Clu Gulager, a veteran actor known for his starring roles in ’60s Westerns such as The Tall Man and The Virginian, has died of natural causes. He was 93.
The news was confirmed by the actor’s son on Facebook, in addition to a statement released by his daughter-in-law Diane Goldner. She said the actor was “surrounded by his loving family” at the time of his death.
“Clu was as caring as he was loyal and devoted to his craft, a proud member of the Cherokee nation, a rule-breaker, sharp and astute and on the side—always—of the oppressed,” she wrote. “He was good-humored, an avid reader, tender and kind. Loud and dangerous… He was shocked that he lived, for even a day after Miriam Byrd-Nethery, the love of his life, died 18 years ago… His family will miss him terribly.”
Director Sean Baker also posted about the actor’s passing. “RIP Clu Gulager,” he tweeted. “I had the honor to work with the legend in Tangerine and a fashion shoot for V Magazine in 2016. He was incredibly talented, hilarious, gentle and kind. And he adored cinema. We will miss you Clu.”
Gulager’s career spanned seven decades, beginning with guest-appearances on ’50s shows like Wagon Trail and The Untouchables. Throughout the following decade, he became a staple for the TV Western genre, starring in NBC’s The Tall Man as Billy the Kid for two seasons, and The Virginian for four seasons.
His other TV credits include Murder, She Wrote, MacGyver, The Fall Guy, Barnaby Jones and CHiPs.
He experienced a career resurgence in the 1980s, appearing in multiple horror movies including The Initiation in 1984, and The Return of the Living Dead and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, both in 1985. His final credit was Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.