I fell in love with Woody Strode in elementary school, watching a potboiler called The Last Voyage (Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone). As the ocean liner goes down, with Malone trapped below decks, a no-shirted Woody hauls some acetylene tanks over the side of the ship. I had no idea anybody could be built like that.
He showed some serious acting chops in Sergeant Rutledge though.
Of course, if you're a track fan (oh, wait, if you're reading this, you are one) you'll think of what kind of decathlete he might have been. He was 4th in the '38 NCAA shot for UCLA, but before that, how about the Cali State Meet of '33, when he was 2nd in the shot and 4th in the 220 hurdles?!