Clu Gulager, a veteran actor known for his roles in the NBC series Virginians and the horror comedy of 1985 Return of the Dead, died of natural causes. He was 93 years old.
Gulager’s son, John, shared a photo of his father on his Facebook as a tribute. Filmmaker Sean Baker, who directed Gulager for the 2015 film Tangerineconfirmed the news of his death on Twitter.
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Gulager’s daughter-in-law Diane Goldner also shared a family statement on Facebook confirming the news, saying he passed away “surrounded by his loving family.”
“Clu has always cared about loyalty and devotion to her craft, a proud member of the Cherokee nation, a rule-breaker, sharp and astute and always around – the oppressed. . He was very kind, an avid reader, gentle and kind. Noisy and dangerous,” read the statement. “He is shocked that he has lived, even a day after Miriam Byrd-Nethery, the love of his life, died 18 years ago.”
Gulager’s acting career spans seven decades, beginning with small cameo roles on 1950s television series. A mainstay of TV Western, Gulager starred as Billy the Kid on NBC’s The tall man in its two seasons and played a regular role in the network Virginians in four of its nine seasons. He also had a role in Peter Bogdanovich’s The last picture shown in 1971.
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In the 1980s, Gulager was reintroduced to a new generation of audiences with prominent roles in horror films. Actor who starred alongside Vera Miles in 1984 Initiation. A year later, he can be seen in Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Dead and Jack Sholder’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.
Gulager is director Quentin Tarantino’s favorite character, whose movie in 2019 Once upon a time in Hollywood marks the actor’s final screen credit. The actor played the role of a bookstore owner in Tarantino’s film. As for his private life, Gulager has been a regular visitor to Tarantino’s New Beverly cinema in recent years.
Born William Martin Gulager in Holdenville, Okla. On November 16, 1928, Clu’s father was a former actor and cowboy performer. After serving in the United States Marine Corps in the 1940s, Gulager attended Northeastern State University and later Baylor University, beginning to venture into the acting field.
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Gulager’s first screen credit is listed as a 1955 episode of the variety series Omnibus. After a series of guest appearances on TV shows, Billy the Kid on The tall man marked his first major role, acting opposite Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett. Although the NBC series was short-lived, Gulager quickly found himself back in the saddle as a regular actor on Virginians only a few years later.
In 1964, Gulager played a lead role in Don Siegel’s . the killersstarring alongside a cast that includes Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes and Ronald Reagan (in his final role).
Gulager also directed his own short film, A day with the boyswas nominated for the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.
Later in his career, Gulager was mentored by his son, John Gulager. The pair of stars collaborated in the horror-comedy series Party and 2012 Piranha 3DD.
Gulager married actor Miriam Byrd-Nethery in 1960. The two remained married until Byrd-Nethery’s death in 2003. He is survived by his sons, John and Tom; their partners, Diane and Zoe; his beloved grandson is Clu Mosha; devoted fans and decades of extraordinary students.
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