Dwayne Douglas Johnson (born May 2, 1972), also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American actor, producer, retired professional wrestler, and former American football and Canadian football player. Widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, 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 world’s highest-grossing actors.
Johnson was a college football player for the University of Miami, with whom he won a national championship in 1991. He aspired to have a professional career in football and entered the 1995 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL) but was cut from the team in 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 WWF history, as he is the son of Rocky Johnson and grandson of Peter Maivia. He rose to prominence after developing the charismatic, boastful, trash-talking Rock gimmick. He won his first WWF Championship in 1998, becoming the promotion’s very first African-American world champion. This win helped usher in the Attitude Era, an industry boom period in the late 1990s and early 2000s. 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 until 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 is a 10-time world champion, a two-time Intercontinental Champion, a five-time Tag Team Champion, the 2000 Royal Rumble winner, and WWE’s sixth Triple Crown champion.