May 2, 2012
When DWAYNE “THE ROCK” JOHNSON (born 1972) burst onto the WWF scene in 1996, he became a fan favorite almost at once: his charisma was electric, and it propelled him into worldwide stardom. The so-called People’s Champion surprised us all when his SNL hosting stint in 2000 — particularly the Nicotrel segment, where he played up his wrestling moves to act as the ultimate in smoking cessation aids — was actually funny. He’s also parlayed his physical prowess into action-packed film roles in Star Trek: Voyager, Doom, Fast Five and GI Joe: Retaliation. And as strange as it may seem for a hulking wrestler to go from violence to comedy, his good looks and natural affability make him a natural in everything from Hannah Montana to Tooth Fairy. In 2006, Johnson founded a charitable organization to benefit terminally ill children: a noble cause for a man who in 2004 was bestowed (by Samoan King Malietoa Tanumafili II) with the noble title of Seiuli. The Rock has been in the ring almost continually since the mid-’90s, while balancing the demands of his other professional interests. After all these years, we can still smell-el-el-el what The Rock is cookin’.
READ MORE about members of the Reconstructionist Generation (1964-73).