Woody Strode

Woody Strode

According to John Capouya's biography of Gorgeous George, Woody paid him a visit late in 1963, and was shocked and saddened to see the extent of his old friend's decline.

Former pro football player.

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 Strode.

Prior to 1946, Strode played semi-pro ball.

Reportedly, his favorite film from his career was Sergeant Rutledge (1960).

Strode played several seasons for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League before moving back to the United States and beginning his film career.

Strode posed for one of two paintings commissioned by Adolf Hitler for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Strode was one of the first four blacks who integrated major league pro football in 1946. The others were Bill Willis, Marion Motley of the Browns and fellow Ram Kenny Washington.

The Rams gave Kenny Washington a tryout when they moved to L.A., and hired lineman Strode to be his roommate.

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."