $5.5 million.
A top American swimmer in the 1930s, Esther Williams was set to compete in the 1940 Olympics until they were canceled because of World War II. Instead, she joined a swimming show called Billy Rose's Aquacade, where she swam alongside Johnny Weissmuller and caught the eye of MGM talent scouts. She then made a series of "aquamusicals," movies that featured synchronized swimming and diving.
Andre the Giant
The 7-foot-4, 540-pound former professional wrestler had several film roles, the best regarded of which came in the 1987 film "The Princess Bride." He died in 1993.
FOX football analyst and Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long appeared in movies such as "Firestorm" and "3,000 Miles to Graceland." He also was in "That Thing You Do!" with Tom Hanks, but unless you've seen the extended cut, you wouldn't know it. The role got cut from the film's theatrical release.
The best-known of the on-screen Tarzans (though he was actually the sixth actor to play the role) won five Olympic swimming gold medals and a bronze in water polo. 'Tarzan' wasn't his only movie role; Johnny Weissmuller also played a character called Jungle Jim in several films and a TV series. His last movie was "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood" in 1976.
"Mr. Baseball" made a post-diamond career out of poking fun at himself. The best-remembered of his acting credits is his role of George Owens on the '80s TV sitcom "Mr. Belvedere."
Michael "The Playmaker" Irvin had a prominent role in the Adam Sandler-Chris Rock remake of "The Longest Yard," as well as several TV appearances.
The former pro wrestler and governor of Minnesota also had roles in several movies such as "Predator," "Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe" and "The Running Man." Plus, he had a recurring TV role on "The Young and the Restless."
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper
The kilt-wearing native of Saskatoon (right, pummeling Chris Jericho) has appeared in several movie and TV roles, most notably a couple of cult classics: John Carpenter's "They Live" and the immortal "Hell Comes to Frogtown."
Before he was Earl or a Kevin Smith staple, Jason Lee rocked the half-pipes in Southern California with Tony Hawk as a professional skateboarder. Lee and Hawk were the first two skateboarders to receive a signature shoe from Airwalk.
Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan played Thunderlips in "Rocky III" and later starred in such films as "Suburban Commando" and "Mr. Nanny." He also had his own television series, "Thunder in Paradise."
World-champion wrestler John Cena starred in two feature films: "The Marine" and "12 Rounds," in addition to making numerous TV appearances.
Former collegiate and NBA player Reggie Theus was one of the original panelists on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period." He also had a role as a high school basketball coach in the NBC Saturday-morning sitcom "Hang Time."
If you were a fan of "Saved by the Bell: The College Years," (and really, who wasn't?) then you no doubt remember former NFL defensive tackle Bob Golic as resident adviser Mike Rogers. Doesn't ring a bell? OK, then just know that Bob is the older brother of the other Golic, radio/TV buffoon Mike.
Personable and photogenic, "The Juice" caught the eyes of casting directors even before his Hall of Fame NFL career was over. His movie credits include "The Towering Inferno," "Capricorn One" and the "Naked Gun" trilogy, and he had a role in the TV mini-series "Roots" as well as a long-running string of car-rental commercials for Hertz. Then something happened ...
Jim Brown was the NFL's career leading rusher when he retired after the 1965 season. He first made a splash in movies with his role in "The Dirty Dozen" in 1967, then went on to appear in many film and television productions.
The Boz starred in a 1991 action film, "Stone Cold," but many people consider his greatest acting job to be impersonating an NFL linebacker.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a silver-screen legend for his role in "Airplane," trying to keep his identity a secret but unable to stay quiet when a fan rips his defense. Lesser known is his karate fight with Bruce Lee in 1978's "The Game of Death."
If Hollywood needs a British brute, look no further than Vinnie "The Axe" Jones. The former footballer with the trademark busted nose is best known for his roles in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch," where he starred alongside Brad Pitt and Jason Statham.
Hall of Fame defensive lineman Merlin Olsen, who died in March at the age of 69, became a respected actor and TV commenter after his 15-year NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams. He was a series regular on "Little House on the Prairie," before starring in his own TV series, "Father Murphy."
Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal starred as a rapping genie in the 1996 flick "Kazaam." Who can forget dialogue like "Hey, don't turn your butt on me! I'm the man of the ages, straight out of the pages. Hang on! I'm contagious, outrageous, spontaneous!" Uh, OK, we forget the rest.
Before Chuck Norris became the star of "Walker, Texas Ranger" and subject of an entire genre of jokes ("Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas"), he was a martial-arts competitor, holding the professional middleweight karate champion's title six years in a row.
In addition to many roles in which he played himself or a character much like himself, LT had a part in the 2000 remake of "Shaft."
Celtics veteran Ray Allen co-starred with Denzel Washington in the 1998 Spike Lee film "He Got Game," earning a rave review from critic Roger Ebert, who called him "a rarity: an athlete who can act," and a "Best Breakthrough Male Performance" nomination from MTV.
Two actors debuted in the 1975 drama "Cornbread, Earl and Me" - Jamaal (also known as Keith) Wilkes and Laurence Fishburne. Wilkes played "Cornbread" Hamilton, who ended up being shot by police in a case of mistaken identity. Fishburne was only 12 at the time.
Dr. J played - what an innovative casting idea! - a basketball star in "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh," a '70s film that is viewed as either: a) the worst movie ever made, or b) a cult classic.
He's had many roles in both movies and TV, but former Oakland Raider Carl Weathers is best known for playing Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" franchise.
"Conan," "The Terminator," "Kindergarten Cop," "True Lies" — the Governator has starred in so many films, there probably are people who don't even realize he once was a champion bodybuilder.