Clu Gulager, Actor In ‘The Virginian’ And ‘Return Of The Living Dead,’ Has Died At The Age Of 93
Clu Gulager, a veteran actor who was in “The Virginian” on NBC and “The Return of the Living Dead,” a horror comedy from 1985, has died of natural causes. He had lived for 93 years.
John, Gulager’s son, put a picture of his dad on Facebook to honor him. Sean Baker, who directed Gulager in the 2015 movie “Tangerine,” wrote on Twitter that Gulager had died.
RIP Clu Gulager. I had the honor to work with the legend in Tangerine and a fashion shoot for V Magazine in 2016. He was incredibly talented, hilarious, gentle and kind. And he adored cinema. We will miss you Clu. pic.twitter.com/hy6r1v7QRs
— sean baker (@Lilfilm) August 6, 2022
Diane Goldner, Gulager’s daughter-in-law, also confirmed the news on Facebook by posting a family statement that said he died “surrounded by his loving family.”
“Clu was kind, loyal, and dedicated to his work. He was a proud member of the Cherokee nation, a rule-breaker, smart, and always on the side of those who were being mistreated. He had a good sense of humour, loved to read, was gentle, and kind. The statement says, “Loud and dangerous.” “He couldn’t believe he was still alive 18 years after Miriam Byrd-Nethery, the love of his life, died.”
Gulager’s acting career lasted for more than 70 years. It started with small roles in TV shows from the 1950s. Gulager was a regular in TV Westerns. He played Billy the Kid in “The Tall Man” for two seasons and had a regular part in “The Virginian” for four of its nine seasons. In 1971, he also played a part in “The Last Picture Show,” which was directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
In the 1980s, Gulager became known to a new generation of moviegoers through his roles in scary movies. The actor was in the 1984 movie “The Initiation” with Vera Miles. A year later, he was in “The Return of the Living Dead” by Dan O’Bannon and “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” by Jack Sholder.
Quentin Tarantino liked Gulager a lot, and his film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which came out in 2019, was the actor’s last. In Tarantino’s movie, the actor played the owner of a bookstore. In his free time, Gulager went to Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema a lot over the past few years.
Clu’s father, William Martin Gulager, was born on November 16, 1928, in Holdenville, Oklahoma. He used to be an actor and a cowboy entertainer. In the 1940s, Gulager served in the U.S. Marine Corps. After that, he went to Northeastern State University and then Baylor University, where he started acting.
The first time Gulager was on screen was in a 1955 episode of the variety show “Omnibus.” After a few guest spots on TV shows, Billy the Kid on “The Tall Man” was his first major role. Barry Sullivan played Pat Garrett, and Billy the Kid was played by him. Even though the NBC show didn’t last long, Gulager was right back in the saddle a few years later as a regular cast member on “The Virginian.”
Gulager had a big part in Don Siegel’s 1964 movie “The Killers,” which also starred Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes, and Ronald Reagan (in his final film role).
Gulager also made a short film called “A Day With the Boys.” It was nominated for the Palme d’Or for best short film at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.
Later in his career, Gulager worked with his son, John Gulager, who was also a director. They worked together on the horror-comedy film series “Feast” and “Piranha 3DD,” which came out in 2012.
In 1960, Gulager married Miriam Byrd-Nethery, who was also an actress. They stayed married until 2003, when Byrd-Nethery died. John and Tom, his sons, and Diane and Zoe, his sons’ partners, and Clu Mosha, his beloved grandson, are among the people who will miss him. He also had a lot of dedicated fans and amazing students over the years.