Dwayne Johnson Biography
Dwayne Douglas Johnson (born May 2, 1972), also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American actor and semi-retired professional wrestler who works for WWE.
Johnson was a college football player. In 1991, he was on the University of Miami's national championship team. He later played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, and was cut two months into the 1995 season. This led him to become a professional wrestler like his grandfather, Peter Maivia, and his father, Rocky Johnson. He gained mainstream fame as a wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from 1996 to 2004, and was the first third-generation wrestler in the company's history. He was quickly pushed as a face in the WWF, originally billed as "Rocky Maivia", then as "The Rock". He turned heel as a member of the Nation of Domination in 1997. Two years after he joined the WWF, he won the WWF Championship.
Johnson is widely considered one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. He has had 17 championship reigns in WWE, including 10 as a world heavyweight champion (the WWF/E Championship eight times and the WCW/World Championship twice), the WWF Intercontinental Championship twice and the WWF Tag Team Championship five times. He is the sixth WWF/E Triple Crown Champion, and the winner of the 2000 Royal Rumble.
Johnson's autobiography The Rock Says... (co-written with Joe Layden) was published in 2000. It debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the list for several weeks. Johnson's first leading film role was in The Scorpion King in 2002. For this role, he was paid US$5.5 million, a world record for an actor in his first starring role. He has since appeared in several successful films, including The Rundown, Be Cool, Walking Tall, Gridiron Gang, The Game Plan, Get Smart, Race to Witch Mountain, Planet 51, Tooth Fairy, Doom, The Other Guys, Faster, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6.
The success of his wrestling character allowed Johnson to cross over into mainstream pop culture. He appeared on Wyclef Jean's 2000 single "It Doesn't Matter" and in its music video. He also recorded "Pie" with Slick Rick for WWF The Music, Vol. 5. In 2000, he hosted Saturday Night Live. Fellow wrestlers Triple H, The Big Show, and Mick Foley also appeared on the show. Johnson has stated the success of that episode is the reason he began receiving offers from Hollywood studios. Johnson had guest roles on Star Trek: Voyager, as an alien wrestler that uses The Rock's famous moves, and on That '70s Show, as his father, Rocky Johnson.
Dwayne Johnson during a photo shoot for Vanity Fair during 2001.
Johnson's motion picture debut was a brief appearance as The Scorpion King in the opening sequence of The Mummy Returns. The character appears in the movie's climax in CGI form. The movie's financial success led to his first leading role, in the sequel The Scorpion King. He was listed in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-paid actor in his first starring role, receiving US$5.5 million for this movie. He was considered for the title role in a feature-length Johnny Bravo film, but it was canceled during production.
Johnson also continued to act on television, including in an episode of the Disney Channel show, Cory in the House, entitled "Never the Dwayne Shall Meet". While Johnson was away from WWE, the company continued to sell "The Rock" merchandise, and he continued to be featured prominently in the opening montages of their television shows. Johnson played the cocky famous football player, Joe Kingman, in The Game Plan, and Agent 23 in Get Smart. Johnson presented the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects at the 80th Academy Awards on February 24, 2008. He was nominated for the Favorite Movie Actor award at the 2008 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for his role in The Game Plan, but lost out to Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Johnson hosted the 2009 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on March 28. He appeared on the Wizards of Waverly Place episode, "Art Teacher", as part of his stint with The Walt Disney Company. He has made several guest appearances on Saturday Night Live, reviving his character of "The Rock Obama", a spoof of both President Barack Obama and The Hulk. Also in 2009, Johnson played ex-con cab driver Jack Bruno in Las Vegas in Race To Witch Mountain. He provided the voice of Capt. Charles "Chuck" Baker in Planet 51. In 2010, Johnson starred in the family comedy, Tooth Fairy. He made an uncredited cameo in the 2010 film, Why Did I Get Married Too? as a psychiatrist who asks out the recently widowed Patricia Agnew (Janet Jackson). He briefly appears in The Other Guys, as an action-seeking detective. He returned to action films with the 2010 film Faster.
In 2011, Johnson appeared in the fifth film of The Fast and the Furious film series, Fast Five, as Luke Hobbs, a Diplomatic Security Service agent assigned to hunt down the series' protagonists. Johnson landed the role after Vin Diesel read comments and feedback from fans, one of whom wanted to see Diesel and Johnson in a movie together. Johnson, a fan of the franchise, had wanted to work with Universal again after they had given him his first film roles. Fast Five grossed over $86 million in its opening weekend, the biggest opening for a Fast & Furious film, the biggest opening for an April release and the biggest opening for a Johnson movie.
In 2012, Johnson appeared in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. He starred in the 2013 film Snitch, which opened to mixed reviews; however, Johnson's performance was praised. In 2013, he played Roadblock in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and will reprise his role as Luke Hobbs in Fast Six. He will also star in Pain & Gain, and Empire State in 2013. In addition to these films, Johnson is also the host and producer of the reality competition/game show series The Hero, which will premiere on TNT in summer 2013. On March 23, 2013 Johnson won the Favorite Male Buttkicker Award at the 2013 Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards.
Johnson is set to star in Hercules: The Thracian Wars in 2014, and has been confirmed for Fast & Furious 7.