It’s no secret that Bostonians are crazy about their sports. With the tremendous amount of attention our baseball, basketball, football, and hockey teams have garnered in the the past decade, its no wonder that our top athletes quickly become on par with major celebrities when it comes to name recognition, creating headlines, and developing a fan base. In an age where the average person can become a known around the country through the plethora of reality shows we’re bombarded with, the crossover potential for a talented athlete to have success in movies or TV is a formula that many seem to be enjoying lately.
Celtics star shooting guard Ray Allen began his college career at the University of Connecticut, departing after his junior year to pursue a career in the NBA. Before joining the Celtics in 2007, the All-star starred in a number of films, including Spike Lee’s He Got Game, and Harvard Man.
During his brief stint as a Celtic, Shaquille O’Neal continued to host his popular TV series, “Shaq vs.” The larger than life athlete with the personality to match has been prolific in terms of his TV and movie appearances throughout his career, and just recently wrapped a film entitled Jack and Jill, costarring Katie Holmes and Adam Sandler.
John Cena, who was born in West Newbury, MA, got his start as a professional wrestler, began venturing into new territory with a part in the drama by WWE Films called Brother’s Keeper in 2009. He’s gone on to have roles in a variety of movie and TV projects, including The Reunion, which is due out this year.
Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady, though admittedly possessing the good looks required of most television and film actors, has thus far stayed away from any major roles in either of those arenas, save for a cameo in Stuck on You, costarring Massachusetts native Matt Damon in 2003, and a very successful hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” in 2005.
Recent addition to the Patriots, Chad Ochocinco, has had his own experiences in the television spotlight, with appearances on shows like “Cubed,” “The Mo ‘Nique Show,” “X-Play,” “The League,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
★ Conan O’Brien gives the commencement address at Dartmouth (above).
★ Now-retired basketballer Shaquille O’Neal sets his sights on a reality TV show with his girlfriend, possibly to be located in New England. Maybe it will feature more of some of our favorite Shaq moments in Beantown.
★ Two famous Jessicas tour Yale University in Connecticut.
★ Boston-born Lenny Clarke honored by local Boy Scout troop.
★ Ben Affleck’s love letters to Boston; this time in The Company Men.
★ Supermodel Gisele Bundchen reads to kids in Boston.
Academy Award-winning and Broadway actor Louis Gossett Jr. visited the Lynn City Hall Auditorium earlier this week to talk to a captivated audience of 2,400 middle school students from Marblehead and Lynn.
Boston University professor and Marblehead author Phyllis Karas helped write Gossett’s autobiography “An Actor and a Gentleman” (referring to his Oscar winning role in An Officer and a Gentleman) and was responsible for bringing him to speak to the students.
Gossett, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, struck a chord with the middle schoolers when he spoke about his experience with racism and gang violence. Many students were shocked and some even related when Gossett spoke of his cousin, who was shot in his bathtub at the age of 16.
The students were also surprised and impressed with Gossett’s basketball skills. In fact, before acting, Gossett was a skilled basketball player who was recruited by the New York Knicks. Of course, Gossett decided against a basketball career after realizing that he could make more money acting. While he was quick to later say that money should not motivate one’s actions in life, Gossett explained that acting was something that is “in my bloodstream now” and that he would let other professional basketball players “take care of that.”
Ending on a high note, Gossett offered up his good friend, basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, to come and speak to the students of Lynn and Marblehead, saying, “I have a feeling once I talk to Shaq, he’s going to come here and talk to you folks.”
★ Actress Jill Clayburgh died at age 66 at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut.
★ The show “The Whole Truth” staring Mass. native Maura Tierney has been axed by ABC.
★ Brookline’s Conan O’Brien prepares for his return to TV, and opens up about the shake-up with fellow Mass. native, Jay Leno.
★ Massachusetts and Connecticut could be possible contenders for landing a new TV show on HBO.
★ Ben Affleck aging over the years; a timeline.
★ New England Patriots star Tom Brady gets a raise, but is it enough to compete with his supermodel wife?
★ Car-tastrophes all around; Patriots star Tom Brady was involved in a car accident in downtown Boston, and Andover grown Jay Leno’s super rare antique car breaks down.
★ ‘Body Snatchers’ actor Kevin McCarthy dies in Hyannis at age 96.
★ The Improper Bostonian features cover model, “Grey’s Anatomy” actress, and Boston University graduate, Kim Raver.
★ Ben Affleck reveals he’s been dying his hair since movie directing turned him gray. It was worth it though; The Town opened to take the number one spot at the box office in its first weekend.
★ Connecticut born John Mayer talks about why he quit Twitter.
★ Ex-super model Stephanie Seymour calls off her divorce and reunites with her husband in Connecticut.
★ New Celtic Shaq makes his presence felt in Beantown already and crashes a Boston wedding.
★ Lady Gaga holds a rally in Maine to support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
★ A sexual harassment lawsuit is being brought against Casey Affleck (above), brother of Ben.
★ Pics of the “Biggest Loser” casting call at the Boston Seaport Hotel, courtesy of the Boston Globe.
★ Bostonian Vulcan Leonard Nimoy makes his mark as a photographer too.
★ Concord, MA’s Steve Carell’s movies disappoint at the box office.
★ Brookline’s Conan O’Brien sells spacious New York City apartment.
★ ”American Idol” contestant Ayla Brown sings at the Pan Mass Challenge in Massachusetts.
★ Burlington, MA Amy Poehler has her second son with Will Arnett.
★ Star of the movie Shazaam, basketballer Shaquille O’Neal signs with the Celtics.
★ Dorchester’s own Mark Wahlberg gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and appears at the Hingham Shipyard for another Wahlberg brother’s new restaurant opening; check out our story and footage in yesterday’s story below!
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