Dan Blocker refused to appear in segregated theaters
Big Hoss had a big heart.
As an actor, Dan Blocker was often noticed for his enormous size. At over six feet, Blocker was an undoubtedly large man, towering over those around him. However, few are as well-versed in the content of his character. While Blocker had an imposing physical presence, his heart was more tender than many would have assumed at first sight.
According to an interview with the Daily Mirror in 1964, Blocker made no secret of the fact that he refused to "appear in the segregated halls of the South." Apparently, one theater in Jackson, Mississippi was made aware of Blocker's policy and attempted to trick him by claiming they weren't a segregated theater. Once Blocker arrived, he became aware of the ruse. The organizers presumably hoped that Blocker wouldn't put too much of a fuss up and make good on his engagement; No such chance.
The article reported, "What 'Hoss' Cartwright had to say to the organizers is not fully documented. But it took all of six minutes to case the joint, drop the verbal bomb, and fly off back to Hollywood."
Blocker was quick to fight against injustice wherever he saw it, able to use his large stature to his advantage. According to an interview with United Press International, Blocker stated, "I hate a bully worse than anything. I'm a big man. I don't like fights. But if I see a 180-pound guy beating on a 130-pound guy, you can damn betcha I'll take care of the big guy in a hurry."
He was also able to offer some insight and stated, "Some big men are bullies because they are insensitive to the power of their strength." Blocker himself concluded, "I'll never forget it."