73° Good Evening
73° Good Evening

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 5 memorable TV guest appearances

NBA Star Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the HBO

NBA Star Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the HBO documentary "Kareem: A Minority of One." Credit: HBO / Nikara Johns

"Kareem: Minority of One," a new documentary airing Tuesday, Nov. 2, on HBO, looks at the career of basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The NBA superstar is known not just for his hoops prowess; he's also appeared on both the big and small screens (most memorably in the first "Airplane!"). Here are five of Abdul-Jabbar's TV guest appearances:



(1971) Billed as "Lewis Alcindor" (his given name), the then-star of the Milwaukee Bucks played the roommate of a missing college basketball player.


Man From Atlantis

(1977) In this short-lived action series starring Patrick Duffy, Abdul-Jabbar showed up as a giant named Thark, a mineral prospector from another world who threatens to drain the earth's oceans.


Diff'rent Strokes

(1982) He played a substitute teacher who busts Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Dudley's (Shavar Ross) chops. They, in turn, make things difficult for him.


21 Jump Street

(1990) Hanson (Johnny Depp) and Penhall (Peter DeLuise) expose a college basketball point-shaving scandal; Abdul-Jabbar plays an upright university official who fires the corrupt coaches and suspends the offending player.



(1996) Abdul-Jabbar guest-starred in the Martin Lawrence sitcom as the aptly named Dr. Skyhook.

More Entertainment