Charismatic wrestling superstar Duane “The Rock” Johnson was at the height of his career but beginning his crossover to truly scripted drama in 1999 when he made the leap to futuristic fighter as The Champion in Voyager’s “Tsunkatse.”
Building on his natural success and charisma as a World Wrestling Entertainment icon and 16-time champion, Voyager marked only his third such role—after likewise appearing as his real-life wrestler father Rocky Johnson on That ‘70s Show. Johnson’s big break came on the big screen as the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns, leading to the role’s return as the next sequel’s titled character—and a Guinness World Record for his $5.5 million salary, the highest ever paid a first-time film star. Subsequent roles have been as numerous in comedy and children’s movies, such as Get Smart and Tooth Fairy, as in action dramas, where he appeared in the hit Fast Five, with more The Fast and the Furious sequels to follow. He has also hosted Saturday Night Live three times, and his 2000 autobiography The Rock Says… debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Due to his mother’s native royal Samoan heritage, Johnson was bestowed with the noble honorific “Seiuli” during a 2004 visit to the island, honoring his service; his support of the Samoan national rugby team is also his pride. As a member of the 1991 Miami Hurricanes national championship team, he donated $1 million to the facilities in 2007 and saw the team’s locker room named in his honor. And his Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, founded in 2006, raises funds for at-risk and terminally ill children.