Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tom Laughlin - RIP

Tom Laughlin has died. He was 82 years old.

Laughlin was mostly known under a different name: Billy Jack. First introduced in the biker-sploitation Born Losers, the half-bred vigilante fought his way against those that wish to bring harm to Native Americans and the hippie generation. Not only did he star as Billy Jack, Laughlin also wrote, directed, and produced all of the character's adventures.

Though his career and legacy was ruined by his many business failures and his oddball behavior, Laughlin was a landmark film renegade and one of the biggest names in the independent film movement. He also introduced something we cherish dearly today: With the release of The Trial of Billy Jack, he devised the idea of nationwide, same-day distribution of the film and including its trailer in major television spots.

He will sorely be missed.

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