Home ArtsMovies Clu Gulager, Rugged Character Actor of Film and TV, Dies at 93

Clu Gulager, Rugged Character Actor of Film and TV, Dies at 93

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A rugged character actor who has starred in critically acclaimed films like The Last Picture Show, low-budget horror flicks, and impressively played a gunslinger in two Western TV shows, Crue Gallagher is a Los Angeles son John died Friday at his home. He was 93 years old.

John Gallagher has been confirmed dead. He said his father’s health had deteriorated since he injured his back several years ago.

Mr. Gallagher’s rough good looks and Southwestern upbringing made him a natural fit for the Western population that proliferated on television in the 1950s and ’60s. He was regularly seen in shows like ‘Wagon Train’, ‘Bonanza’ and ‘Traveling with a Gun’.

An appearance as hitman Mad Dog Koll in 1959’s The Untouchables persuaded the writer-producer. Sam Peoples cast Mr Gallagher As legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, he was plotted about Billy’s friendship with Sheriff Pat Garrett in the television series The Tall Man. of the show opening creditsGarrett’s long shadow stretches out in front of him.)

Peoples said in a TV Guide profile of Mr. Gallagher shortly after the show first aired in 1960, “He is exactly what we were looking for, an unusually talented actor. “

The friendship between a law enforcement officer (played by Barry Sullivan) and a gun-toting thief was fictionalized and greatly exaggerated in the show’s 75 episodes. Many historians believe that Sheriff Garrett actually shot Billy in 1881. Their fatal encounter did not occur in the show, which ended abruptly in 1962.

Gallagher played a more legitimate figure in The Virginian, the first of three 90-minute western series in the 1960s starring James Drury and Doug McClure . The show’s Mr. Gallagher character, Emmett Riker, was introduced in the show’s third season when a rich man tried to hire him to murder a rancher. After clearing his name, Ryker turned his inclinations toward violence to the service of the law.

credit…NBC via Photofest

In Mr. Gallagher’s first scene, Riker was typically unable to flap his wings. When he walked into the saloon, he immediately angered the man playing cards. Riker pointed a gun at the card player before standing up, ending the conflict.

After a while, the Deputy Sheriff asked Riker where he learned to draw like that.

“In the cradle,” he replied.

Mr. Gallagher’s acting career, which has lasted well into the 21st century, has never been relegated to the forefront. He has appeared in non-Western TV shows such as ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’, ‘Knight Rider’ and ‘Murder She Wrote’ as well as several notable films.

He and Lee Marvin played hitmen in The Killers, a 1964 film noir directed by Don Siegel, based on short stories by Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes, and what became his final film, Ernest Hemingway. played. Ronald Reagan.

In 1969, he played a mechanic in the auto racing movie Winning, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. He played an elderly man having an affair with his lover’s beautiful daughter in “The Last Picture Show,” which celebrated Peter Bogdanovic’s 1971 study of a declining Texas town. rice field.

He also wrote the Keenen Ivory Wayans blaxploitation parody “I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka” (1988) and the horror films “The Return of the Living Dead” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2”. (both 1985).

His film work continued into his later years, with roles in the independent productions ‘Tangerine’ (2015) and ‘Blue Jay’ (2016). His last screen appearance was as a bookstore clerk in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019).

Gallagher left the cast of “The Virginian” in 1968 to focus on directing and teaching. (The show remained on the air until his 1971, becoming his third-longest-running western in television history, behind “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza.”) His directorial career , was canceled after the 1969 short film A Day With the Boys. However, he became a popular teacher and ran a workshop focused on acting and directing horror films.

“I tell the young students in my class that what we do is as important as the work of a man who grows wheat, a doctor who saves lives, or a builder who builds houses,” he starred. in the 1978 TV movie Stickin’ Together.

William Martin Glager was born on November 16, 1928 in Holdenville, Oklahoma. The name Clu comes from the Cherokee word “clu-clu” that nested in the Gulager home, known in English as martins.

His father, John Delancy Glager, was an actor and vaudevillian who became a county judge in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and taught him acting from an early age, well before graduating from Muskogee Central High School. His mother, Hazel Opal (Griffin) Glager, worked at her local VA hospital for 35 years.

Gallagher served in the Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948 before studying drama at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He continued his education in Paris, where he studied with actor Jean-Louis Barrault and pantomime Etienne Decroux.

He married Miriam Bard-Netherly, and they performed in Summer Stock and college theater. He continued acting in New York until 1958, when Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher and his young son John moved to Hollywood.

Mr. Gallagher’s wife died in 2003. Besides his son John, another son Tom and a grandson survive.

John Gallagher is a director of horror films, most notably the brutal Feast (2005) starring Henry Rollins and Balthazar Getty. That film and its two ironic sequels featured an older Mr. Gallagher as a bartender with a shotgun fighting a fanged monster in a Midwest tavern. The second “Feast” movie was even more familial.

“As you know, there are three generations of Gallagher in this movie,” John Gallagher said in an interview with the blog Horror-movies.ca. One of them, named after Crewe, was the young grandson of Crewe Gruger.

“He was 11 months old when we filmed,” added John Gallagher. “My dad said, ‘You have to start your Baby Crew career now.'”

Christine Chung contributed to the report.

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