Bruce Jenner - Celebrity

Celebrity

In the 1970s, Olympic athletes were considered amateur and were absolutely not allowed to seek or accept payment for their positions as sports celebrities. In 1972, three major Olympic titles (basketball, 100 meters and decathlon), were won by Soviet athletes during the Cold War. Winning 'back' the decathlon title made Jenner an American hero. After his Olympic success, Jenner set out to cash in on his celebrity status (requiring him to give up any future Olympic appearances). He left his vaulting poles in the stadium, having no intention of ever using them again. Quickly after the Games, Jenner appeared on the front of Wheaties brand breakfast cereal as a "Wheaties champion." Of several hundred athletes who have been so featured, Jenner is one of seven Wheaties "spokesmen." He was invited to the White House to meet with President Gerald R. Ford, who autographed a political cartoon that featured the pair.

On November 22, 1977, Bruce went to San Francisco to refute charges filed by the district attorney that General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, had been engaged in false advertising. Jenner contended that he likes the cereal and consumes this breakfast cereal two to three times per week. Two days later District Attorney Joseph Freitas withdrew the false advertising suit against General Mills for its advertising campaign featuring Mr. Jenner, saying that it was "a case of overzealousness" on the part of his staff.

In 1977, the Kansas City Kings selected Jenner with the 139th pick of the NBA Draft. Jenner had not actually played basketball since high school; the closest he came to a roundball career was when he sank a basket in the "YMCA" sequence of the film Can't Stop The Music in 1980. The movie was a disco-era comedy about the singing group The Village People. It gave Jenner a starring role, but the movie was a flop. Jenner was nominated for the 1980 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his performance. That was the end of his theatrical movie career until he appeared in 2011's Jack and Jill in a scene with Al Pacino as an actor in a play. Adam Sandler won the Golden Raspberry as both Worst Actor and Worst Actress in that film. Both Can't Stop The Music and Jack and Jill won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture, making Jenner two for two in his movie career.

Jenner decided to try for a television career, and had some success, starring in the TV movies The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980) and Grambling's White Tiger (1981). In 1981–82 he became a semi-regular on the police series CHiPs, guest-starring as Officer Steve McLeish (substituting for star Erik Estrada, who was lodged in a contract dispute with NBC and MGM), for a half-dozen episodes.

His "hero shot," the finish of the final event of 1976 Olympic decathlon, was parodied by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live endorsing "Little Chocolate Donuts" instead of Wheaties.

Jenner also appears in the video games Olympic Decathlon (1981) and Bruce Jenner's World Class Decathlon (1996).

Read more about this topic:  Bruce Jenner

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