Dwayne Douglas Johnson, better known by his ring name The Rock, is an American actor, producer and semi-retired professional wrestler. He was a college football player for the University of Miami, where he won a national championship on the 1991 Miami Hurricanes team. Take a look below for 30 more fun and fascinating facts about Dwayne Johnson.
1. After being cut from the Calgary Stampeders two months into the 1995 season, he began training for a career in professional wrestling, following in the footsteps of various family members, including his grandfather Peter Maivia and his father Rocky Johnson.
2. He’s widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.
3. He gained mainstream fame in the World Wrestling Federation from 1996 to 2004 and was the first third-generation wrestler in the company’s history.
4. He returned to the WWE part-time from 2011 to 2013 and continues to make sporadic appearances.
5. He is an eight time WWF/WWE Champion, two time WCW/World Champion, two time WWF Intercontinental Champion and a five time WWF Tag Team Champion.
6. His autobiography “The Rock Says…” debuted at number 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2000.
7. Johnson’s first leading film role was in The Scorpion King in 2002. He was paid $5.5 million for the role, which is a world record for an actor in his first starring role.
8. He hosted and produced The Hero, which is a reality competition series and has since continued to produce TV shows and movies through his production company Seven Bucks Productions.
9. In 2013, Forbes listed Johnson at number 25 in the Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities and has been in the top 20 every year since.
10. His maternal grandmother, Lia Maivia, was one of wrestling’s few female promoters, taking over Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling after her husband’s death in 1982, until 1988.
11. His cousin, Savelina Fanene, is also a wrestler that’s currently working for the WWE.
12. He briefly lived in the suburb of Grey Lynn in Auckland, New Zealand, with his mother’s family.
13. While attending University of Miami, Johnson met his future wife, Dany Garcia, who graduated from the university in 1992 and later became a member of its Board of Trustees.
14. Dwayne Johnson graduated from the University of Miami in 1995, with a Bachelor of General Studies degree in criminology and physiology.
15. Veteran wrestler Pat Patterson got Johnson several tryout matches with the World Wrestling Federation in 1996.
16. Under his real name, he defeated The Brooklyn Brawler at a house show, and lost the other matches to Chris Candido and Owen Hart.
17. After wrestling at Jerry Lawler’s United States Wrestling Association, as Flex Kavana, and winning the USWA World Tag Team Championship twice with Bart Swayer in the summer of 1996, Johnson signed a WWF contract.
18. He was known for insulting the audience in his promos, as well as WWF television interviewers, once calling Kevin Kelly an “ugly hermaphrodite.”
19. The success of his wrestling character allowed him to cross over into mainstream pop culture. He appeared on Wyclef Jean’s 2000 single “It Doesn’t Matter” and in his music video.
20. In 2000, Johnson hosted Saturday Night Live. Fellow wrestlers Triple H, The Big Show and Mick Foley also appeared on the show.
21. Johnson made a surprise appearance at the official Xbox unveiling during Bill Gates’ keynote speech at the ongoing Computer Electronics Show in 2001.
22. He was Tim Burton’s second choice for Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
23. In 2015, Johnson became an ordained minister in order to surprise a fan by officiating at his wedding.
24. He was set to star in a movie about Hawaiian warrior King Kamehameha, but was pulled because he’s Samoan, with the producer saying, “It would be a great taboo for the part to go to a nationality that was a fierce enemy of the Hawaiians during that time.”
25. Dwayne Johnson was expected to play Johnny Bravo in a proposed live action movie based on the character.
26. He consumed 820 pounds of cod alone per year.
27. His beard in the 2014 movie Hercules was made out of yak testicle hair.
28. John Cena replaced Fred Flinstone on 4 million Fruity Pebbles cereal boxes because Dwayne Johnson called him a “Fruity Pebbles” eater in the ring.
29. In order to bulk up for the role of Wolverine, Hugh Jackman contacted Johnson for advice and was told to take in 6,000 calories per day and to eat a lot of chicken.
30. His father is descended from Loyalist African Americans who emigrated to Nova Scotia after the Revolutionary War.