RIP Billy Jack
Tom Laughlin, who played the role of peacenik/badass hybrid Billy Jack has died at the age of 82 from complications of pneumonia.
By Michael Irons
Tom Laughlin starred and co-produced in four films as the iconic Billy Jack character, a Vietnam vet who was, like, mostly a pacifist but who will totally roundhouse kick redneck bigots who piss him off. Actually, that contradicts the definition of a pacifistic, huh? You know what? Who cares. The point is, Tom Laughlin, the dude who played him, has died at the age of 82 from complications of pneumonia.
The first Billy Jack film was released in 1971, and was written, directed, and produced by Laughlin. The low-budget flick was self-financed and struggled to find a studio to back it. Warner Bros. eventually stepped in and after the movie initially bombed at the box office, it later found a cult following. But it wasn’t just his films that added to the legacy Laughlin leaves behind, he also ran for president as a Democrat and Republican, and opened a school in California. Sheesh, kinda makes us feel like slackers for eating Funyons and playing PS4 all weekend.