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Five Olympic Gold Medal Winners Who Acted in the Movies

Updated on July 15, 2012

Olympic Actors

Winning a medal at the Olympics has often been a springboard for Olympians to express their talents and prowess elsewhere, and it doesn't matter if you win a bronze ,silver or gold medal, you could be in demand.

And this is certainly the case in acting. Here are five Olympic gold medallists who have advanced into the acting profession,and some were more successful than others.

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Film star days
Film star days
Film star days
  • BUSTER CRABBE (1932 400-metre freestyle champion)

Buster won his gold medal by one -tenth of a second,and he later claimed that this is what led Hollywood producers to discover his acting talents!

His first film was King of the Jungle in which he played Karpa the Lion Man.Crabbe actually appeared i a total of 53 movies, but it is for his starring roles in Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers where he is best remembered.

  • BRUCE JENNER (1976 decathlon champion)

The American athlete took gold at the Montreal Olympics, his second Olympics, at the age of 26.He was a big man and nicknamed Bruiser, he actually turned down the roll of Superman.

Jenner's only actual appearance in the movies is probably best forgotten, it was in the awful 1980 film Can't Stop the Music.Here Bruce played a boring lawyer who was drawn into the irresistible fun and frolics of the New York disco night life!He is now a motivational speaker.

record breaker
record breaker
  • HELENE MADISON (1932 100-freestyle champion)

Helene was almost unbeatable at many swimming distances, and she actually set 16 world records in as many months.Many of the sportswriters of the time described her as "shapely".

Not long after her Olympic Success she made her acting debut in the 1933 film The Warriors Husband, where she played an Amazon captain of the guards.Unfortunately her performance went largely unnoticed ,and she did not make another movie.However she later made a career as a night club singer.

  • CORNISHMAN V (Double gold medal winner at the1968 & 1972 three day event)

Won two gold medal for the Great Britian team where Richard Meade rode him in in 1968, he also shared the team three-day gold with Mary Gordon-Watson and Bridget Parker in 1972.

The only non -human gold medallist to have a successful movie career. His starring roles were in the 1974 film Dead Cert , which was based on a novel written by Dick Francis, and the classic International Velvet, made in 1978.

tarzan and jane
tarzan and jane
  • JOHNNY WEISSMULLER (Five golds in the 1924 &1928 Olympics, swimming)

A prolific record breaker, Romanian born Johnny took up swimming to improve his poor health and grew up to be an undefeated swimming champion.

While swimming at his club on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, he was invited to try for the part of Tarzan.He made his movie debut in Tarzan, the Ape Man, where he starred with Jane, played by Maureen O’Sullivan. So then the “Me Tarzan. You Jane” and the famous “Tarzan yell” became known the world over. Johnny made 12 Tarzan films in all ,the last being Tarzan and the Mermaids in 1948.


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