I recently read an article in Guns of the Old West about western actor Johnny Mack Brown.
Born in Dothan, Alabama, he played football for the Crimson Tide, and was a key member of the 1926 NCAA Championship team, and the MVP in the Rose Bowl. His picture was even on the Wheaties box. While he was a football star in college, he was befriended by film maker George Fawcett, who offered Brown a screen test. After his college career, Brown contacted Fawcett, who would become Brown's mentor in Hollywood. He would become a leading man, under contract with MGM, working with the likes of Mary Pickford and Greta Garbo. His first Western was Billy The Kid (MGM, 1930), with Wallace Beery as Pat Garrett. He then made early talkies opposite Joan Crawford and Jean Harlow, and was one of MGM's highest paid stars, but his Southern drawl was considered unsuitable for romantic leads, which led him to be replaced by Clark Gable in Laughing Sinners (1931).
But that Southern drawl was perfect for Westerns, and he was cast in B-movies and serials for Paramount, Universal, Mascot, Monogram, Supreme, and Republic. When B Westerns and serials fell out of favor with the advent of television in the early 1950s, Brown retired from acting full time, limiting himself to bit parts on TV and films until 1965.
Brown was married in Cornelia "Connie" Foster, with whom they had 4 children, in 1926, until his death in 1974 from heart failure. He was 70 years old at his passing. He has been inducted to numerous Halls of Fame, including the National Football Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, the Alabama Stage and Screen Hall of Fame, and the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6101 Hollywood Blvd. His cremated remains rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, CA.