The World’s Greatest Athlete

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The World’s Greatest Athlete (1973 Movie)

“The World’s Greatest Athlete” is a sports comedy film released by Walt Disney Productions in 1973. It stars Tim Conway, Jan-Michael Vincent, and John Amos.

The story follows Coach Archer (played by John Amos), a track and field coach at a small college in Africa. He is struggling to build a competitive sports program until he discovers Nanu (played by Jan-Michael Vincent), a young man with incredible athletic abilities living in the jungle. Nanu can run faster than a cheetah, jump higher than a kangaroo, and has other extraordinary talents.

Coach Archer brings Nanu back to the United States to compete as an athlete for the college. Nanu’s arrival creates a sensation, and he quickly becomes a star athlete. Along the way, he also befriends the bumbling assistant coach, Milo Jackson (played by Tim Conway).

As the college’s athletic program starts to thrive, Nanu’s abilities attract the attention of the unscrupulous Coach Gazenga (played by Roscoe Lee Browne) from a rival college who is determined to have Nanu join his team. Nanu faces the dilemma of staying loyal to Coach Archer and his newfound friends or falling into the clutches of Coach Gazenga.

“The World’s Greatest Athlete” is a lighthearted family film that combines comedy, sports, and adventure, showcasing the talents of the young Jan-Michael Vincent and the comedic genius of Tim Conway. It’s a classic Disney film that entertains audiences of all ages.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $22.5 million
  • IMDB Link


  • John Amos: Coach Sam Archer
  • Tim Conway: Milo Jackson
  • Jan-Michael Vincent: Nanu
  • Roscoe Lee Browne: Gazenga
  • Dayle Haddon: Jane
  • Billy De Wolfe: Dean Maxwell
  • Nancy Walker: Mrs. Petersen
  • Danny Goldman: Leopold Maxwell
  • Don Pedro Colley: Morumba
  • Vito Scotti: Games spectator
  • Liam Dunn: Dr. Winslow
  • Ivor Francis: Dean Bellamy
  • Leon Askin: Dr. Gottlieb
  • Joe Kapp: Announcer Buzzer Kozak
  • Clarence Muse: Gazenga’s Assistant
  • Virginia Capers: Native Woman
  • Philip Ahn: Old Chinaman
  • John Lupton: Race Starter
  • Sarah Selby: Woman on Safari
  • Russ Conway: Judge with Stopwatch
  • Al Checco: Dr. Checco
  • Dick Wilson: Drunk in bar


  • Director: Robert Scheerer
  • Producer: Bill Walsh
  • Music: Marvin Hamlisch

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.