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Clu Gulager, Horror Character Actor and Return of the Living Dead Star, Dead at 93

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Key Goulagethe actor who played Burt in Return of the Living Dead and Mr. Walsh in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddys Revenge among hundreds of other credits, has died aged 93.

Gulager was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma in 1928. His legal name was William Martin Gulager, but he was given the nickname Cherokee Clu at a young age because his middle name is Martin and purple martins are often called clu-clu birds. Gulager made his screen debut in an episode of Omnibus in 1955 and quickly found success as a Western television star.

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He played the famous role of Billy the Kid on the NBC series The Tall Man for its entire two seasons, then joined The Virginian in Season 3 as Deputy Sheriff Emmett Ryker, eventually appearing in 104 episodes. He has also starred in many other western series including hits like Wagon Train and Bonanza. He also notably collaborated with Don Siegel in 1964’s The Killers and appeared in Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show in 1971.

Despite this early success, another two decades passed before Gulager achieved what many consider his most memorable work. He played the lead role in Dan OBannons Return of the Living Dead, and his role in the cult classic has seen him work frequently as a character actor in horror films.

Although he was always best known for his work in the 1980s, Gulager continued to work as a performer until his later years. He appeared in most of the films directed by his son, John Gulager, starting with Feast in 2005. This collaboration led to him appearing in Piranha 3DD in 2012 as well as two sequels to Feast and Children of the Corn: Runaway .

His last role came in 2019, when he appeared in Quentin Tarantinos Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as the owner of a bookstore that Margot Robbies Sharon Tate visits. He also collaborated with Sean Baker, notably playing The Cherokee in Tangerine. Baker took to Twitter on Saturday to express his condolences over Gulagers’ death.

Clu Gulager is survived by his two sons, John and Tom Gulager.

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