15 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Star Athletes

1024px-Ed_O'Neill_2010Photo credit: CC license by Thomas Attila Lewis

All celebrities have a past. While some may be scandalous, many simply come from perfectly normal backgrounds—attending public schools, hanging out with friends and even playing sports. From Hollywood A-listers to pop stars, celebrities with athletic backgrounds can be found lurking on the red carpet or between the pages of your favorite lingerie catalog. 15 celebrities who were once star athletes include former football heroes, track stars and even a pro basketball player.

1. Ed O’Neill

From Al Bundy to Jay Pritchett, actor Ed O’Neill has entertained television audiences for more than 25 years. In his younger years at Ursuline High School in Ohio, O’Neill was a football star. He won a scholarship to play at Ohio University. He played at OU for two years before transferring to Youngstown State University, where he played defensive lineman. After college, O’Neill pursued his dreams of a professional football career and won a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers but was eventually cut during training camp.

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