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"Race is not a factor in the world market," he said in 1981. Western character actors: who was the best or most colorful? Strode was in City Beneath the Sea (1953) directed by Budd Boetticher, and The Royal African Rifles. He decided to stay in Europe. [30], Sheriff Woody of the Toy Story series of animated films is named after Strode,[31] as was the recurring character of the Santa Barbara Coroner in the television series Psych.[32]. Strode then retired from football in 1949 and became a professional wrestler with all the colorful wrestlers of that time, such as Gorgeous George, before finding even greater fame as a pioneering African-American film actor. "But the producers answered, 'Not necessary. His second wife was Tina, an aspiring actress (1982 - 1994). Played college football and broke color barrier at the same time as Kenny Washington. Seishindo Kenpo: (Landers, Frank (1985). The roles he was offered fell within those limited, though notable range. According to Disneyland Vice President Tony Baxter, "In 1954, Harper Goeff, the designer of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, hired Woody to make a mold of his great muscularity for the African natives in that ride. "You'd have thought I was marrying Lana Turner, the way the whites in Hollywood acted," he later said. An athlete turned actor, Strode was a top-notch decathlete and a football star at UCLA. Colo. - It's been 15 years since Woody Strode's prime time in Hollywood ... ]: [4] He guest starred on The Man from Blackhawk (1960). Strode posed for one of two paintings commissioned by, Reportedly, his favorite film from his career was, Strode played college football for the UCLA Bruins, the most integrated collegiate team in the nation in 1939, which included future NFL running back Kenny Washington and future Baseball Hall of Fame inductee. He even goes on a bender with Shawn, Gus, and Lassiter. Strode also played the powerful gladiator who does battle with Kirk Douglas in Spartacus (1960). - IMDb Mini Biography By: His parents were from New Orleans; his grandmother was a Black Cherokee and his grandfather was a Black Creek. [7], Along with Ray Bartlett, there were four Black Americans playing for the Bruins, when only a few dozen at all played on other college football teams. "I once played a part written for an Irish prize fighter. He was drafted at age 27 and soon joined the United States Army Air Corps and spent the war unloading bombs in Guam and the Marianas, as well as playing on the Army football team at March Field in Riverside, California. In 1948 he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the , but was released before the season started,[14] whereupon he joined the Calgary Stampeders of the Western Interprovincial Football Union in Canada, where he was a member of Calgary's 1948 Grey Cup Championship team[15] before retiring due to injury in 1949. He stayed in Europe to make another Western The Unholy Four (1970) and went back to Hollywood to do a TV movie Breakout (1970) and two Westerns The Deserter (also known as "The Devil's Backbone") (1971), and The Gatling Gun (1971). Strode autobiography entitled Goal Dust (. Woody Strode was the son of a Creek-Blackfoot-black father and a black-Cherokee mother. [17] He later teamed up with both Bobo Brazil[18] and Bearcat Wright. Lee Woodd, http://martialarts-history.com/index.php?title=Woody_Strode&oldid=70, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License, Androcles and the Lion (film)|Androcles and the Lion, City Beneath the Sea (film)|City Beneath the Sea, The Ten Commandments (1956 film)|The Ten Commandments, The Professionals (film)|The Professionals, Black Jesus (film)|Seduto alla sua destra, We Are No Angels (1975 film)|We Are No Angels' (1975 in film|1975), A Gathering of Old Men (film)|A Gathering of Old Men, The Quick and the Dead (1995 film)|The Quick and the Dead, "Fighting Stars" (USA) July 1978, Vol. Junelehua Kalaeloa Strode He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Spartacus in 1960. Woodrow Wilson Woolwine Strode - "Woody Strode" - (July 25, 1914, – December 31, 1994) Was a hailed Decathlete and Football star, playing for the National Football League and Canadian Football League from 1946 to 1949. Cecil B. DeMille cast him in The Ten Commandments (1956) as a slave at $500 a week for five weeks. Hell, we thought we were white."[12]. Woody works as the Santa Barbara Police Department's corner and he has appeared many times since 2009, but he figures prominently in season six. He was a decathlete and football star who was one of the first Black American players in the National Football League in the postwar era. He appeared once on Johnny Weissmuller's 1955–1956 syndicated television series Jungle Jim and was in an episode of Private Secretary. Strode had an excellent support part in The Last Voyage (1960) playing a heroic stoker, though he was only billed fifth. He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. Ray Hamel. [20], He based himself in Europe from 1968 to 1971.