Woody Strode

Woodrow Wilson Woolwine "Woody" Strode (July 25, 1914 – December 31, 1994)  born in Los Angeles, was a football and track star at UCLA,  playing alongside Jackie Robinson on the Bruins squad. He played in the Pacific Coast Football League for the Hollywood Bears  prior to enlisting in the US Air Force during World War II.  In 1946 he and UCLA teammate Kenny Washington broke the colour barrier in the NFL playing for the Los Angeles Rams.  Strode played 10 games with the Rams in 1946, but failed to make the team the following year. Signed in 1948 by the AAFC Brooklyn (football) Dodgers, he was released prior to the season and joined the  Calgary Stampeders at age 34. He was part of the CFL’s only undefeated team in 1948(12-0), making the all-star team in his first year. Calgary’s first championship since 1911 was marked by great celebration, and Strode has been identified as the player who rode a horse into the lobby of the Royal York Hotel  in Toronto.  He scored a touchdown in Calgary’s Grey Cup Victory but after the 1949 season he retired from football to pursue a career in pro wrestling.

In the early 1950’s Strode became  a successful wrestler, but turned to acting as a profession. He had first appeared in a movie in 1941, but went on to win roles in many later films such as  Spartacus, Ten Commandments and Pork Chop Hill. He became a close friend of director John Ford and appeared in a number of his productions as well. He continued working in film and television right up until 1995 (The Quick and the Dead) and is generally regarded as one of the important African-American  actors of his time. He remembered his brief career with Calgary with great fondness, however, and returned to the city in 1986 to help fundraise  the financially ailing franchise. Woody Strode passed away on December 31, 1994.

NFL Stats For Woody Strode

Biography of Woody Strode on Slam!

1995 Obituary For Woody Strode

Tribute To Woody Strode on You Tube

Wikipedia Article on Woody Strode

Woody Strode in IMDB

Year Team GP
1948 CAL
1949 CAL

There are no stats currently available for the West in the years that Strode played.



Woody Strode

Woody Strode (far right) with Ernest Borgnine in The Revengers

Woody Strode (far right) with the rest of the 1948 Calgary Stampeders ariving back in Calgary after winning the Grey Cup