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Wednesday, November 21, 2001
Updated: August 10, 1:53 PM ET
Readers' List: Worst
acting by athletes

From the Page 2 mailbag

Last week Page 2 readers picked the most outstanding acting performances by sports personalities, so this week it's time to highlight the worst.

Here's how Page 2 editors ranked the worst acting performances by sports personalities:

1. Mitch Gaylord in "American Anthem"
2. Kurt Thomas in "Gymkata"
3. Wilt Chamberlain in "Conan the Destroyer"
4. Tor Johnson in "Plan 9 from Outer Space"
5. Brian Bosworth in "Stone Cold"
6. Gheorge Muresan in "My Giant"
7. Brett Favre in "There's Something About Mary"
8. Dennis Rodman in "Double Team"
9. Shaquille O'Neal in "Kazaam"
10. Tonya Harding in her wedding night video

dishonorable mentions: Arnold Schwarzennegger in "Conan the Barbarian" and "Conan the Destroyer," Julius Erving in "The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh," Jim Brown in "100 Rifles," Lou Ferrigno in "The Incredible Hulk" TV series, Jean-Cluade Van Damme in "Kickboxer," Johnny Weissmuller in various "Tarzan" movies

After examining Page 2's list of the 10 worst acting performances by athletes. Check out the readers' top 10 and then vote in the poll at left to crown the worst acting performance by an athlete.

Here's the readers' list:

1. Hulk Hogan, in "No Holds Barred" (32 letters)
Whenever I hear the name Terry "Hulk" Hogan in reference to any cinematic venture, my head starts to hurt. From "Santa with Muscles" to "Mr. Nanny" (with Sherman Helmsley ... that's star power, for ya!!), this steriod-addled hack has dumped more garbage onto the big screen than the "Garden State" has ever dreamt of. He could have lived off of being Thunderlips, but NOOOO ... he just had to have a film career of his own. It should be a crime to waste that much celluloid.
John Rollins
Manchester, Tenn..

How a wrestler can do such a poor job of playing a wrestler based on himself is beyond explanation.
El Dorado, Ks.

All I can remember is the bad guy calling Hulk a "jock ass." And that being the best part of the movie.
Ed Chabot
Edwardsville, Ill.

2. Shaq in "Kazaam!" (29 letters)
"Kazaam" made audiences disappear in theaters all across the country.
How you had Shaq in "Kazaam" as the ninth-worst rather than the very worst is beyond me. Shaq said "Kazaam" one too many times and made the audience in the theaters disappear. Hey, maybe he should shout that out right before he steps up to the free-throw line in hopes that the officials will just magically give him the points.
Marc Brewer
Gilchrist, Ore.

Best performance by a rapping magical genie that I've ever seen. Oh, this is the worst performance list?

OK then, worst performance by a rapping magical genie that I've ever seen.

It's a freakin' rapping genie.
Marlboro, N.J.

Stage presence doesn't go hand-in-hand with a good low post move.
Jon Wedrogowski
Montrose, N.Y.

3. Shaq in "Steel" (24 letters)
This movie actually had chance to be a hit. The comic book character Steel has enough depth to make a worthwhile series. But, between Shaq's jive-talking and his "Junkyard Wars" style costume, he completely ruined the character and the movie.
Fran Lattanzio

Shaq in "Steel" without a doubt. I've worked in a movie theater, and I have never seen such an unresponsive audience as the five people that saw "Steel" on opening night.
San Diego

Shaq in ... well, pretty much anything. "Steel," "Blue Chips," "Kazaam."

Call him Mr. Consistency, 'cause he turns in such amazingly awful performances each and every time. Shaq should dominate this contest, that's all there is to it.
San Diego

4. Hulk Hogan, in "Mr. Nanny" (21 letters)
Mr. Nanny
Hulk Hogan was awful in "Mr. Nanny," but was he worse in "No Holds Barred"?
Has to have been the worst acting by an athlete. Rule of thumb: If you can bench press more than 200 pounds and you're wearing a pink tutu, something is wrong.
Jason Kahn
Los Angeles

I don't really consider him an athlete, since wrestling is more acting than sport, but I had to nominate him for his hideous work on TV and the silver screen. Try to watch "Mr. Nanny" or "No Holds Barred" without cringing. His show "Thunder in Paradise" makes "Baywatch" look like "The West Wing." With Christmas approaching, be sure to check out "Santa with Muscles."
Sarasota, Fla.

5 (tie). Michael Jordan in "Space Jam" (16 letters)
Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan's performance in "Space Jam" was dwarfed by acting giants Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
I can't believe you forgot about Jordan's horrible performance playing himself in "Space Jam." After seeing that movie in the theaters, Jordan, I demand my $7 back for taking 90 minutes of my life. I was truly upset that Bugs, Daffy and the rest could possibly befriend him. If I were one of the guys on the team, I would have thrown the game so that Jordan would have to spend eternity playing his fans and losing. Of course, come to think of it, isn't that what he's doing with the former Bullettes?
Frank Behum, Jr.
Bethlehem, Pa.

It's sad when a bunch of cartoon animation cells can run circles around someone's acting ability.
Jamie Chwirut

5 (tie). Howie Long in "Firestorm" (16 letters)
Howie Long's "Firestorm" was even worse than those Radio Shack ads.
I can't believe you guys forgot about Howie Long's 1998 movie "Firestorm." But considering it was only at the box office for a week, I guess it was very easy to forget about it. Too bad I actually watched it. I would rather sit through two hours of Radio Shack commercials then have to watch that movie again.
Mike Lippens

On my death bed, I will look back and wish I still had the two hours I spent watching Howie Long in "Firestorm." If there has ever been a worse movie, I have been lucky enough to have missed it.

7. Dennis Rodman in "Double Team" (14 letters)
Double Team
If crossing over from sports to Hollywood means more "Double Teams," please don't.
By far the worst acting "effort" by an athlete (or anyone, for that matter). To be fair, he didn't have a great script, cast, or character to work with (I mean, c'mon, the main characters sheltered themselves from a building-decimating explosion with a Coke vending machine), but Dennis managed to shine through as the worst actor in a collection of awful ones. Even the hair was tackier than normal -- doesn't that say it all?
Ann Arbor, Mich.

8. Penny Hardaway in "Blue Chips" (13 letters)
In a movie that featured a staggering amount of bad jock acting, Anfernee's woeful performance made Shaq look like Olivier by comparison.
Glenn B.
Los Angeles

9. Bart Connor in "Rad" (8 letters)
Duke Best: "Is there anything that kid can't do?"

Everyone on earth, in unison: "Act."
Matt Goldsmith
San Francisco

10. Brett Favre in "There's Something About Mary" (seven letters)
Favre has all the charisma of a totem pole. And I can only guess what was going through his mind during the most mechanical kiss in film history -- "close eyes ... pucker lips ... bend forward ... kiss girl ... wait, is that right?"
Tom Vasich
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Dishonorable mentions
Shaq in "Blue Chips," Hulk Hogan in "Santa With Muscles," Matt Nover in "Blue Chips," Brian Bosworth in "Stone Cold," Dick Butkus in "Hang Time," Larry Bird in "Blue Chips"