Clu Gulager, a well-known American actor, died on Friday, August 5, at the age of 93. The actor, who was born William Martin Gulager on November 16, 1928, in Holdenville, Oklahoma, and is best remembered for his appearances in The Virginian and The Return of the Living Dead, died of natural causes. Gulager’s daughter-in-law confirmed the news on Facebook, noting that the 93-year-old actor died “surrounded by his beloved family.” She added in the same statement:
“Clu was as kind as he was dedicated and committed to his trade, a proud Cherokee member, a rule-breaker, bright and intelligent, and always on the side of the downtrodden.” He was light-hearted, a voracious reader, compassionate, and friendly. Loud and perilous… He was surprised that he was still alive 18 years after his girlfriend, Miriam Byrd-Nethery died.”
Clu Gulager’s illustrious legacy
Clu Gulager has been an actor for almost 70 years. In the 1950s, he started his career with minor roles in television soap operas and programs. Later, the actor appeared in two seasons of The Tall Man and four seasons of The Virginian, all of which helped him gain widespread fame. His performance in The Last Picture Show in 1971 was likewise a tremendous success. However, the actor received accolades for his many parts in horror films during the 1980s. In the blockbuster 1984 film The Initiation, he co-starred with Vera Miles. He appeared in notable films such as The Return of the Living Dead and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge in 1985.
While achieving enormous success as an actor, Clu Gulager also directed his own short film, A Day With the Boys, which was nominated for the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. During his 70-year career, the acclaimed actor also acted in films directed by his own son, John Gulager, such as Feast and Piranha 3DD. His collaboration with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is particularly noteworthy. Gulager told out about his involvement in Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, revealing how the director especially wanted him in the film. Surprisingly, it was the actor’s final film appearance.
In an interview with Tulsa World, the actor stated:
“They handed me a screenplay and asked if I wanted to do it, and I said sure, why not?” I don’t do much acting anymore, but [Quentin Tarantino] wanted me to be in it. That was lovely. He’s an old acquaintance of mine.”
Clu Gulager has been a frequent visitor to Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in previous years.
Clu Gulager is remembered among internet users.
Social media users offered their sincere respects to the late actor while discussing his brilliant career. While one person described him as “very excellent,” another praised his outstanding conversation delivery talents. Clu Gulager is survived by his children, John and Tom Gulager, as well as his daughters-in-law, Diane Goldner and Zoe Gulager, and his grandson, Clu Mosha. Miriam Byrd-Nethery, his wife, died in 2003.
Clu Gulager as Burt in The Return of the Living Dead (1985) 🖤 pic.twitter.com/mMSCggy2wV
— ✨️♌️AnnetheHat🦁🎩 (@thecheshirepath) August 6, 2022
Such sad news about Clu Gulager passing. I spent time with him back in my old LA days, when he would frequent these gatherings I went to. He was lovely and always super supportive of my writing, even when no one else was.
Seeing him in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was a gas. 💔 pic.twitter.com/4dRylJUhJM
— Amanda Reyes (@madefortvmayhem) August 6, 2022