Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward, California to professional wrestler Rocky Johnson and Ata Johnson. Father Johnson hailed from the Black Nova Scotian origin while his mother was a descendant of Samoan heritage.
Johnson spent his early days with his mother’s family in Auckland, New Zealand and his later years in Polynesian region where the local Samoans bequeathed him with the noble title of Seiuli. He also received a partial Samoan tattoo on his left arm.
While growing up in Hawaii, Johnson was part of a gang. Even before he attained the age of 17, he was arrested around 8-9 times. Thankfully during that time, Johnson resorted to muscle building, and he now credits his early training help him deal with all the stress.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is a third-generation wrestler as his maternal grandfather 'High Chief' Peter Maivia was a wrestler and so was Dwayne’s father, Rocky Johnson.
Lia Maivia, Dwayne’s maternal grandmother, was also a professional wrestling promoter and after her husband’s death, she took over Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling.
Dwayne has several uncles and cousins who were (or still are) professional wrestlers. It won't be wrong to say wrestling is a family business here.
"Dwayne Johnson was WWF’s first third-generation wrestler, and that was heavily hyped upon his arrival as a professional wrestler."
Johnson began his WWF career as Flex Kavana and then took on the name Rocky Maivia, a combination of his father and grandfather’s ring name.
Despite him being inexperienced in the field, Johnson was given the character face and was slowly pushed. Regardless of his wins, Dwayne as Rocky Maivia could not enjoy his fans' love, and he always received 'Die, Rocky Die' and 'Rocky Sucks' chants from the audience.
But he returned back as a bad guy. The change of character brought a change in the ring name too, and Rocky Maivia became 'The Rock.'
Dwayne had a guest role in Star Trek: Voyager; the Pendari Champion uses The Rock’s famous move; the Rock Bottom. In That 70’s Show, Johnson starred as his father, Rocky Johnson.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson made debut in the movie 'The Mummy Returns' as the 'Scorpion King.'
The movie was a huge success at the box-office and Dwayne landed the leading role in its spin-off The Scorpion King.
It’s not a surprising fact that Dwayne Johnson like every other movie star uses a body double to perform stunts and avoid injuries, but the interesting point here is that Dwayne Johnson uses his cousin Tanoai Reed as his stunt double in most of Dwayne Johnson movies.
In the movie, 'The Game Plan,' a separated shoulder injury keeps him out of the big game, and it is an interesting fact because the same thing has happened to Johnson in real life while playing the defensive tackle in a football game in 1991 for the University of Miami.
Johnson met wife Dany Garcia while he was pursuing his degree at the University of Miami. They dated for several years, but Dwayne only met Dany’s parents before their marriage. Dwayne Johnson got married to Dany Garcia a day after his 25th birthday, and together they have a daughter Simone Alexandra. Dwayne separated from his wife amicably in 2007 vouching to remain good friends for life.
Dwayne is now married to his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian (2007) and has two daughters with her, Jasmine (2015) and Tiana (2018).
The fifth installment of ‘The Fast And The Furious’ saw Dwayne as Luke Hobbs. The audience wanted to see Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson together, and so it began. The movie created a record grossing of $86 million with the inclusion of The Rock and it was the biggest opening for both, Johnson and the movie franchise.
Here’s an interesting fact, Dwayne was paid $5.5 million for his first feature film, and it landed him straight in the Guinness World Records as it was first for any actor to be paid this much for his debut.
He again entered the World Records for most selfies within 3 minutes. During the premiere of his movie ‘San Andreas’ Dwayne took 105 selfies with his fans, and on May 21, 2015, he was again on the books for it.
Dwayne Johnson along with his ex-wife Dany Garcia donated $1 million to the University of Miami in the year 2007 to renovate its football facility. This donation was the largest to the university by its former students.
'The Rock Says,' an autobiography co-written by Dwayne Johnson and Joe Layden was published in 2000 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestselling author list and remained there for several weeks.
WWE’s Thursday night special ‘SmackDown!’ was a part of Johnson’s catchphrase ‘layeth the smackdown.’ The show debuted in April 1999 and became a part of WWE’s brand extension.
Later in 2007, Merriam-Webster added the famous words ‘smackdown’ to its heralded database of words.
Now that the semi-retired pro wrestler has stopped using his in-ring name you might be wondering, does the name vanish or can someone else use it? The interesting thing here is that both Johnson and Vince McMahon co-owned the name as well as other catchphrases for some time, but now it is Johnson who owns all the rights associated with the character 'The Rock.'
Image source: Instagram
That's all, folks!
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