Woody Strode Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (3)  | Family (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (18)  | Personal Quotes (1)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Died in Glendora, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameWoodrow Wilson Woolwine Strode
Nickname Woody Stroode
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (3)

An athlete turned actor, Strode was a top-notch decathlete and a football star at UCLA. He became part of Hollywood lore after meeting director John Ford and becoming a part of the Ford "family," appearing in four Ford motion pictures. Strode also played the powerful gladiator who does battle with Kirk Douglas in Spartacus (1960)."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Hamel

Played college football and broke color barrier at the same time as Kenny Washington. Met his wife, a Hawaiian princess and stand-in for the swim sequences for Dorothy Lamour. Woody played for the Los Angeles Rams after their move from Cleveland. He was also a professional wrestler, wrestling the likes of Gorgeous George. Woody lived in a modest home overlooking Glendora and the San Gabriel Valley, north east of Los Angeles about 25 miles.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bob Rea <bobnray@concentric.net>

Woody Strode was a respected actor with strong African and Native American ancestry. He was Cree and Blackfoot on his father's side and Cherokee on his mother's. While some reviewers and historians claim he could have been a more well-known and cast minority actor if not for his size and physically strong appearance, more along the lines of Sidney Poitier, a near contemporary, Hollywood of the past and present still has few positive roles outside of the stereotypical for ethnic males. The roles he was offered fell within those limited, though notable range.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Red Haircrow

Family (1)

Spouse Tina Ellawee (10 May 1982 - 31 December 1994)  (his death)
Luana Strode (14 October 1940 - 17 September 1980)  (her death)  (2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

Impeccable musculature and towering height
Often played quiet, dignified men of action

Trivia (18)

Was one of the first four blacks who integrated professional football in 1946. The others were Bill Willis and Marion Motley of the Cleveland Browns (All America Football Conference [AAFC]), and fellow NFL Los Angeles Ram Kenny Washington.
The Rams gave Kenny Washington a tryout when they moved to Los Angeles, and hired lineman Strode to be his roommate.
Prior to 1946, he played semi-pro football.
Played for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League from 1948-49 before moving back to the US and beginning his film career.
Posed for one of two paintings commissioned by Adolf Hitler for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Reportedly, his favorite film from his career was Sergeant Rutledge (1960).
Was a close friend of John Ford from the early 1960s until Ford's death, with Ford having preferred Strode's company over most other actors when the director became ill from cancer. Somewhat controversially, Ford usually waved off claims his films were racist by saying things like, "But my best friend Woody Strode is black."
According to John Capouya's biography of Gorgeous George, Strode paid him a visit late in 1963, and was shocked and saddened to see the extent of his old friend's decline.
On the highly macho set of The Professionals (1966), Burt Lancaster, widely known to be a very physically strong man, frequently challenged Strode to contests of strength and was allegedly despondent to be repeatedly bested by him.
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 Jackie Robinson.
Inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.
Inducted into the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame in 2012-13.
The 5/6/70 issue of "Variety", in the Italian Films Shooting column, lists the movie "Violence" filming in Morocco, director Damiano Damiani, actors Susan Strasberg, Farley Granger, Strode, Adolfo Celi, Terence Hill. production companies Nyima Films and Western Intl. of Los Angeles. distributor Paris-Etoile. However, there is no evidence the film was completed or distributed.
According to Disneyland Vice President Tony Baxter, "In 1954, Harper Goff, 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. [Goff] also used the same mold for the bodies of Frontierland's Native Americans, too.".
In the 1940s, at the beginning of the "Golden Age" of professional wrestling on television, Strode entered the game, campaigning as a "Baby Face" (hero) as opposed to the "Heel" (villain). He was both successful and a popular draw, but he gave up wrestling due to his popularity in motion pictures.
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 Ten Commandments (1956), Spartacus (1960), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).
The character Woody from the "Toy Story" films is named after Strode, who had appeared in a number of classic Western films.
Had a longtime affair with troubled actress Barbara Payton in the early 1950s, at a time when interracial relationships--especially between a black man and a white woman--were not only unheard-of in Hollywood but were actually illegal in many parts of the US. They kept it a secret, but eventually word leaked out and that, combined with her mental problems and heavy drug and alcohol use, wrecked her career and her life.

Personal Quotes (1)

If you're a nice guy, you can walk into a room anywhere in the world.

Salary (1)

La collina degli stivali (1969) $75,000 for 10 weeks

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