Actor of ‘Virginian’, ‘The Walking Dead’ is 93 years old – The Hollywood Reporter

Clu Gulager, a real-life cowboy from Oklahoma known for his jumps The tall man, Virginians, The last picture shown and horror movies included Return of the Dead, has died. He is 93 years old.

Gulager died Friday of natural causes at the home in Los Angeles of his son John and daughter-in-law Diane, they said. The Hollywood Reporter.

Gulager also portrayed assassin Charlie Strom’s (Lee Marvin) bodyguard being taken down by a gang boss (Ronald Reagan) in Don Siegel’s the killers (1964), a race car mechanic opposite Paul Newman in Win (1969) and a detective working alongside John Wayne’s character in John Sturges’ McQ (1974).

Recently, he has appeared on the big screen in lovely movies like Tangerine (2015), Blue Jay (2016) and Quentin Tarantino’s Once upon a time in Hollywood (2019).

Gulager’s performance in the killers convinced Peter Bogdanovich to cast him as Abilene, the caddish oilfield foreman who fell in love with Ellen Burstyn’s character and seduced Cybill Shepherd’s Jacy Farrow in a deserted pool hall, in The last picture shown (In 1971).

The Cherokee part, the playful Gulager exploded onto the scene in September 1960 when he played Billy the Kid opposite Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett on NBC’s The tall man. Two seasons later, the series was canceled in part because Congress objected to Billy “incorrectly” being portrayed as a hero to younger audiences.

“But they left Inviolable this is very violent,” Gulager noted in a 2015 interview. “I played a character called ‘Mad Dog’ Coll. [in 1959] where I shot a horse in a race, killed a boy in Brooklyn and cut off a bartender’s finger. But they left it at that because they thought the performance was historically accurate. “

After guest-starring on two episodes of NBC’s Virginians, Gulager to Medicine Bow, Wyoming, starting the series’ third season in 1964 as Deputy Sheriff Emmett Ryker. He appeared alongside James Drury and Doug McClure in more than 50 episodes before departing in 1968.

In Return of the Dead (1985), Gulager portrays the head of a medical supply warehouse who fights the undead. It was a job he was hesitant to accept, he said. “I didn’t particularly want to do that,” he recalled in 2017. “I think I went over that. And as it turns out, if I remember, that’s what I’ll be remembered for… I killed 18 zombies and then they came back and hit me! “

Gulager appeared in another scary and remarkable movie in 1985, A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Then he played a shotgun bartender in the horror movie Party (2005) and its two straight video sequels, the latter operating in Piranha 3DD (2012). Those four films were all directed by his son John.

Clu Gulager with Norman Fell (centre) and Lee Marvin in ‘The Killers.’

Universal Pictures / Photofest

William Martin Gulager was born on November 16, 1928, in Holdenville, a wooded town about 75 miles from Oklahoma City. His father, John, was a Broadway actor who became a district judge, and his mother, Hazel, worked for the Veterans Administration. His second cousin is Will Rogers.

His father’s nickname for him was derived from the clu-clu birds – known in English as martins – that nested around the family home. After graduating from high school and serving in the United States Marine Corps, Gulager attended Northeastern State College and Baylor University, where he received a scholarship to study abroad in Paris with renowned theater actor Jean Louis Barrault (Les Enfants du Paradis) before graduating in 1956.

He has worked in New York live television on shows like Omnibus, US Steel Hour and Goodyear Playhouse before moving to Los Angeles in 1959. He appeared on Do you want to live or die?, Have Gun – Will Traveland Laramie and rented to The tall man after MCA director Lew Wasserman saw him play an Elvis-type character on CBS’ Playhouse 90.

“I am a cowboy from Oklahoma. I ride the fence [around cattle] in the winter and in the summer, I’m out in the fields, noticing rattlesnakes,” Gulager said in a 2019 interview. “And then you move on and something hits you, and You want to be an actor. Well, I can play a cowboy, and I can ride a horse and put on a hat very easily.”

Future boss of Universal and Columbia Pictures, Frank Price, who produced and wrote the screenplay for The tall manhired Gulager for Virginians. “I broke down when I stepped up [that show]”, he said in 2014.” I had to ask Frank Price, who runs it, for a job. He fired an actor from the set and hired me. If I’d known he’d fired someone, I wouldn’t have taken the job.”

In 1970, Gulager co-starred with Lloyd Bridges on the NBC television series San Francisco International Airport, also produced by Price, but it lasted only six episodes. He was winemaker Chase Gioberti in the 1981 pilot for Falcon Crest but was replaced by Robert Foxworth when the show was picked up by CBS.

Gulager said he improvised a lot during the creation of the neoclassical the killers. “I was really surprised that Lee Marvin let me do all of that,” he said in an interview with Eddie Muller after the January 2020 screening of the film on TCM’s Noir Alley. “But the director wants me to invent some things to [make the character] a psychopath, truly a madman. So I tried to go with that.”

Gulager also appeared on shows like Dr. Kildare, Bonanza, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Murder, She Wrote, Walker, Texas Ranger and MacKenzies of Paradise Cove and in movies including The other side of midnight (1977), The force of a (1979), Into the dark (1985), I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), The Willies (1990) and My hero is always a cowboy (1991).

He directs A day with the boys (1969), was nominated for the Palme d’Or for best short film at Cannes – and shot by the great László Kovács – and taught acting from a Hollywood studio.

In addition to John and Diane, survivors include their son Tom; Tom’s wife, Zoe; and grandson Clu.

He was married to singer and actress Miriam Byrd-Nethery from 1952 until her death in 2003.

“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 with – always – of those oppressed,” his family noted. “He was funny, avid readers, gentle and kind. Noisy and dangerous. “

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