Says a fan: I read years ago that he is of Native American/African American/White Heritage. And was married to Lindsey Wagner of the "Bionic Woman" fame.
He's of Cherokee ancestry and is about 50 (written in 1997).
The gladiator who fought Kirk Douglas in Spartacus, also starred in westerns
I received this from Greg. I changed a few words to sew it together:
Strode was definitely part Native American and made no qualms about it. He was in the NCAA, NFL, Canadian Football League, Actors and Stuntment Halls of Fame and did such classic films as "Spartacus," "Sergeant Rutledge" and "Once Upon a Time in the West."
Strode's mother was full-blooded Blackfoot. If you've ever seen Strode, you can easily see he has Indian blood. He always kept up with his Blackfoot heritage, especially when he played in the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders. Not knowing anyone, he made lasting friendships with the Canadian Blackfoot tribes.
In film, he often portrayed Indians, including John Ford's "Two Rode Together" and "How the West Was Won," in the 1966 Western classic "The Professionals" and with Sean Connery in "Shalako."
All in all, it's easy to say he was probably the most famous and successful Black and Indian actor of all.
He died of lung cancer at age 80 in 1994, shortly after filming "The Quick & The Dead" with Gene Hackman and Sharon Stone.
P.S.: In the very famous opening scene at the train station in "Once Upon a Time in the West," there's an Indian woman inside the station. She was played by Strode's wife, Luana. However, contrary to popular belief, she was not Native American. She was pure Hawaiian (in fact, she was a direct descendant of the Hawaiian royal family).
Strode was a famous professional wrestler in the 1950's. He often wrestled Indians in the ring. Because of prejudice from white fans, promoters often assigned Indian wrestlers to referee his matches and act as bodyguards.
Since Greg identified Strode as probably the most famous black/Indian actor, I should mention some others:
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