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Tom Laughlin, Star of ‘Billy Jack,’ Dead at 82

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by big dog cowboy, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    [IMG]

    Filmmaker Tom Laughlin, who shot to fame as the rugged half-breed action hero “Billy Jack,” died Thursday in Thousand Oaks, Calif., surrounded by his family. He was 82 years old.

    While involved at one point with just about every facet of the film business, Laughlin may be best known for his series of “Billy Jack” films. He has been married to Delores Taylor since 1954, and she co-produced and acted in all four of the “Billy Jack” movies.

    In addition to acting, he was a producer, director and screenwriter, and drew attention for a groundbreaking promotion and release campaign on 1974′s “The Trial of Billy Jack” that included TV trailers during national news and an “opening day” nationwide release that helped shape the future of film distribution.

    Read more: http://movies.yahoo.com/news/tom-laughlin-star-billy-jack-dead-82-212410321.html
  2. Jammer

    Jammer Retired Air Force Guy Zone Supporter

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    Now this is a death of actor that touches me. As a kid I LOVED the Billy Jack movies. To think the was 82 years old. It doesn't seem that long ago when he was kicking ***.
  3. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Those that weren't born or old enough to live through the early 70's don't realize how popular the whole "Billy Jack" craze was. For a while it was all about "Billy Jack". When "Mad Magazine" spoofs your movie... you know you've reached the pinnacle.
  4. Achilleslastand

    Achilleslastand Well-Known Member

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    Didn't Tom Laughlin at one point get blacklisted from Hollywood or something like that?
  5. BoysFan4ever

    BoysFan4ever Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of Billy Jack!
  6. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    Some good clips on YouTube.
  7. Reverend Conehead

    Reverend Conehead Well-Known Member

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    Bummer. The Billy Jack movies were fun, and they were ssoooo 70s!
  8. Phoenix

    Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    Wow, RIP. Billy Jack films were so awesome. Fond memories...I saw the first one as a kid at a drive-in theater with my family!
  9. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Loved those movies as a kid...I imagine if I watched them now I would laugh and moan at how cheesy and bad there were.
  10. Reverend Conehead

    Reverend Conehead Well-Known Member

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    I watched the first one again not long ago. It was like going on a time warp back to the 70s. Some parts were cheesy, but in a cool ... I mean in a groovy way.
  11. BoysFan4ever

    BoysFan4ever Well-Known Member

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    I watched a short clip & he reminded me of a very cheesy Clint Eastwood.
  12. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    No, he wasn't like that. His movies were very low budget for the most part so you weren't going to get a lot of Big Picture stuff involved but all of the stunts were done by Laughlin himself and a lot of the actual film making as well. He was soup to nuts on a lot of these small budgets but you gotta remember, most of America was anti establishment in those days. In fact, a lot of parallels that you might see today in many respects. It was accepted and people actually kind of liked it. Kind of a stand up for the little guy kind of film and it gained a real cult following.
  13. BoysFan4ever

    BoysFan4ever Well-Known Member

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    I guess it's a case of you had to have been there to appreciate it but that clip was awful. Very cheesy.

    But hey the man made a difference & was loved for it. You have to applaud that.
  14. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, by today's standards, cheesy is probably acceptable but you are right. He struck a nerve with certain folks. Either way, I'm sorry he's gone. By all acounts, he was a good guy but I don't know. I never meet the guy but a lot of people around here did. Said he was a nice guy.

    RIP Billy Jack
  15. BoysFan4ever

    BoysFan4ever Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure he was a fine man. I'm in my 20's so yea that stuff looks cheesy. I don't mean that to disrespect him either. In many cases movies, TV or actors today do not compare to years past.

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