Delores Taylor, Star of ‘Billy Jack’ Movies of the 1970s, Dies at 85
Taylor and husband Tom Laughlin starred in five indies featuring a half-Indian/half-white ex-Green Beret
Thom Geier | Then
Delores Taylor, a Golden Globe-nominated actress who starred with her husband Tom Laughlin in five indie movies featuring counterculture hero Billy Jack, died Friday. She was 85.
News of Taylor’s death was posted by her daughter on a “Billy Jack” Facebook fan page.
A native of South Dakota, Taylor met Laughlin in college and married him in 1954. Together, the two developed the character of Billy Jack, a martial arts expert who was half-Navajo, half-white Green Beret Vietnam veteran and defended youthful members of the counterculture from authorities who just didn’t understand.
Laughlin directed and starred in five films featuring the character, beginning with 1967’s “The Born Losers” and helped to revolutionize indie cinema by self-distributing his films. He died in 2013 at age 82.
Taylor, who had only a small role in the original film, assumed a co-starring position in the 1971 sequel, “Billy Jack,” for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as New Star of the Year – Actress.
She reprised her role in the three sequels, 1974’s “The Trial of Billy Jack,” 1977’s “Billy Jack Goes to Washington” and 1986’s “The Return of Billy Jack.”
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