Film Characters The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film  

Ranker Film
1.5k votes 271 voters 2.7k 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
70 20
Rocky Balboa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Rocky V, Rocky IV, Rocky II

2
55 24
Dottie Hinson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
A League of Their Own

3
48 19
Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added The Sandlot

4
52 25
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

5
50 26
Michael Oher is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Blind Side

6
37 18
Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Major League II, Major League

7
42 25
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Happy Gilmore

8
28 16
Willie Mays Hayes is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Major League, Major League II

9
27 16
Ranker Video
carlybobarly added Gordon Bombay D2: The Mighty Ducks, The Mighty Ducks, D3: The Mighty Ducks

10
29 18
Peter La Fleur is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

11
30 19
Adonis Creed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Adonis Creed

12
34 23
Daniel Larusso is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Karate Kid, Part II, The Karate Kid

13
37 27
Daniel E. 'Rudy' Ruettiger is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film

14
26 18
Crash Davis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Bull Durham

15
32 25
Roy Hobbs is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
The Natural

16
31 25
Ricky Bobby is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

17
29 23
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Raging Bull

18
26 20
Marla Hooch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added A League of Their Own

19
25 19
Shane Falco is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Shane Falco The Replacements

20
23 17
Rod Tidwell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
carlybobarly added Jerry Maguire

21
11 6
Kit Keller is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
A League of Their Own

22
10 5
Hamilton 'Ham' Porter is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added The Sandlot

23
10 5
Ivan Drago is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added Rocky V

24
23 20
Ty Webb is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Caddyshack

25
21 19
Jess is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Athlete Characters in Film
Jess Bhamra Bend It Like Beckham, When Harry Met Sally...