4 items from 2013
Tom Laughlin: ‘Billy Jack’ actor-filmmaker who died last week helped to revolutionize film distribution patterns in North America (photo: Tom Laughlin in ‘Billy Jack’) Tom Laughlin, best known for the Billy Jack movies he wrote, directed, and starred in opposite his wife Delores Taylor (since 1954), died of complications from pneumonia last Thursday, December 12, 2013, at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles County. Tom Laughlin (born on August 10, 1931, in Minneapolis) was 82; in the last dozen years or so, he suffered from a number of ailments, including cancer and a series of strokes. Tom Laughlin movies: ‘The Delinquents’ and fighting with Robert Altman In the mid-’50s, after acting in college plays and in his own stock company while attending university in Wisconsin, Tom Laughlin began landing small roles on television, e.g., Climax!, Navy Log, The Millionaire. At that time, he was also cast »
- Andre Soares
Younger movie buffs may have no idea how popular the Billy Jack movies were in the early ’70s but Billy Jack and The Trial Of Billy Jack were the cool films to see when I was in middle school. The first film in the series was Born Losers in 1967, an above average entry in the biker genre notable for its odd hero Billy Jack, a brave Native American ex-Army Green Beret played by Tom Laughlin who used his karate skills to fight a nefarious motorcycle gang. Laughlin wrote and directed three sequels which costarred his wife Delores Taylor. Billy Jack was released in 1971, and this time Billy used those same skills to fight racism and oppression. With its themes of child abuse, the trampling of Indian rights, prejudice, television exposes, campus shootings by the National Guard, the Mi Lai massacre, culture clashes, Jungian philosophy, police brutality, government corruption, karate, guns, »
- Tom Stockman
Actor-writer-director Tom Laughlin, whose production and marketing of Billy Jack set a standard for breaking the rules on and off screen, has died. He was 82. Laughlin's daughter told the Associated Press that he died Thursday at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Teresa Laughlin, who acted in the Billy Jack movies, said his cause of death was complications from pneumonia. Billy Jack was released in 1971 after a long struggle by Laughlin to gain control of the low-budget, self-financed movie, a model for guerrilla filmmaking. He wrote, directed and produced Billy Jack and starred as the ex-Green »
- Associated Press
Director Robert Altman.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Venice Magazine.
It's the Fall of 1977 and I'm a bored and rebellious ten year old in search of a new movie to occupy my underworked and creativity-starved brain, feeling far too mature for previous favorites Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and wanting something more up-to-date and edgy than Chaplin's City Lights (1931). I needed a movie to call my favorite that would be symbolic of my own new-found manhood (and something that would really piss off my parents and teachers). Mom and Dad were going out for the evening, leaving me with whatever unfortunate baby-sitter happened to need the $10 badly enough to play mother hen to an obnoxiously precocious only child like myself. I scanned the TV Guide for what »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
4 items from 2013
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