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Clu Gulager (born November 16, 1928) is an American television and film actor. He is particularly noted for appearing in the 1985 horror movie as the protagonist Burt in The Return of the Living Dead, The Hidden, The Offspring (aka From a Whisper to a Scream) and as Bartender in Feast.

Early life

Gulager was born William Martin Gulager in Holdenvillemarker, Oklahomamarker, the son of John Gulager, a cowboy entertainer. His first cousin was Will Rogers (through his paternal grandmother). Gulager served in the United States Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948. He has Cherokee Native American ancestry. His nickname was given to him by his father for the clu-clu birds that were nesting at the Gulager home at the time Clu was born.

Acting career

In the spring of 1959, Gulager appeared as Tommy Pavlock in the episode "The Immigrant" of NBC's The Lawless Years, a 1920s crime drama. In the fall of 1959, he appeared in the episode "The Temple of the Swinging Doll" of NBC's short-lived espionage drama, Five Fingers, starring David Hedison.

He then played Billy the Kid in the 1960-1962 NBC series The Tall Man opposite Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett. In 1961, he guest starred on the NBC western Whispering Smith, Audie Murphy's only attempt at series television. Gulager portrayed "Emmett Ryker" from 1964 to 1968 on another NBC series The Virginian starring with James Drury, Doug McClure, Lee J. Cobb, Roberta Shore, Randy Boone, and Gary Clarke. He appeared more than sixty times in other roles in film and television.

He starred with Lee Marvin, Ronald Reagan and Angie Dickinson in the 1964 version of The Killers.

Gulager is the father of film director John Gulager (contest winner in third season of Project Greenlight), and is the widower of the actress Miriam Byrd-Nethery who died in 2003.

He appeared notably in The Last Picture Show along with Cybil Shepherd and Ellen Burstyn. In 1977, long after his role on The Virginian, he appeared in Rod Taylor's unsuccessful NBC western series, The Oregon Trail, in the episode "The Army Deserter".

He appeared in his son John Gulager's film Feast as a shotgun-toting bartender.

He was also a featured player in director John Landis' darkly comedic 1985 film noir satire, Into The Night, a film rife with insider Hollywood cameos, as an FBI agent, courier of a cache of clandestine funds, which he grudgingly delivers to secure the safety of the film's two romantic leads, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Goldblum. In an example of the film's dry humor, the glamorous leading lady and her tall, dark and nearly handsome hero find they are not in a position to object as the agent/courier (Gulager) angrily pilfers as many packets of bills from the treasure trove as he can resentfully stuff into his pockets in plain sight of them, before leaving the bewildered pair in a huff.


  1. Clu Gulager Biography (1928-)
  2. Clu Gulager
  4. IMDB profile

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