The Billy Jack director and actor died Thursday, age 82, it was announced today.
Without the delayed announcement, this would have been much bigger news, now understandably overshadowed by Fontaine and O’Toole. In the early 1970s, Tom Laughlin became an iconic figure, and the distribution of Billy Jack and his later Trial of Billy Jack revolutionized movie distribution – the first was brought back after initially flopping, the second was the first ever to have a national same day release, unheard of before 1974.
His first movie was The Delinquents in 1955, directed in his debut by Robert Altman.
Rest in Peace
The Legend of Billy Jack