10 Athletes with the (Mis)Fortune of Having the Same Name As a Celebrity
You’ve seen Burt Reynolds act, but have you seen him hit for the New York Yankees? Burt Reynolds (the baseball player) and several other athletes share a common name with a celebrity or well-known character. Here are some of our favorites:
Actor Burt Reynolds is a 1970s sex symbol best known for roles such as Bo ‘The Bandit’ Darville in ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ and Paul Crewe in “The Longest Yard.’ The baseball-playing Burt Reynolds, 23, was signed this winter, and then released, by the New York Yankees.
Singer Tony Bennett has been among the most distinguished American jazz and pop singers since the early 1950s. The basketball-coaching Tony Bennett, 42, serves as the current head coach for the University of Virginia men’s basketball team. He also played for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA prior to starting his coaching career.
A second cousin to President John Adams, the late Sam Adams was one of the colonial ‘Founding Fathers’ of the United States. Prior to his death in 1803, Adams was also a brewer, which helps explain why a modern-day line of beers bears his name. Sam Adams, 38, played professional football for the Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos. He last played in the NFL in 2007.
The cartoon version of Charlie Brown is the unlucky, lovable main character in Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. The football-playing Charlie Brown, 53, was an NFL wide receiver for the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons from 1982-1987. He currently coaches high school football in Georgia.
Whether as a child star with the Jackson 5 or as a solo performer, the late pop star Michael Jackson was among the most successful entertainers in history prior to his death in 2009. His album ‘Thriller’ remains the best-selling title in history with sales of 110 million units. The football-playing Michael Jackson, 42, was an NFL wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens from 1991-1998.
Musician Steve Miller, 68, is a rock star best known for heading up the Steve Miller Band, which charted such hits as ‘The Joker,”Fly Like An Eagle’ and ‘Take the Money and Run’ in the 1970s. Steve Miller is currently a freshman defensive lineman at Ohio State University. He was among the most highly touted prep prospects the school signed to a letter-of-intent in 2011.
Stephen King is a best-selling author of horror fiction who has sold more than 350 million books. King is responsible for titles such as ‘Carrie,’ ‘The Shining’ and ‘Pet Sematary,’ just some of his many works that were turned into films. Stephen King, 25, is a New Jersey native who currently plays soccer for D.C. United of Major League Soccer. He played soccer in college at University of Maryland.
John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. The youngest man ever elected president (at age 43), Kennedy guided America through the Cuban Missile Crisis and helped advance the space program and the civil rights movement. He was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 while still in office. John E. Kennedy was a major league infielder for the Washington Senators, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox from 1965-1974.
Actor and comedian James ‘Jimmie’ Walker rose to stardom in the 1970s in the role of J. J. Evans on the sitcom ‘Good Times,’ where his catchphrase, “Dy-no-mite!” became a national sensation. The late James ‘Jimmy’ Walker was an NBA player for the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and Kansas City Kings from 1967-1976. After attending Providence College, Walker was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1967 NBA Draft.
The late John ‘Jack’ Johnson was a world heavyweight boxing champion from 1908–1915. His rise to boxing champion in an era rife with racism formed the basis for the 1970 movie ‘The Great White Hope.’ Musician Jack Johnson, 36, is an American singer-songwriter best known for soft rock hits like ‘Flake,’ ‘Sitting Waiting Wishing,’ ‘If I Had Eyes’ and more.