'Billy Jack' Tom Laughlin dies at the age of 82
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12/15/2013 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Actor and filmmaker Tom Laughlin was a true self-made man, Working far from the Hollywood system, he would take his mythical character of "Billy Jack," a cowboy-hatted man of few words who would lash out with martial arts moves to quell the bad guys to the suburban multiplexes. The kids loved it, and a cult hero built on social justice and karate seized the post-hippie youth movement. The sequels to the original didn't fare that well - but the Billy Jack character remained iconic. Laughlin has died at the age of 82.
Actor Tom Laughlin sought the Democratic nomination for president three times - 1992, and 2008 as a Democrat, and 2004 as a Republican. He was an outspoken critic of the Iraq War, which he has said was far worse than Vietnam.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Laughlin's family confirmed that he died in Thousand Oaks, California. Married to the same woman for nearly 60 years, Delores Taylor was his co-star in the original "Billy Jack" in 1971.
Billy Jack's rise to fame began with the 1967 biker film "The Born Losers." Written and directed by Laughlin under the pseudonym T. C. Frank, "Losers" told how his "Billy Jack" character took on a group of outlaws terrorizing a small California town. Crude and low-budget, "Losers" still managed to captivate the drive-in crowds.
Billy Jack, a part-Native American and Vietnam veteran would knock 'em dead in the 1971 feature of the same name. People lined up around the block to see the black-hatted hero dish out justice in a corrupt town. What made the success of the film even more remarkable was the fact that it was independently released and four-walled to theaters. Laughlin had a falling-out with Warner Brothers, and vowed to take his film to audiences all by his lonesome, in the manner of his cinematic character.
The film touched a nerve in an America that valued justice and equality - through the expedient use of guns and violence. Billy Jack would not hesitate to "bust a move" if he failed to persuade his adversaries to his way of thinking.
The third installment in 1974, "The Trial of Billy Jack," was one of the first movies to get a major television and national advertising push. Co-producing and starring in all four "Jack" films, the series came to a close in the little-seen final installment, 1977's "Billy Jack Goes to Washington."
Laughlin sought the Democratic nomination for president three times - 1992, and 2008 as a Democrat, and 2004 as a Republican. He was an outspoken critic of the Iraq War, which he has said was far worse than Vietnam.
"We despise both political parties, really loathe them. . We the people have no representative of any kind. It's now the multinationals. They've taken over. It's no different than the 70's, but it's gotten worse. And if you use words like 'impeachment' or 'fascist' you're a nut on a soapbox," Laughlin said in an interview in 2005.
Starting a Montessori preschool, he had spoken in recent years of trying to bring the Jack character back to the big screen.
Laughlin is survived by three children and five grandchildren.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MARCH 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians. That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
Disney's remake of "Beauty and the Beast" is turning heads for its amazing cast, classic story and, more notoriously, its use of Disney's ... continue reading
Without having witnessed a single film trailer, or reading the book upon which it is based, I set out to watch "The Shack." What I ... continue reading
Steven Spielberg, best known for directing films such as "Jaws," the "Indiana Jones" films and "Schindler's List," is working on a new film ... continue reading
Golden Globes 2017: Did any Catholic-based films make the cut? Check out the complete list of nominees here Watch
The 74th Golden Globe Awards nominees are finally in! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Golden Globe awards will be hosted by Jimmy ... continue reading
Pope Francis welcomed Oscar-winning film director Martin Scorses and his family to the Vatican Wednesday to discuss "Silence," a film ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Supermassive black hole discovered surfing gravitational wave HD Video
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent - Day 28
- St. Venturino of Bergamo: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, March 28, 2017
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, March 28, 2017
- Miracle baby defies odds after mother refuses doctors' abortion ...
- 7 inspiring quotes to change your life forever
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 HD Video
- Saint Elizabeth
- St. Augustine
- Saint Anne
- st agnes
- saint monica
- saint catherine
- Saint Lucy
- saint clare
- saint rose
- st rose of lima
- immaculate conception
- st augustine
- st monica
- saint of the day
- St. Elizabeth
- john bosco
- st catherine
- st. cecilia
- st. paul
- feast days
- Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico calls out 'traitor' Mexicans HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, March 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, March 27th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.