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Clu Gulager Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 16 November 1928Holdenville, Oklahoma, USA
Birth NameWilliam Martin Gulager
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Clu Gulager was born William Martin Gulager in Holdenville, Hughes County Oklahoma. His nickname was given to him by his father for the clu-clu birds (known in English as martins, like his middle name) that were nesting at the Gulager home at the time Clu was born. He grew up on his uncle's ranch as a cowhand and when he was old enough he joined the United States Marine Corps for a stint from 1946-1948. He got the acting bug being in army plays so when he left he used the GI Bill of rights to study acting. During this time he met his wife another actress Miriam Byrd Nethery they had two children together John born in 1957 and Tom born 1965. He was married over 50 years until she passed away in 2003 from cancer. Clu's career started off as bit parts on popular western shows usually playing the heavy. Shows like Wanted Dead or Alive, Have Gun Will Travel, Laramie, Riverboat. He scored big with The Untouchables as Mad Dog Coll which led to him being offered Billy the Kid on The Tallman from 1960-1961 which also starred Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett. The show was pulled after two seasons by congress because they didn't like the idea that kids were seeing the outlaw Billy the Kid as a hero. Clu's next big break was playing Deputy Emmett Ryker on the The Virginian from 1964-1968. During this time he also fared very well being Lee Marvin's side kick in the 1964 TV film The Killers, which was considered too violent for TV so it went to theaters. Having being burned out being a TV star he tried to break into films, mostly as a character actor. His stand out films being The Last Picture Show (1971) as Ellen Burstyn's lover and McQ (1974) with John Wayne, A Force of One (1979) with Chuck Norris, later will work with again in the 1990's on Walker, Texas Ranger. He also was part of San Francisco International Airport with Lloyd Bridges which failed big time. Throughout the 70's and 80's he was in almost every show around as bit parts. Then the unthinkable happened he found a second career as a horror film actor he followed the foot steps of other TV actors who were stuck in TV hell, like his costar from The Virginian Doug McClure and Christopher George. Both of them in late 70's and early 80's found new careers in B movie and late night horror films. Clu finally got a lead part in Dan O' Bannon's cult classic The Return of the Living Dead (1985) He also was in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) through out the 80's and 90's he would appear in TV and the occasional horror flick. In 2005 he started acting in his son's horror films the Feasts movies and Piranha DD in his 80's. Not letting age get in his way. He has been a horror fan favorite still shows up at conventions at almost 90 now. You can say one thing about Clu, what a diverse career it has been for this awesome cowboy.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: cgay

Spouse (1)

Miriam Byrd-Nethery (1952 - 6 January 2003) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (14)

His father, John Gulager, was a Broadway actor-vaudevillian who worked with George M. Cohan.
Got nickname from his father for the clu-clu birds who were nesting at the Gulager home at the time Clu was born.
Clu and his wife, Miriam Byrd-Nethery, had two sons - John Gulager (b. 1958) and Tom Gulager (b. 1965).
Signed with Universal in the 1960s as a contract player.
Revitalized his career in the 1980s in scores of horror flicks that took advantage of his ever-growing, wild-eyed eccentricities.
Started out in experimental theatre in Paris under the guidance of actor Jean-Louis Barrault.
He was in the Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton from 1946 to 1948.
He grew up an only child on his alcoholic uncle's farm near Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Clu (the nickname means "Red Bird") is part Cherokee and is Will Rogers's cousin.
Mentor and longtime friend of Patrick Thomas.
Attended Northeastern State College (now Northeastern State University) Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in the late 1940s.
Was Earl Hamner Jr.'s first choice for the male lead role in Falcon Crest (1981), which starred Jane Wyman. He appeared in the unaired pilot episode "The Vintage Years," but was not rehired. Robert Foxworth was cast in the lead male role of Chase Gioberti, continuing until his departure at the end of season six in 1987.
He was given the script for MASH (1970). He turned down the offer because he hated it. He says that was one of his biggest career mistakes.
Acting protégé of Barry Sullivan.

Personal Quotes (3)

I don't have fun acting. I don't enjoy acting. I think acting is very painful. There may be those joy boys and joy girls who claim that acting is the stuff of life, but I think most artists find that their art is very painful and very laborsome and very difficult under the best of circumstances, almost a killing kind of process. You can have fun during a picture but there's also a great deal of creative pain involved in something like this for me. There's not much happiness in the creative process.
Those with obsessions never learn. Those with a compulsion to make films are fucked in the beginning, fucked in the middle, and fucked in the end. You can call it madness, you can call it being an artist, or you can call it ruining your life. But we have not learned one God-damned thing.
We need to laugh, we need to be scared, we need to hug our girl in the theater. It lightens the load of this crummy life.

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