Baby Boomer Memory Lane: Whatever Happened To Billy Jack?
1971 was the year of 'Billy Jack'. Actually a sequel to the 1967 film 'Born Losers', 'Billy Jack' became the biggest independent film hit in history.
Although not all film critics liked the film, it was a huge hit, especially with younger people. The story of 'David vs. Goliath', or the loner against the corrupt establishment had been told many times before, but this was aimed at young adults, and featured martial arts and didn't shy away from violence.
Tom Laughlin was a star. Tom Laughlin was Billy Jack.
Perhaps the most famous scene from the hit movie takes place in an Ice Cream Shop.
Looking at the movie now, more than 40 years later, it may look a little cheesy...a little dated....a little too 'black and white' in its portrayal of the good guy against the bad town.
But it was a major hit.
So whatever happened to Billy Jack?
Well, actor Tom Laughlin was deeply involved in politics and in fact made independent runs for President in his later years. He was also involved in writing, psychology, and counseling. In the early 2000s, there was talk of a new 'Billy Jack' movie and in fact, apparently, some scenes had been recorded, but no movie was ever released to the public.
Married to actress/writer/producer Delores Taylor since 1954 (by the way, Delores was born in Winner, S.D.), Tom passed away Dec. 12, 2013 at the age of 82 in California. Delores passed away in March of 2018.
'Billy Jack' also gave us a hit song, 'One Tin Soldier', pop music hit by the group Coven.
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