Dwayne Johnson Then & Now: Photos of ‘The Rock’ Through the Years

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a beloved actor and wrestler. Check out photos of him here!


Few actors are as universally beloved as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Dwayne started gaining national attention as a college football superstar, but after failing to get drafted into the NFL, The Rock stepped into the ring and was a professional wrestler for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). He left wrestling in 2004 and pursued an acting career, and he’s been incredibly successful since then.

While he has returned to the ring on occasions, The Rock has been a full-blown actor for over 15 years now. He’s been in various movies, aimed at all age ranges. Perhaps most famously, he’s starred in numerous films in The Fast And the Furious collection, beginning with Fast Five. Besides the action-adventure movies, Dwayne has also become a beloved actor in a bunch of family movies like Moana and Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.

Scroll through our gallery to check out photos of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson from throughout his career.

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson In 1999

John Barrett/Photolink/Mediapunc

Dwayne Johnson wasn’t always “The Rock!” He took on the moniker when he began his pro-wrestling career in 1996. The name was inspired by his family.

As he explained in Aug. 2021, “My original nickname was ‘Rocky Miavia’ which was a combination of my dad’s first name and grandfather’s last name because both of them were pro wrestlers.”

July 26, 2021, 1:20PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The 199 Emmys


Pro-wrestling has certainly had a major impact on television, and it dominated the 1990s. The Rock appeared at the 1999 Emmy Awards alongside “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to present Emmy-vote counters. He’s seen doing his signature move, called “The People’s Eyebrow”.

July 26, 2021, 1:20PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Leaves Wrestling In 2004

Stefan Schnoor/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson left pro-wrestling behind in 2004 to pursue an acting career. Before he left the WWF, he had a few roles, like in an episode of ‘That ’70s Show’ and the film ‘The Scorpion King’.

During a video Q&A on his Instagram in May 2020 he explained, “If I could leave and become successful outside the world of professional wrestling … and then I could come back, this time as a global entity. This time I could bring a greater value to the company of the WWE.”

“I wanted this to be a global success,” he said. “I wanted global influence in a very very real and powerful way.”

July 26, 2021, 1:20PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson In ‘The Scorpion King’


One of The Rock’s major blockbusters was ‘The Mummy Returns.’ He reprised his role as The Scorpion King to star in the sequel of the same name. The action-adventure film made a respectable $180 million after costing $60 million.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson In ‘The Game Plan’


Dwayne Johnson starred in the 2007 family-comedy ‘The Game Plan’. He went back to his football roots, and he played a quarterback who forms a relationship with his daughter from a past relationship. It’s a heartwarming flick from Disney!

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The Premiere Of ‘Race to Witch Mountain’

Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

The Rock has had a longstanding relationship with Disney, which is probably why he’s beloved among so many age groups. Dwayne Johnson rocked a leather jacket and dark jeans to the premiere of his 2009 movie ‘Race to Witch Mountain’.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at ‘CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute’


Dwayne Johnson cleans up nicely! While he may be known for his huge muscles and impressive physique, The Rock can also sport a suit with style, like he had at the 2009 ‘CNN Heroes’ tribute.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The 2009 Grammys

Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson looked handsome on the red carpet for the 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony. The Rock would later show off some of his own musical ability, by singing in Disney-Pixar’s ‘Moana’.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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‘Dwayne ‘The Rock Johnson Returns To Wrestling In 2011

Picture Perfect/Shutterstock

The Rock got back in the ring in 2011! Dwayne Johnson began performing part time for the WWE again, after a seven-year hiatus. He fought at New York’s Madison Square Garden as part of the anniversary of the ‘Survivor Series’.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson & Lauren Hashian At The Premiere Of ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’

Picture Perfect/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson brought his then-girlfriend Lauren Hashian to the premiere of his action flick ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’. Dwayne and Lauren got married in 2019 and have two daughters Jasmine, born in 2015, and Tiana, born in 2018.

