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John Matuszak

John Matuszak

John Daniel Matuszak, nicknamed Tooz, was an American football player in the NFL who later became an actor. He was the first draft pick of 1973 and played most of his career with the Oakland Raiders until he retired after winning his second Super Bowl in 1981. Matuszak participated in the 1978 World's Strongest Man competition, where he placed 9th. As an athlete, he gained additional notoriety for his partying and drug abuse. As an actor, he is probably most remembered as Sloth in The Goonies (1985).

Football

Matuszak was born in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 1950 and was always big for his age, which became an advantage as a defensive lineman in football. When he eventually turned pro, he stood 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 meters) and weighed over 280 pounds (127 kilograms). He attended the University of Tampa where he was the star of their football team. (Incidentally, the football program at the University of Tampa ended after the 1974 season.)

Matuszak, drafted by the Houston Oilers of the NFL, was the first draft pick of 1973. In addition to his contract with the Oilers, he joined the Houston Texans of the World Football League, but never played because of a restraining order that barred him from playing for two teams at the same time. The Oilers, displeased that he tried joining the WFL, traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs where he played until 1975. Then he found himself with the Raiders in 1976. He helped the Raiders win two Super Bowls (XI and XV) before retiring after the 1981 season. He played a total of 123 games in nine seasons of professional football.

His football career was often overshadowed by his even more famous (or infamous) partying and seemingly endless use of drugs. In his autobiography, he stated that he took many painkillers as well as other narcotics while playing professional football. Because of this, an article written for Sports Illustrated's website in January 2005 named him one of the top five all-time bad boys of the NFL. [1]

Acting

Matuszak became a fairly successful actor in the 1980s, making appearances in movies and on television, often portraying football players and gentle giants. His first major role was in the 1979 movie North Dallas Forty as a football player. He appeared in the movies Caveman (1981) and The Ice Pirates (1984), but is frequently remembered as Sloth in The Goonies (1985). He had numerous guest appearances in popular TV shows such as M*A*S*H, The Dukes of Hazzard, Hunter, The A-Team, and Miami Vice.

His autobiography, Cruisin' with the Tooz, written with Steve Delsohn was published in 1987. John Matuszak died of heart failure in Hollywood, California at age 38. His early death has been blamed on his extreme lifestyle, including the possible use of anabolic steroids.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

John Matuszak Facts

OccupationActor, Athlete
BirthdayOctober 25, 1950
SignScorpio
BirthplaceOak Creek, Wisconsin, USA
Date of deathJune 17, 1989 (Hollywood, California, USA, age 38)
Height6' 8" (2m3)  How tall is John Matuszak compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.