Tom Laughlin

Tom Laughlin

Highest Rated: 82% South Pacific (1958)

Lowest Rated: 0% Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977)

Birthday: Aug 10, 1931

Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Although Tom Laughlin was one of the most financially successful independent filmmakers of his era, his low-budget, drive-in morality tales did not endear him to critics, and his eccentric behavior turned him into even more of a fringe character. Born in Minneapolis in 1931, Laughlin moved to Hollywood in the 1950s and became a fixture in B-movies and live teleplays. He occasionally landed small roles in higher-profile fare like Vincente Minnelli's film of the Broadway hit "Tea and Sympathy" (1956), the lavish musical "South Pacific" (1958) and the teen hit "Gidget" (1959). Laughlin began writing and directing his own films with the independent dramas "The Proper Time" (1962) and "Like Father, Like Son" (1965), but garnered his first success with the action drama "The Born Losers" (1967), in which he played a part-American Indian pacifist and karate expert named Billy Jack. The sequel "Billy Jack" (1971), which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in, cost $800,000 to produce and grossed approximately $65 million, with a sequel, "The Trial of Billy Jack" (1974), earning over $80 million. Laughlin attempted to build a fully-fledged media empire on the strength of the "Billy Jack" phenomenon, but by the time "Billy Jack Goes To Washington" (1977) was released, his audience had moved on. Laughlin attempted to revive the series throughout the rest of his life, going so far as to begin shooting a fifth Billy Jack film in 1985, which he had to abandon after suffering an injury while performing a stunt. Laughlin also launched three quixotic bids for President of the United States, running as a Democrat in 1992 and 2008 and a Republican in 2004. In his later years, he wrote several self-published books on psychology and health. Laughlin died on December 12, 2013, survived by his wife of 59 years, actress Delores Taylor.

Photos

Highest rated movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
0% 37% Billy Jack Goes to Washington Billy Jack (Character),
Director
- 1977
No Score Yet 50% The Master Gunfighter Finley (Character),
Director,
Screenwriter
- 1975
50% 50% The Trial of Billy Jack Billy Jack (Character),
Director,
Screenwriter,
Executive Producer
- 1974
63% 63% Billy Jack Billy Jack (Character),
Director,
Producer
- 1971
No Score Yet 21% The Touch of Satan Director - 1971
60% 63% Born Losers Billy Jack (Character),
Director,
Producer
- 1967
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Young Sinner Chris Wotan (Character),
Director,
Screenwriter
- 1961
No Score Yet 42% Tall Story Fred Jensen (Character) - 1960
50% 86% Gidget Lover Boy (Character) - 1959
No Score Yet 25% Lafayette Escadrille Arthur Blumenthal (Character) - 1958
No Score Yet No Score Yet Senior Prom Carter Breed III (Character) - 1958
82% 69% South Pacific Lt. Buzz Adams (Character) - 1958
No Score Yet 25% The Delinquents Scotty (Character) - 1957
80% 76% Tea and Sympathy Ralph, 'Regular Guy' (Character) - 1956

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Wagon Train Unknown (Guest Star) 1959 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Silent Service Lou (Character) 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet Climax! Unknown (Character) 1955

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