[7]. 5, pg. (1979), and an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979). He was in a TV adaptation of Mandrake the Magician (1954), a pilot for a series that was not picked up, and had small parts in Son of Sinbad (1955), Soldiers of Fortune (1955), and Buruuba (1956) a Japanese film set in Africa. "[7], "That was a classic," he later said. After football, he went on to become a film actor, where he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Spartacus in 1960. You ride horses.' The closing credits dedicate the film to Strode. Strode was next cast in Spartacus (1960) as the Ethiopian gladiator Draba, in which he has to fight Spartacus (played by Kirk Douglas) to the death. The man who made the stars shine brighter: An interview with Woody Strode [3], "I got a cultural education—majored in history and education," he said in a 1971 interview. [23], He did The Italian Connection (1972), for which he was paid $150,000. When World War II broke out, Strode was playing for the Hollywood Bears in the Pacific Coast Professional Football League. Strode played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League from 1948-1949 before moving back to the United States and beginning his film career. Trapped for life. He could be seen in The Gambler from Natchez (1954), Jungle Gents (1954) a Bowery Boys movie set in Africa, and The Silver Chalice (1954). Strode had difficulty maintaining the momentum of these roles. Strode was educated at UCLA before the Second World War and was one of the first blacks to play in integrated college football; he was also a star of the Canadian Football League. "We were unconscious of color. My dream is to play a Mexican bandit in the international market."[20]. Official Sites, Impeccable musculature and towering height, Often played quiet, dignified men of action, Strode was one of the first four blacks who integrated professional football in 1946. Strode played "Sensei", Jaguar's side kick in the movie. They were married until her death in 1980 due to Parkinson's disease. He has appeared in four films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The character Woody from the Toy Story films is named after Strode, who had appeared in a number of classic Western films. In the film, Strode’s character recites the Declaration of Independence but apologizes for forgetting the phrase “all men are created equal,” a poignant line for the 1962 audience. Strode succumb to Lung Cancer on December 31, 1994, in Glendora, California. In 1966, he landed a major starring role as a soldier of fortune and expert archer in The Professionals, a major box-office success that established him as a recognizable star. If you're a nice guy, you can walk into a room anywhere in the world. His world-class decathlon capabilities were spearheaded by a 50 ft (15 m) plus shot put (when the world record was 57 ft (17 m)) and a 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) high jump (the world record at time was 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)). He had a small role in Star Spangled Rhythm (1942), as a chauffeur of Rochester (Edward Anderson) and could be glimpsed in No Time for Love (1943). Strode was a dedicated martial arts student and began his training in SeishinDo Karate in 1976 under the direction of Frank Argelander (aka Frank Landers). Pompey/Strode physically carries and thereby saves a drunken, suicidal John Wayne from his burning home. Inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. [25][26][27] In 1982 at the age of 68, he wed 35-year-old Tina Tompson,[27] and they remained married until his death of lung cancer on December 31, 1994, in Glendora, California, aged 80. [29], Strode was a dedicated martial artist under the direction of Frank Landers in the art of Seishindo Kenpo. Strode's later appearances included Cuba Crossing (1980),The Dukes of Hazzard (1980), Scream (1981), Fantasy Island (1981), Vigilante (1982), Invaders of the Lost Gold (1982), Angkor: Cambodia Express (1983), The Black Stallion Returns (1983), The Violent Breed (1984), Jungle Warriors (1984), The Cotton Club (1984), The Final Executioner (1984), Lust in the Dust (1985), On Fire (1987), and A Gathering of Old Men (1987). '"[11], He also said, "On the Pacific Coast there wasn't anything we couldn't do. Strode also found the time to serve his country in the US Army during World War II. They were the first Black-American players to play in the NFL for many years.


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