The name – Clu Gulager – is a widely used and respected name in the entertainment industry; this is because the Hollywood icon not only graced the silver screen in the 1960s and 1970s but has remained active to this day. The former U.S. Marine got the acting bug during his active service when he performed in army plays; when he left the Navy service he used the GI Bill of Rights to study acting. He began his acting career with an appearance as Billy the Kid in The Tall Man, an NBC series that was broadcast on the station between 1960 and 1962.
He made his major film debut in 1964 in the leading role of professional killer Lee in Don Siegel’s The Killers. This was followed by a supporting role in the 1969 racing film Winning. In his more than five decades in the film industry, Clu Gulager has starred in over a hundred feature films and television series, earning him a number of awards, including the 1966 Bronze Wrangler Award for Best Fictional Television Drama Ensemble Cast.
Sit back while we give you five good reasons to learn about this living Hollywood icon.
5 Good Reasons You Need To Know Who Clu Gulager Is
1. His Interesting Childhood And Early Life
Clu Gulager, as he is popularly known today, was born William Martin Gulager on November 16, 1928, in Holdenville, Oklahoma. His father, John Delancy Gulager, was an actor who gave up his acting profession in favor of the legal system. He is descended from the Cherokee Indians and was given the name Clu by his father, who nicknamed him Clu because nesting Clu-Clu birds lived in his home at the time of Gulager’s birth.
He served two years (1946-1948) in the U.S. Marines, where he got his acting bug in army plays. After leaving the Marines, he briefly attended Northeastern State University Tahlequah, Oklahoma, before being transferred to the Baptist-affiliated university, Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In 1951 he received a one-year scholarship to study abroad, and during his studies abroad he worked under an internationally known French actor and director, Jean Louis Barrault.
Gulager is a first-degree cousin of the former US-American stage and film actor Will Rogers. Clu Gulager’s paternal grandmother, Martha Schrimsher, and Roger’s mother, Mary Scrimshaw, were sisters.
2. His Sensational Acting Career
He began his acting career in the late 1950s and starred in a number of television series. His first was in an episode of the western television series Have Gun-Will Travel in 1958, entitled “The Return of Roy Carter” as Roy Carter. The following year he played Tommy Pavlock in an episode of the NBC series The Lawless Years. In June of the same year (1959) he played Elliott Garrison, the ruthless photographer in The Andrew Hale Story in the NBC series The Wagon Train.
Between 1960-62 Clu Gulager played Billy the Kid in The Tall Man alongside Barry Sullivan. He also played Emmett Ryker in “The Virginian,” another NBC Western series, which aired on the station between 1962 and 1971. As mentioned above, he made his big movie debut in 1964, starring a professional killer named Lee in The Killers.
He has starred in several other films, including The Last Picture Show, The Initiation (1984), The Return of the Living Dead, and others. In 2005, he played the role of the bartender in the horror movie Feast and its sequels. In 2015 he also appeared as Cherokee in the critically acclaimed independent film Tangerine. His most recent films include Blue Jay (2016), Children of the Corn: Runaway, Give Til It Hurts (2018), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).
3. He Is Also A Director
Not many people know the renowned actor as a director, but he has also tried his hand at directing. In 1969 he directed a short film A Day with the Boys, which was nominated for the prestigious Golden Palm for Best Short Film at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.
4. Clu Gulager’s Impressive Net Worth
The net assets of Clu Gulager are currently estimated at $10 million; this is the sum of his income from his many years as an actor and also as a director.
5. Wife And Children
After returning from his one-year study abroad, Clu Gulager married the actress Miriam Byrd Nethery, and the two remained married until Miriam died in 2003 after a long fight with cancer.
They had two sons together – Tom and John Gulager, who are also actors. John Gulager is also a well-known cameraman and director.