Clu Gulager, 'The Virginian' and 'Return of the Living Dead,' actor passes away at 93
Clu Gulager, a seasoned performer best remembered for his parts in the 1985 horror-comedy "The Return of the Living Dead" and the NBC sitcom "The Virginian," has passed away from natural causes. He was 93.
- United States
Clu Gulager, a seasoned performer best remembered for his parts in the 1985 horror-comedy "The Return of the Living Dead" and the NBC sitcom "The Virginian," has passed away from natural causes. He was 93. According to Variety, John Gulager, Gulager's son, paid homage to his father on Facebook by posting a photo of him. The news of Gulager's passing was verified on Twitter by director Sean Baker who worked with him on the 2015 film "Tangerine."
Gulager died "surrounded by his adoring family," according to a family statement posted on Facebook by Diane Goldner, Gulager's daughter-in-law. "Clu was as caring as he was loyal and devoted to his craft, a proud member of the Cherokee nation, a rule-breaker, sharp and astute, and on the side always of the oppressed. He was good-humored, an avid reader, tender and kind. Loud and dangerous," reads the statement. "He was shocked that he lived, for even a day after Miriam Byrd-Nethery, the love of his life, died 18 years ago."
Beginning with little cameo roles in 1950s television programs, Gulager's acting career spanned seven decades. A staple of TV Westerns, Gulager played Billy the Kid for two seasons in NBC's "The Tall Man" and had a regular part in the network's "The Virginian" for four of the show's nine seasons. In 1971, he played a part in Peter Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show." With notable appearances in horror movies, Gulager was reintroduced to a new generation of audiences in the 1980s. The actor co-starred in The Initiation in 1984 with Vera Miles. He appeared in "The Return of the Living Dead" by Dan O'Bannon and "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" by Jack Sholder a year later.
Quentin Tarantino, whose 2019 film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" served as Gulager's last movie appearance, was a fan of the actor. In Tarantino's movie, the actor portrayed the proprietor of a bookstore. Gulager attended Tarantino's New Beverly Cinema frequently in his personal life in recent years. Clu's father, William Martin Gulager, was a former performer and a cowboy entertainment who was born on November 16, 1928, in Holdenville, Oklahoma. Gulager began his acting career after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1940s. He later enrolled at Northeastern State University and Baylor University.
A 1955 edition of the variety show "Omnibus" is regarded as Gulager's debut appearance on screen. Billy the Kid played Pat Garrett opposite Barry Sullivan in "The Tall Man," marking his first significant role after a string of cameos on TV shows. Even though the NBC series was short-lived, Gulager soon found himself back on the job as a regular cast member on "The Virginian" just a few years later. Gulager starred opposite actors Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes, and Ronald Reagan in Don Siegel's "The Killers" in 1964. (in his final film role). He also produced and directed "A Day With the Boys," a short film that was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival for the best short film.
Gulager's son, John Gulager, directed him at a later point in his career. The two worked together on the 2012 film "DPiranha 3D" and the "Feast" horror-comedy series, as reported by Variety. In 1960, Gulager married Miriam Byrd-Nethery, a fellow performer. They stayed together until Byrd-passing Nethery's in 2003. His beloved grandson Clu Mosha, his sons John and Tom, their spouses Diane and Zoe, his devoted followers, and decades of exceptional pupils survive him. (ANI)
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