R.I.P. Tom Laughlin 1931-2013

Written by Whitney Scott Bain Monday, 16 December 2013

Movie News

Tom Laughlin, who starred and produced the Billy Jack series, has passed away at the age of 82.

Born Thomas Robert Laughlin, in Millwaukee, August 10, 1931, Wisconsin, he attended Washington State High School where Gene Wilder was a classmate.  Mr. Laughlin later attended the University of Minnesota where he was a running back for the football team and would tried out for the now defunct, Chicago Cardinals in the NFL. Sadly he didn’t make the team.

With a professional football career out, he decided to focus on acting and travelled to California, appearing in several television shows and a 1958 film directed by William Wellman entitled Lafayette Escadrille along with unknowns David Jansen and Clint Eastwood.

Mr. Laughlin left his acting career behind temporarily to start the prestigious Montessori School for Children in Santa Monica, California, which became nationwide.

Then in 1967, with money Mr. Laughlin raised, he wrote, produced, directed and starred as Billy Jack in Born Losers that American International Pictures picked up. It became a minor hit about an ex-Vietnam vet, martial artist taking on an outlaw biker gang.

With the success of Born Losers, Mr. Laughlin reprised his role in Billy Jack with his wife, Delores Taylor co-starring along with hapkido martial artist, Master Bong Soo Han, who double for Mr. Laughlin in several scenes and who was also his teacher.

The cost of the film was $800,000. It grossed over $65 million dollars worldwide and the legend of Billy Jack was born garnering two other sequels and an unproduced third.

Before his death, Mr. Laughlin wrote several books on Jungian philosophy, was involved in political and prevention of domestic abuse causes, developing theories of cancer, and ran for President of the United States three times.

Share your comments below or on Twitter @STARBURST_MAG

Find your local Starburst Magazine stockist HERE, or buy direct from us HERE.

CLICK SPIDEY FOR OUR LATEST ISSUE!


Suggested Articles:
The upcoming Godzilla sequel – Godzilla: King of the Monsters – has added another new name to it
With Life now in cinemas and pretty much wowing the majority of moviegoers – you can find our thou
Earlier this month, Sony Pictures moved ahead and announced an October 5th, 2018 release date for th
With Alicia Vikander now long signed up to star in Warner Brothers’ Tomb Raider reboot, the first
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner