Johnson, Dwayne 1972-
JOHNSON, Dwayne 1972-
(Dwayne Douglas Johnson, The Rock)
PERSONAL: Born May 2, 1972, in Hayward, CA; son of Rocky (a professional wrestler and gym owner) and Ata (Maivia) Johnson; married Dany Garcia (a financial services executive), May 3, 1997; children: Simone Alexandra. Education: Graduated from University of Miami.
ADDRESSES: Office—c/o WWF, 1241 E. Main St., Box 3857, Stamford, CT 06905. Agent—Endeavor, 9701 Wilshire Blvd., 10th Fl., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.
CAREER: Actor and professional wrestler. Appeared in films (under name The Rock unless otherwise noted), including (uncredited) Beyond the Mat, MCA/Universal, 1999; Longshot (also known as Jack of All Trades), 2000; (as the Scorpion King) The Mummy Returns, MCA/Universal, 2001; (as Mathayus) The Scorpion King, MCA/Universal, 2002; (as Beck) The Rundown, 2003; (under real name; as Buford Pusser) Walking Tall, 2004; Be Cool, in production; Spy Hunter, in production; and Instant Karma, in production. Appeared in television series as Rocky Maivia, including WWF Superstars of Wrestling, 1996; WWF Monday Night RAW, USA, 1996–97; and Raw is War (also known as Ric Flair's RAW, WWF Raw, and WWF Warzone), 1997–98. Appeared in television series as The Rock, including Raw Is War (also known as Ric Flair's RAW, and WWF Warzone), 1998–2002; Sunday Night Heat, 1998; WWF Smackdown! (also known as Smackdown! Xtreme), UPN, 1999; and WWE Velocity, Spike TV, 2002–. Appeared in television specials as The Rock, including (as himself) MTV Video Music Awards, Music Television (MTV), 2000; (as presenter) 2001 MTV Movie Awards, MTV, 2001; and (as himself) 33rd NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 2002. Guest star on television series, including That '70s Show; The Net; Star Trek: Voyager; (as host) Saturday Night Live, 2000, 2002; JAG, Revealed with Jules Asner, Mad TV, and The Howard Stern Show. Appeared in videos as Rocky Maivia, including WWF Survivor Series, 1996; WWF in Your House: It's Time (also known as WWF in Your House 12), 1996; Royal Rumble, 1997; WWF in Your House: Final Four (also known as WWF in Your House 13), 1997; Wrestlemania XIII, 1997; WWF in Your House: Revenge of the Taker (also known as WWF in Your House 14 and WWF WrestleFest '97), 1997; WWF in Your House: A Cold Day in Hell, 1997; WWF Bad Blood: In Your House (also known as WWF Badd Blood and WWF in Your House 18), 1997; WWF in Your House: D-Generation-X (also known as WWF in Your House 19), 1997; WWF Royal Rumble, 1998; WWF Wrestlemania XIV, 1998; WWF Unforgiven, 1998; WWF over the Edge (also known as WWF in Your House: Over the Edge), 1998; and (as Rocky "The Rock" Maivia) WWF King of the Ring, 1998. Appeared in videos as The Rock, including No Way Out (also known as WWF No Way out of Texas), 1998; WWF Fully Loaded, 1998; Summerslam, 1998; WWF Breakdown: In Your House, 1998; WWF Judgment Day, 1998; WWF Survivor Series, 1998; WWF Rock Bottom: In Your House, 1998; WWF Capital Carnage, 1998; Royal Rumble: No Chance in Hell, 1999; WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre, 1999; Wrestlemania XV: The Ragin' Climax, 1999; WWF Backlash, 1999; WWF No Mercy, 1999; King of the Ring, 1999; Fully Loaded (also known as WWF No Way Out), 1999; Summerslam (also known as WWF Summerslam '99), 1999; WWF Unforgiven, 1999; Survivor Series (also known as WWF Survivor Series), 1999; WWF Armageddon, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc., 1999; Hell Yeah, WWF Home Video, 1999; Royal Rumble, 2000; WWF No Way Out, 2000; Wrestlemania 2000 (also known as WWF Wrestlemania XVI and Wrestlemania XVI), 2000; WWF Backlash, 2000; WWF Insurrextion, 2000; WWF Judgment Day, 2000; King of the Ring, 2000; WWF Fully Loaded, 2000; Summerslam, 2000; WWF Unforgiven, 2000; WWF No Mercy, 2000; WWF Survivor Series, 2000; WWF Rebellion, 2000; WWF Armageddon, 2000; Royal Rumble, 2001; WWF No Way Out, 2001; Wrestlemania X-Seven, 2001; WWF Lita: It Just Feels Right, 2001; WWF Unforgiven, 2001; WWF No Mercy, 2001; WWF Rebellion, 2001; WWF Survivor Series, 2001; WWF Vengeance, 2001; Royal Rumble, 2002; WWF No Way Out, 2002; WWF Wrestlemania X-8, 2002; WWE Vengeance, 2002; WWF Summerslam, 2002; WWE No Way Out, 2003; Wrestlemania XIX, 2003; and WWE Backlash, 2003. Voice of The Rock in video games, including WWF Warzone, Acclaim Entertainment, 1998; WWF Attitude, Acclaim Entertainment, 1999; WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role (also known as SmackDown! 2), THQ, 2000; WWF Wrestlemania X-8, THQ, 2002; and (as voice of Mathayus) The Scorpion King, 2002.
