Dwayne Douglas Johnson (born May 2, 1972), also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American-Canadian actor, producer, businessman, retired professional wrestler, and former American football player. He wrestled for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) for eight years prior to pursuing an acting career. His films have grossed over $3.5 billion in North America and over $10.5 billion worldwide, making him one of the highest-grossing actors of all time.
Johnson was a college football player for the University of Miami, with whom he won a national championship in 1991. He initially aspired for a professional career in football and entered the 1995 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. As a result, he signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL), but was cut from the team in the middle of his first season. Shortly after, he began training as a professional wrestler.
In 1996, Johnson secured a contract with the WWF and was promoted as the first third-generation wrestler in the company’s history, as he is the son of Rocky Johnson and grandson of Peter Maivia. He rose to prominence after developing a charismatic persona of a boastful, trash-talking wrestler named The Rock. He subsequently won his first WWF Championship in 1998 and helped usher the WWF into the “Attitude Era”, a boom period in the company’s business in the late 1990s and early 2000s which still holds professional wrestling records for television ratings. In 2004, he left the WWE to pursue an acting career. He returned in 2011 as a part-time performer until 2013, and made sporadic appearances from then until fully retiring in 2019.
Considered one of the greatest professional wrestlers and biggest wrestling draws of all time, Johnson headlined the most-bought professional wrestling pay-per-view event ever (WrestleMania XXVIII) and was featured among the most watched episodes of WWE’s two flagship television shows (Raw and SmackDown). He has won several championships, being a two-time Intercontinental Champion, a five-time tag team champion, and a 10-time world champion. He was also a Royal Rumble match winner and WWE’s sixth Triple Crown champion.
Johnson had his first leading film role in The Scorpion King (2002) and has since starred in a number of commercially successful films, including The Game Plan (2007), Tooth Fairy (2010), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013), Hercules (2014), San Andreas (2015), Central Intelligence (2016), Moana (2016), Rampage (2018), and Skyscraper (2018). His most successful box office role has been as Luke Hobbs in The Fast Saga films. He first appeared in Fast Five (2011) and helped catapult the series into one of the highest-grossing film franchises ever. He starred in the sequels Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), and The Fate of the Furious (2017), as well as the spin-off film Hobbs & Shaw (2019). He also stars in the Jumanji franchise, appearing in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), and its sequel Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).
Johnson produced and starred in the HBO series Ballers (2015–2019), which ran for five seasons and was ranked as HBO’s most-watched comedy in six years. He has also attained success as a television host and autobiography author. In 2000, he released the autobiography The Rock Says… which debuted atop The New York Times Best Seller list. In 2012, he founded the production company Seven Bucks Productions, which has since produced several films and other entertainment projects. Consistently ranked among the world’s highest-paid actors, Johnson made the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2016 and 2019.