Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was born into a professional wrestling family in 1972. An injury ended his college football career, so he entered the ring with the World Wrestling Federation. As “The Rock,” he famously feuded with wrestler Steve Austin and won the WWF/WWE Heavyweight title numerous times. Johnson then parlayed his wrestling fame into a film career, appearing in projects like 2001’s The Mummy Returns and 2010’s Tooth Fairy. His reject projects include the HBO series Ballers(2015) and a trifecta of 2017 features, The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Professional wrestler and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Douglas Johnson was born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward, California. The grandson of professional wrestler Peter “High Chief” Fanene Maivia and son of wrestler Rocky Johnson, the young Johnson grew up watching his father perform in the ring. With no plans to follow in his footsteps, Johnson played college football at the University of Miami, showing promise with his size and athleticism until being slowed by injuries.
With few prospects in professional football, Johnson turned to wrestling, debuting in the WWF against the Brooklyn Brawler in Texas. After a couple more matches, including a tag team win with Bart Sawyer, the WWF signed him under the name Flex Kavana. A year later, he joined The Nation of Domination, eventually taking over its leadership and calling himself The Rock.
He later joined another band of elite wrestlers known as The Corporation and began a notorious feud with Steve Austin. Also known as “The People’s Champ,” The Rock went on to win a combined 17 WWF/WWE titles over his acclaimed career.
Outside the ring, The Rock launched a successful acting career, dropping the stage name and simply going by Dwayne Johnson. He first made a big splash as the Scorpion King, a supernatural bad guy, in 2001’s The Mummy Returns. Johnson returned to this role the following year for The Scorpion King. Trying his hand at comedy, he appeared in 2005’s Be Cool with John Travolta and Uma Thurman and 2007’s The Game Plan.
Johnson’s acting career to continued to thrive through his appearances in such films as Driver (2010) and Fast & Furious 6 (2013). In 2014, he starred as the titular strong man in Hercules. Johnson also returned to wrestling from time to time, including a 2014 appearance with Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 30.
In 2015, Johnson dominated the big screen with two big action films. He appeared in Furious Seven and starred in San Andreas. Johnson also debuted his first dramatic comedy series that same year, playing Spencer Strasmore, a retired pro footballer turned financial planner, on Ballers.
In 2016, after teaming up with Kevin Hart for the action-comedy Central Intelligence, Johnson voiced the demigod Maui for the Disney animated hit Moana. He was a busy man in 2017, taking on starring roles in The Fate of the Furious, a big-screen adaptation of the 1990s lifeguard series Baywatch and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
The good vibes continued into 2018, with Jumanji racking up the ticket sales en route to becoming the actor’s highest-grossing film to date. He also managed to stand out during the blitz of advertising accompanying the Super Bowl in February, debuting a trailer for a movie, Skyscraper, in which he partakes in death-defying stunts with a prosthetic leg. That same day, Johnson announced he would be hosting a 10-episode unscripted competition show, The Titan Games, to “create a platform that gave everyday people the opportunity to change their lives and do something extraordinary.”
Among his upcoming movies, the actor was scheduled to star in an April release of Rampage, based on a popular 1980s arcade game.
Off the Screen
Johnson has a daughter, Simone Alexandra, from his first marriage. He and his high school sweetheart, Dany Garcia, wed in 1997 and split up a decade later, though she continues to serve as his manager.
Johnson has since entered a long-term relationship with musician Lauren Hashian, with whom he had a daughter in December 2015. Two years later, the couple revealed they were expecting another girl.
In 2017, a buzz began generating over Johnson’s rumored plan to run for president in 2020. After playing coy for much of the year, the wrestler-turned-actor finally confirmed the rumors in December, telling Ellen DeGeneres, “I’m seriously considering it, yes.”
Johnson has also opened up about some of his early-life struggles, including his family’s eviction from their Hawaii home when he was just 14. He told the UK publication The Express that his mother tried to commit suicide by walking into traffic the following year, an incident that left him battling depression.
• Began learning basic wrestling moves from his father, professional wrestler Rocky Johnson, at age 6.
• Started out as a football player in college, playing defensive tackle for the University of Miami.
• Briefly played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League in 1995.
• Returned home to Miami after his football stint ended and, with the help of his father, worked to get his start in professional wrestling.
• Although his early good-guy wrestling persona, Rocky Maivia, was a flop, he eventually became known as The Rock and grew to become one of the most popular wrestlers of all time.
• Appeared as his father in a 1999 wrestling-themed episode of That ’70s Show.
• Received $5.5 million for his film debut in 2002’s The Scorpion King, an exceptionally high salary for an actor’s first movie role.
• Was crowned a high chief in Samoa during a 2004 visit to his mother’s homeland.
• Founded the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, a charity that works with at-risk and terminally ill children, in 2006.
• Named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2016.
• 2017, People’s Choice Awards — Favorite Premium Series Actor: Winner
• 2016, People’s Choice Awards — Favorite Premium Cable TV Actor: Winner
• 2016, Critics’ Choice Awards — Best Actor in a Comedy: Nominee
• Peter Maivia — Grandfather
• Rocky Johnson — Father
• Dany Garcia — Ex-wife
• Simone Alexandra Johnson — Daughter
• Jasmine — Daughter
• Lauren Hashian — Significant Other
• Ata Maivia Johnson — Mother
1 “Being a true badass has no weight or gender requirement — just 100% commitment to greatness.”
2 “Be the type of person that when your feet touch the floor
in the morning the devil says, ‘Aww shit, they’re up!”
3 “With drive and a bit of talent you can move mountains.”
4 “You don’t need directions, just point yourself to the top and go!”
5 “You know why rabbit rhymes with habit? Because it takes your whole life down a f*cking bunny hole.”
6 “Don’t be afraid to be ambitious about your goals. Hard work never stops. Neither should your dreams.”
7 “All success begins with self-discipline. It starts with you.”
8 “Blood, sweat and respect. First two you give, last one you earn.”
9 “Success at anything will always come down to this: focus and effort, and we control both.”
10 “I like to use the hard times in the past to motivate me today.”