Fictional Characters The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
1.3k votes 252 voters 2.4k views 35 items

Rocky Balboa. Jake LaMotta. Roy Hobbs. The names are familiar to movie buffs and sports fans alike.The greatest athlete characters in film triumphed in a number of different sports, including boxing, baseball, football, and wrestling. But all of these top athlete characters have won over audiences with their on-screen stories.

Who are some of the best athlete characters in film? Rocky Balboa poured his heart into training – and pummeled his fists into slabs of beef – in the 1976 classic Rocky. This film athlete proved to be so popular that he appeared in seven movies over the course of 40 years. Mickey Rourke's portrayal of washed-up wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler earned him a Golden Globe in 2009. Michael Oher from The Blind Side is another great movie athlete, as well as a real-life inspiration.

But sports films can also be funny, as proven by hilarious athlete characters like Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler), Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell), and, of course, Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) from Caddy Shack.

Which movie athlete do you think deserves the number-one spot on this list? Vote the best roles up to the top, and add any characters missing from the list.
list ordered by

1
60 16
Rocky Balboa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Rocky V, Rocky IV, Rocky II

2
50 17
Dottie Hinson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
A League of Their Own

3
45 21
Michael Oher is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Blind Side

4
38 16
Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added The Sandlot

5
44 21
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

6
32 14
Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Major League II, Major League

7
38 20
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Happy Gilmore

8
31 16
Daniel Larusso is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Karate Kid, Part II, The Karate Kid

9
23 12
Willie Mays Hayes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Major League, Major League II

10
6 0
Hamilton 'Ham' Porter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added The Sandlot

11
33 22
Daniel E. 'Rudy' Ruettiger is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film

12
22 12
Ranker Video
carlybobarly added Gordon Bombay D2: The Mighty Ducks, The Mighty Ducks, D3: The Mighty Ducks

13
29 20
Roy Hobbs is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Natural

14
21 13
Shane Falco is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Shane Falco The Replacements

15
26 18
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Raging Bull

16
20 13
Jess is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Jess Bhamra Bend It Like Beckham, When Harry Met Sally...

17
23 17
Marla Hooch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added A League of Their Own

18
22 16
Peter La Fleur is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

19
21 15
Crash Davis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Bull Durham

20
8 2
Kit Keller is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
A League of Their Own

21
22 17
Adonis Creed is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Adonis Creed

22
19 14
Rod Tidwell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Jerry Maguire

23
26 22
Ricky Bobby is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

24
5 2
Ivan Drago is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added Rocky V

25
18 16
Ty Webb is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Caddyshack

26
22 21
Johnny Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added The Karate Kid

27
4 2
Clubber Lang is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added Rocky III

28
15 18
Scotty Smalls is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Sandlot

29
15 21
Randy Robinson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Wrestler

30
6 11
Al Czervik is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Caddyshack

31
9 16
Ranker Video
carlybobarly added Reggie 'Reg' Dunlop Slap Shot

32
8 15
Minnesota Fats is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Minnesota Fats The Hustler

33
3 10
Judge Elihu Smails is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Tom Islava added Caddyshack

34
8 20
Don Billingsley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Don Billingsley Friday Night Lights

35
3 21
Jimmy Chitwood is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
RobLein added Jimmy Chitwood