In June 2021, he reflected on fatherhood on Instagram, telling followers, “Every man wants a son, but every man NEEDS a daughter.” He also has an older girl named Simone, born 2001, with ex-wife Dany Garcia.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The Premiere Of ‘Hercules’

Dave Allocca/Starpix/Shutterstoc

You need a muscular man to play Hercules! Dwayne Johnson took on the title role in 2014’s ‘Hercules’. With his charisma and build, you couldn’t find a more perfect Herc!

Talking about how he got in peak condition for the part back in 2014, he told USA Today, “Every 72 hours I would strip down to my underwear and get someone on the team to take 360-degree pictures of my entire body. Then I would send the pictures to my (training) coach. It was an incredible process, the constant management of the visual.”

“I’ve been in the business for 15 years. And I have never had the opportunity to transform into something like this before,” he added. “It opened my eyes to the level of detail required.”

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson With His Parents In 2015

Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson was joined by his parents Ata and Rocky Johnson, when he got his handprint at the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles in 2015. Dwayne’s wrestling career should come as no surprise, as his dad was a pro-wrestler himself.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The 2015 Oscars

Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson rocked a navy blue tuxedo at the Oscars in 2015. Lauren Hashian wore a stunning black gown. The Rock was presenting the award for Best Animated Feature Film, which ‘Big Hero 6’ won.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’ At The 2015 MTV Movie Awards

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP/Shutters

Dwayne Johnson presented the “Movie of the Year” award at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards. The Rock has been nominated for the “Golden Popcorn” five times in his career.

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Brings Family to ‘Fast and Furious 7’

Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson brought along some of the most important ladies in his life to the premiere of ‘Fast and Furious 7’. He sported a silver-gray suit, while he was joined by his future wife Lauren Hashian, mother Ata Maiva, and oldest daughter Simone, 19.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


16 of 33

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson & Kevin Hart In ‘Central Intelligence’


Dwayne Johnson has plenty of comedic chops, which has made him such a well-loved actor. In 2016, he starred alongside comedian Kevin Hart for the film ‘Central Intelligence’.

They also starred in the ‘Fast & Furious’ spin-off ‘Hobbes & Shaw’ as well as the two ‘Jungle Cruise’ films together. The pair have a playful relationship and ofter troll each other during interviews or on social media.

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At ‘Moana’


One of Dwayne Johnson’s most iconic roles so far was in Disney’s ‘Moana’. He was the voice of Maui, and he gave the excellent song “You’re Welcome.”

Dwayne tweeted about his character’s inspiration in 2017, sharing a photo of his grandfather and revealing, “A lil’ Disney gem of a secret. My character Maui was partly inspired by my late grandfather.”

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson & Daughter At The 2016 Golden Globes


Dwayne Johnson brought his daughter along to the 2016 Golden Globe Awards. The Rock presented the “Best Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Television Film” award alongside Jennifer Lopez.

July 26, 2021, 1:22PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The Premiere Of ‘Ballers’


Dwayne Johnson starred in the HBO’s ‘Ballers’, which premiered in 2015. He played retired NFL player Spencer Strasmore. The show went on for 5 seasons.

Dwayne thanked his cast and crew when the show wrapped in 2019, posting an Instagram caption. It read, “My heart is full of gratitude to all of you for rockin’ with us every season. You made us HBO’s highest-rated comedy for years and most importantly, you helped create and sustain a platform for other actors to have the OPPORTUNITY to work hard, grow and become household names. To me, the opportunity Ballers created for so many others is the real gold of our show.”

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The Premiere Of ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson starred in the family-adventure flick ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’. He acted alongside Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan in the sequel to the 1995 Robin Williams movie.

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Gets His Hollywood Star

Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017. He was joined by his daughter Jasmine and future wife Lauren Hashian for the occasion.

While accepting the honor, he told the crowd, “The hard work, the work you put in with your own two hands … it all comes down to this. It all comes down to your family, and working hard to love and protect and do everything you can to make your family and the ones you love, their lives better.”

July 26, 2021, 2:32PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The 2017 People’s Choice Awards

Vince Bucci/Invision/AP/Shutters

Dwayne Johnson won the “Favorite Premium Series” actor award at the 2017 People’s Choice Awards. He took home the award two years in a row, winning for the first time in 2016. 

