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 big screen in the 1960s and 1970s, but has remained active to this day. The former US Marine got the acting bug while appearing in army plays while on active duty. Upon leaving naval service, he used the GI Bill of Rights to study acting. He began his acting career as Billy the Kid in The Big Man, an ABC series that aired on the web between 1960 and 1962.
He made his biggest film debut with Lee, a professional hitman, on Don Siegel ‘s The Killers in 1964. A supporting role in the 1969 racing film Winning followed. 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 multiple awards including the 1966 Bronze Wrangler Award for Best Cast in a Fictional Television Drama.
Sit back as we give you five great reasons to hear about this living Hollywood icon.
5 good reasons why 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 in Holdenville, Oklahoma on November 16, 1928 as William Martin Gulager. His father, John Delancy Gulager, was an actor who left acting for the law. He is of Cherokee Native American descent and was given the name Clu by his father, who gave him the nickname Clu-Clu Birds that were nesting in their home at the time of Gulager’s birth.
He served in the US Marines for two years (1946-1948) where he performed his acting bug in army games. After leaving the Marines, he attended Northeastern State University in 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. While studying abroad, he worked under the internationally renowned French actor and director Jean Louis Barrault.
Gulager is a first cousin of former American stage and screen actor Will Rogers. Clu Gulager’s paternal grandmother, Martha Schrimsher, and Roger’s mother, Mary Scrimshaw, were sisters.
2. His sensational acting career
He started his acting career in the late 1950s, starring in a number of television series. His first was as Roy Carter in a 1958 episode of the western television series Let Gun-Will Travel titled “The Return of Roy Carter”. The following year he played Tommy Pavlock on an episode of NBC’s series The Lawless Years. In June of the same year (1959) he played Elliott Garrison, the ruthless photographer in “The Andrew Hale Story” on NBC ‘s Wagon Train
Between 1960 and 62, Clu Gulager played Billy the Kid in The Tall Man opposite Barry Sullivan. He also played Emmett Ryker in The Maiden. As mentioned earlier, he made his biggest film debut as a professional hitman named Lee in The Murderers in 1964.
He has acted in several other films including The Last Picture Show, The Initiation (1984), Return of the Living Dead, among others. In 2005, he appeared as a bartender in the horror film Fest, as well as its sequels. He also appeared as the Cherokee in 2015’s critically acclaimed independent film Mandarine. His most recent films include Blue Jay (2016), Children of the Corn: Runaways, Give Until It Hurts (2018) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).
3. He is also a director
Not many know the well-known actor as a director, but he has also tried directing. In 1969 he directed a short film A Day with the Boys , which was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
4. Clu Gulager’s Impressive Net Worth (Income and Earnings)
Clu Gulager’s net worth is currently estimated at $10 million. This is a sum of his earnings from his many years of work as an actor and also as a director.
5. Wife and children
After returning from a year studying abroad, Clu Gulager married actress Miriam Byrd Nethery and they remained married until Miriam passed away in 2003 after a long battle with cancer.
They had two sons together – Tom and John Gulager, who are also actors. John is also a well-known cinematographer and director.