Hollywood Bears 1940-1948

Hollywood Bears 1945-46 team photo. From the David Eskenazi collection. Kenny Washington fourth from left in back. Ezzrett Anderson (#23) fifth from left in back. Chuck Anderson (#22) in middle back and Woody Strode (#17) 4th from right on back. Jack Jacobs (#27) 4th from right in front.

The Hollywood Bears were one of two prominent semi-pro teams based in Los Angeles in the 1940s. The Los Angeles Bulldogs were their main rivals through the war years with both teams playing in the Pacific Coast Football League.

Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, who would both later break the color barrier in the NFL, played for the Bears shortly after their UCLA careers ended. Strode served in the war and he and Washington played for the Bears after the war ended. They and the Bears had many heated battles against Frankie Albert and the Bulldogs at Gilmore Stadium which was later razed to build CBS Television City.

Through their existence the Bears had numerous Black and Native American players. The 1945-46 team included not just Kenny Washington and Woody Strode but Ezzrett “Sugarfoot” Anderson and Chuck Anderson who would both go on to star in the Canadian football league. Jack Jacobs was one of several Native Americans who played for the Bears. He spent a few years in the NFL and also starred in Canada.

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