how is it that i've spent 24 years on this earth without knowing who Woody Strode was?
for those who don't know Woody Strode was a Black American actor that was primarily active in the late 50s and 60s. his grandmother was Black Cherokee and his grandfather was Black Creek. he was a world-class decathlon and was culturally educated, majoring in history and culture, to the extent that in 1971 he said “I could walk into the White House with it now.” he served in the Air Force during World War II. he starred as the first Black lead in a mainstream cowboy movie in Sergeant Rutledge (1960). his first wife was Princess Luukialuana Kalaeloa, a distant relative of Liliuokalani, the last queen of Hawaii, and they were married until her death. he was also an accomplished martial artist. oh, and Sheriff Woody from Toy Story was named after him.
i never wanna hear another word about John Wayne now that i know Woody Strode was a real person
Strode also broke the NFL color barrier with Kenny Washington in 1946 (they played college football at UCLA, where one of their teammates was Jackie Robinson). Strode is probably best-known for his role in Spartacus where he fights Kirk Douglas with a trident. And he appeared in a lot of Westerns - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Professionals and Once Upon a Time in the West are all classics. A really awesome, underrated actor and I’m glad to see him on my dash tonight.
I remember him! He was awesome