(With Joe Layden; as The Rock) The Rock Says … The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment (autobiography), Regan Books (New York, NY), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, came by his athletic talents naturally: his father, Rocky Johnson, is an African American who broke race barriers in professional wrestling in the 1970s and 1980s, and his maternal grandfather, Samoan High Chief Peter Maivia, was also a wrestler. Originally, Johnson passed on wrestling in favor of football, winning a full football scholarship to the University of Miami and playing professionally (albeit for a mere 350 dollars a week) in the Canadian Football League for one season. But after a knee injury ended Johnson's football career, he moved back home with his parents and begged his father to teach him how to be a professional wrestler. His father complied, and soon Johnson was signed by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Johnson's first big-time character, Rocky Maivia, was not a hit with the fans: he was too much of a people-pleaser, not tough enough, people thought. So Johnson revamped himself into The Rock, a proud "people's champion" with a biting tongue. Under this persona, he quickly became a champion. His fame led to a guest-hosting gig on Saturday Night Live (only the second professional wrestler to do so), which led to a bit part in the film The Mummy Returns, which led to a starring role in a prequel to The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King.
Johnson's autobiography, The Rock Says … The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment, was not as well received as his foray into acting. Johnson is "very honest" about his childhood and his college years, Bob Kapur noted in a review for the Slam! Wrestling Web site. But once Johnson reaches his professional wrestling career, he switches voice and begins writing as The Rock, not as Johnson, and gives few more insights into the man behind the character. There are some out-of-character nuggets in the latter part of the book, however: "the section where [Johnson] discusses the preparations, including the choreography, for his Wrestlemania match against Steve Austin is a good look behind the curtain," Kapur noted.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 29, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Newsmakers, Issue 2, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Birmingham Post (Birmingham, England), April 20, 2002, interview with Johnson, p. 2.
Boston Herald, May 2, 2001, Stephen Shaefer, interview with Johnson, p. 41.
Calgary Sun (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), April 7, 2002, Louis B. Hobson, "Rock Solid: Wrestler Proves King in the Ring and on Big Screen."
Daily Star (London, England), May 7, 2002, Ian Markham Smith, "Rock: I Munch 18 Doughnuts a Day," p. 22.
Ebony, July, 2001, Zondra Hughes, interview with Johnson, p. 32.
Entertainment Weekly, May 11, 2001, review of The Mummy Returns, p. 30; April 26, 2002, Owen Gleiberman, review of The Scorpion King, p. 117; May 3, 2002, Gillian Flynn, "The Rock," p. 10.
Film Journal International, April, 2002, Amy Ferguson, "Rockshow: Wrestling Star Takes 'Scorpion' Crown for Director Chuck Russell," pp. 10-11.
Honolulu Advertiser, June 14, 2002, "Homecoming for the Rock," p. A1, Kyle Sakamoto, "The Rock Recalls Hard Times in Hawaii," p. A1; June 16, 2002, Michael Tsai, "WWE Fans Blown Away," p. A1; October 13, 2002, Michael Tsai, "On Oahu, The Rock Matures as an Actor," p. D1.
Jet, May 21, 2001, review of The Mummy Returns, p. 58.
Muscle & Fitness, June, 2002, Michael Berg, interview with Johnson, pp. 52, 112-118.
People, November 15, 1999, "The Rock: Sexiest Wrestler," p. 84; December 25, 2000, "The Rock: Wrestling's Self-Proclaimed People's Champion Packs a Wallop Both in and out of the Ring," p. 94; May 6, 2002, Samantha Miller, profile of Johnson, p. 109.
Tampa Tribune, December 3, 1999, interview with Johnson, p. 1.
Time, April 29, 2002, Mark Leyner, "The Rock," p. 81.
Toronto Sun (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), March 4, 2000, Glenn Cole, "The Rock Knows His Role"; April 29, 2001, Bruce Kirkland, "The Rock Loves His Mummy: WWF Superstar Makes a Charismatic Villain."
Variety, April 22, 2002, Dennis Harvey, review of The Scorpion King, pp. 27-28.
Wrestling Digest, December, 2000, profile of Johnson, p. 24; June, 2001, Jim Varsallone, "The Rock Is on a Roll," p. 34.
Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (March 2, 2004), "Dwayne Johnson."
ReviewCentre.com, http://www.reviewcentre.com/ (February 20, 2003), review of The Rock Says … The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment.
Slam! Wrestling Web site, http://www.canoe.ca/ (January 13, 2000), Bob Kapur, review of The Rock Says; (March 3, 2000), John Molinaro, "The Rock Takes Toronto."