I am shocked and saddened to learn that Tom Laughlin has passed away. Even though he was 82, his death was unexpected. For those of you who do not know who he is, I consider him to be the grandfather of the Independent Film. He is the one who took on Warner Bros. and then distributed his own films which are still among the highest selling films of all time. I am referring to the “Billy Jack” Trilogy. These films inspired an entire generation to look within themselves and to try to make a difference in the world. The release of “Billy Jack” also signaled the birth of a whole new way of marketing film–and it changed the industry whether some recognize this or not. The world of Independent Film owes this man much more than people realize. So it is here I will pay my tribute. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to close with this:
My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends, his wife of 60 years, Delores, and his children and grandchildren.
Here is a copy of the obituary as well:Obituary – Tom Laughlin (1)