In a desperate generation . . . he inspired a generation of soldiers . . . S.L.
NEW YORK - 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.
Laughlin's daughter told The Associated Press that he died Thursday at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Laughlin was 82 and Teresa Laughlin, who acted in the Billy Jack movies, said the cause of death was complications from pneumonia.
"Billy Jack" was released in 1971 after a lbyong 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 Beret who defends an Indian school against the racists of a Western community. The film became a counterculture favorite and the theme song, "One Tin Soldier," was a hit single for the rock group Coven.
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- STORMBRINGER SENDS