Since he broke away from the world of professional wrestling and devoted his efforts to acting, Dwayne Johnson has gone on to become one of the highest-grossing box-office stars of all time.
Johnson made his film debut in the 2001 action-adventure film The Mummy Returns and soon afterward played his very first lead role in The Scorpion King. Since then he has appeared in a movie almost every year, including films like Race to Witch Mountain, The Rundown, The Other Guys, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
He joined The Fast and the Furious family in 2011 after fans suggested that he would be ideal for the franchise. His character Luke Hobbs became so popular that The Fast and the Furious spin-off movie Hobbs & Shaw was released earlier this year.
But who is the man behind it all? And how did he get to be where he is today? Let's find out more about Dwayne Johnson, his life, and his family.
20 He Was A Troubled Teen
Dwayne has spoken openly about his troubled past according to an article in TV Insider. He admitted that he was arrested for various petty crimes as a teenager but says that this helps him to understand young people struggling with the same issues. Well, he's certainly come full circle since those days!
19 He Had A Cameo In That '70s Show
One of Dwayne's first acting jobs was playing his own father (Rocky Johnson) during the first season of That '70s Show. It was only a cameo but it was enough to spark his passion and it wasn't long after that that Dwayne left professional wrestling to pursue a full-time career as an actor.
18 He Holds A Guinness World Record For Taking Selfies
Dwayne Johnson holds the Guinness World Record for the most self-portrait photographs (selfies) taken in three minutes. He took 105 selfies with his fans at the 2015 premiere of the disaster flick San Andreas held at London's Odeon Leicester Square. Just imagine how excited those fans must have been to get a selfie with The Rock!
17 Why He Chose 'The Rock' As His Stage Name
According to his profile on IMDb, Dwayne initially chose the stage name "Flex Kavana" because he didn't want to be seen as a young man cashing in on his family's wrestling legacy. WWE officials weren't too keen on the name and suggested "Rocky Maivia" - which he then shortened to "The Rock". Today he prefers to be known simply as Dwayne Johnson.
16 He Has Three Children
Johnson married his first wife (Dany Garcia) in May 1997 and the couple had one child together; Simone Johnson. They divorced amicably in 2008. Johnson then began dating Lauren Hashian and after more than a decade together they finally tied the knot in August 2019. They have two daughters; Tiana Gia and Jasmine.
15 SNL Introduced Him To Hollywood
It was Dwayne's appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2000 that first brought him to the attention of Hollywood execs and it didn't take long for him to start receiving movie offers. According to the official SNL Wiki, Johnson is now a member of the Five-Timers Club, having gone on to host the show another four times.
14 His Father Was A Pro-Wrestler
Most fans know that Dwayne's father, Rocky Johnson, was a wrestling legend in his time, as was his grandfather- Peter Maivia. But his wrestling connections go even deeper into his family - he also had three uncles and six cousins who were all involved in the sport. Is it any wonder that he chose to be a professional wrestler too?
13 His Movie Debut Earned Him Mega Bucks
When Dwayne Johnson starred in the 2002 film The Scorpion King he smashed The Guinness World Record for the highest salary for a first-time leading man, bringing in a whopping $5.5 million paycheck for his first starring role. Since then he's gone on to star in a movie almost every year and is now one of the highest-paid actors in the business.
12 After Making It Big He Bought His Parents New Homes
For Christmas this year Dwayne decided to give his mother the ultimate gift - her dream home. And as if that wasn't generous enough he also told his father that he too was free to choose any home he wanted. The action star took to Instagram to share how wonderful it felt to be able to give back to them. He is so sweet!
11 He Was Cast To Play Johnny Bravo In A Live-Action Film
In 2002 Variety reported that Warner Bros. Pictures had purchased the live-action feature film rights to Cartoon Network’s “Johnny Bravo” and that Dwayne Johnson had expressed interested in playing the role, adding that he was a big fan of the show. But unfortunately, nothing more was ever heard about this movie.
10 He Was Considered For The Role Of Willy Wonka
According to IMDb, Dwayne was one of the many actors considered for the role of Willy Wonka in the 2005 Tim Burton film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Some of the other names on the list include Brad Pitt, Will Smith, and Ben Stiller, but in the end, the role went to Johnny Depp.
9 His Grandfather Played A Bond Villain
Peter Maivia, Dwayne's grandfather, was known to the world as a pro-wrestler but he also appeared in a James Bond film (and went up against Bond himself!). In You Only Live Twice Peter plays a driver who ends up in a scuffle with 007 and is eventually knocked out by a statue.
8 Fans Wanted Him In Fast And Furious
Today it may seem that Dwayne Johnson was born to play the role of Luke Hobbs but the role was actually written for a much older man. However, according to Mashable, when Vin Diesel noticed a fan's social media post, suggesting that Johnson would be a perfect fit for the franchise, he convinced the director to let them share the screen.
7 He Appeared In An Episode Of Star Trek: Voyager
In 1999 Dwayne Johnson was at the height of his wrestling fame, and other offers were also starting to come his way. He guest-starred as the Pendari Champion (sporting a very tight costume) in the Star Trek: Voyager episode titled “Tsunkate" which went on to become one of the most popular of the season.
6 He's A Best-Selling Author
In 2000 penned his first memoir The Rock Says... along with the help of author Joe Layden. Even though Dwayne was not yet a huge Hollywood star, the book was a massive success and stayed on The New York Times Best Seller list for several weeks. Worth the read? We think so!
5 He Donated $1 Million To His Former University
In 2007 NBC reported that Dwayne Johnson and his then-wife Dany had generously donated $1 million to the University of Miami's football facilities renovation fund. To honor his donation, one of the largest gifts ever received from a former student-athlete, the Hurricanes' locker room was named in his honor.
4 His Stuntman Is Also His Cousin
Dwayne has been working with the same stuntman for close to 17 years - and it also just happens to be his cousin - Tanoai Reed. Last year Dwyane surprised his long-time friend and co-worker with a brand-new truck - just to say thanks. "The truth is, he's been an incredible partner and brother to me," Johnson said in an Instagram post. "I wanna say I love you, I thank you, and enjoy your new truck."
3 He Declined To Have A Donut Named After Him
Dwayne Johnson is by far one of the most generous Hollywood stars but he hasn't let the fame go to his head. He even turned down a promotional offer from Dunkin’ Donuts to name a donut after him because he didn't want to seem full of himself. This guy is too wholesome, honestly!
2 He Has A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
On the 12th of December 2017, Dwayne Johnson was honored with the 2,624th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hundreds of excited fans gathered to watch the ceremony and catch a glimpse of the superstar. His star sits alongside the stars of Vince McMahon and Kermit the Frog, so he's in good company!
1 He Founded A Production Company
In 2012, Dwayne and his ex-wife Dany Garcia founded the entertainment production company Seven Bucks Productions, which has gone on to produce several films including Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Hobbs & Shaw. The name of the company refers to the amount of money Johnson had in his pocket after being released from the Canadian Football League - a mere $7.