During his speech he teased pal Kevin Hart, telling audiences, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice. Unless you’re talking to Kevin Hart. Then you say, ‘Go f–k yourself.”

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The 2017 Oscars

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutt

Dwayne Johnson rocked a navy-blue, velvet tuxedo jacket on the red carpet for the 2017 Oscars. His girlfriend Lauren Hashian sported a beautiful beige gown, with a leg slit.

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson At The 2017 NAACP Image Awards


Dwayne Johnson received the “Entertainer of the Year” award at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards. He has been nominated on multiple occasions, most notably for “Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series” for his role in ‘Ballers’five times. He had tough competition, beating Viola Davis, Beyonce, Regina King, and Chance The Rapper.

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in ‘Baywatch’

Michael Timm/Face To Face/Shutte

Dwayne Johnson was one of the stars for the 2017 comedy ‘Baywatch’. While the reboot of the 90s beach-themed series was a critical flop, it seemed like The Rock still had a lot of fun.

He wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself while accepting a Razzie award for the film that year, saying “Look, we made ‘Baywatch’ with the best of intentions. It didn’t work out like that, but I humbly and graciously accept my Razzie.”

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at ‘Rampage’

Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

Dwayne Johnson starred in the action-thriller ‘Rampage’ in 2018. The Rock played a primatologist trying to stop animals infected by a deadly pathogen. It is based on a popular 80s arcade game. The movie also starred Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It earned $428 million in box offices worldwide.

July 26, 2021, 1:21PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at ‘TIME 100’ Gala

Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Shutte

Dwayne Johnson was named as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2019. His blurb was written by fellow actor Gal Gadot, who starred in 2021’s ‘Red Notice’ with him.

Gal called wrote that there is “no one in Hollywood quite” like The Rock, praising him as “someone who believes the sky is the limit and will go above and beyond to make sure he gives 100% every single day.”

July 26, 2021, 1:20PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’


Dwayne Johnson reprised his role for the 2019 sequel to ‘Jumanji’. Most of the castmembers for ‘Welcome to The Jungle’ came back for ‘The Next Level’. He rocked a shiny blue suit with floral embroidery to the premiere.

July 26, 2021, 1:20PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at MTV Movie And TV Awards

Frank Micelotta/Picturegroup/Shu

Dwayne Johnson was honored at the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards, where he was given the “Generation Award.” Actor, comedian, and host Zachary Levi presented The Rock with the award.

In his speech, he talked about the power of staying positive. “You gotta recognize the joy and the responsibility of bringing everybody with you,” he said. “We bring everybody with us, and you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive, and straight-up just being good to people because that matters. “And if you can hit that place, that’s when you become powerful, that’s when you become influential, that’s when you can have real global influence in a positive way.”

July 26, 2021, 1:20PM


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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at ‘Jungle Cruise’

Rob Latour/Shutterstock

In recent years, Dwayne Johnson has become a beloved family star. He starred in Disney’s latest live-action adventure movie ‘Jungle Cruise’, alongside Emily Blunt. The actor sported an all-white outfit to the film’s premiere.

He thanked the English actress for being a great castmate during his 2021 win at the People’s Choice Awards. There, he said, “I can tell a decent dirty joke, especially when I have too much tequila. But I will say that with comedy, it always takes a great partner.

“This one goes out to this woman who is one of the greatest actors of our generation, of our time. And she’s almost as filthy as me when she drinks tequila. Emily Blunt, this is for you.”

July 26, 2021, 1:20PM


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The Rock At The Premiere of ‘Red Notice’

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A real softie. Dwayne Johnson looks slick in plum-hued velvet during the premiere of ‘Red Notice’ in LA on Nov. 3, 2021.

March 15, 2022, 4:19PM


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The Rock At The 2021 People’s Choice Awards

John Salangsang/Shutterstock

The people’s favorite! Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson rocks red to the 2021 People’s Choice Awards in La on Dec. 7, 2021.

March 15, 2022, 4:19PM


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Dwayne Johnson At Super Bowl LVI

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson smiles before the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, in Inglewood, Calif. on Feb. 13, 2022. He helped kick off the celebrations.

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