Tuesday, December 17, 2013


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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  1. Billy Jack was cool. Strong, courageous, heroic, but if you peel the layers Tom Laughlin was anti-war, anti-establishment, anti just about everything you stand for. I'm surprised that you posted a tribute to him.

  2. It was a confusing time. Tom Laughlin was a warrior, and so I honor him.. FWIW I am anti-war and any warrior who says war is good is sick in the heas.

  3. Did Tom Laughlin ever serve in the U.S. Military? He was of the age where he'd either have been drafted, or had some exemption. (??)

  4. One of my favorite movies as a kid in the 70s