Who Was the First Pro Wrestler to Star in a Movie?

Professional wrestling and movies have always shared a special bond. From The Rock to John Cena, several wrestlers have made the transition from the squared circle into Hollywood.

But who was the first pro wrestler to star in a movie? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and find out.

George Hackenschmidt

George Hackenschmidt, also known as the “Russian Lion,” was the first pro wrestler to make his mark in the world of cinema. Born in Estonia in 1877, Hackenschmidt started his wrestling career in Europe before moving to England and becoming world heavyweight champion in 1905.

It was during this period that he caught the attention of filmmakers. In 1910, he starred in a short film called “Wrestling Scene” where he demonstrated his grappling skills against fellow wrestler Paul Pons.

Frank Gotch

Frank Gotch is another name that deserves mention when it comes to wrestlers in movies. The American grappler was one of the biggest stars of his era and held the world heavyweight title from 1908 to 1913.

In 1913, Gotch starred in a silent film called “The Great Toe Mystery.” The movie was based on one of his unique moves where he would use his toe to trap opponents on the mat.


So there you have it – George Hackenschmidt was the first pro wrestler to make his way onto the silver screen. While his movies may seem primitive by today’s standards, they were groundbreaking at the time and helped pave the way for other wrestlers to follow in his footsteps.

As wrestling continues to evolve and expand its reach across different mediums, it’s interesting to look back at its roots and see how far it has come. Who knows what surprises wrestling has in store for us next?