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Tom Laughlin Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
Thomas Robert Laughlin was born on 10 August 1931, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA, and was a director, actor, author, and screenwriter, best known for his “Billy Jack” film series. He also founded a Montessori preschool in California that became the largest school of its kind in the United States. All of his efforts helped put his net worth to where it was prior to his passing in 2013.
How rich was Tom Laughlin? As of mid-2016, sources estimate a net worth that is at $5 million, mostly earned through a successful career in the film industry. Aside from acting, he also sought a political career, wrote several books, and did counseling work, all of which ensured the position of his wealth.
Tom Laughlin Net Worth $5 million
Laughlin attended Washington High School, and after matriculating, he went to the University of Wisconsin and played football there. He then transferred to Marquette University, and was inspired to pursue a career in acting when participating in a production of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons”. He then transferred to the University of South Dakota where he studied producing and directing.
In 1954, Tom wrote the original screenplay for “Billy Jack” – protesting against the treatment of American Indians – and a year later started his acting career in the television series “Climax!”, which would lead to more acting opportunities including “Lafayette Escadrille”, “South Pacific” and “Tea and Sympathy”. After appearing in several television series, he was cast in the series “Riverboat” as a young Tom Fowler. In 1959, he appeared in the film “Gidget”, and then got his first lead role, in the film “The Delinquents” playing Scotty White; the film would go on to become a big hit despite its low budget, but later that year Laughlin would start to pursue directorial work. His net worth was well set.
The first film Loughlin directed was entitled “The Proper Time”, and he then worked on “The Young Sinner”, about a high school athlete who gets into trouble after being caught with his girlfriend in bed. In 1961, after doing several projects, Tom decided to take a break from Hollywood to focus on his Montessori pre-school project.
Eventually, the school went bankrupt in 1965, and Tom went back to focusing on directorial work. He created the film “The Born Losers” which was the first time the character Billy Jack was introduced. It then led to a sequel called “Billy Jack” which was released in 1971. He created the film with his own money but he also had the support of several studios which agreed to distribute it. He had trouble with these studios who took liberties in editing some of his content, so he then sued them and re-released the film, and it then found success, becoming very popular among the youth, and is still considered the highest grossing independent film of all time. It was also one of the first films to introduce martial arts to American audiences. Tom’s net worth was rising steadily.
In 1974, Tom released “The Trial of Billy Jack” which would also become a big success. It also marked the first time that a film was simultaneously released all over the country, making it the first blockbuster. The following year, Tom released “The Master Gunfighter” which was successful at the box office but had mixed reviews. Two years later, he would return to Billy Jack and create “Billy Jack Goes to Washington”, which was poorly received apparently because of distribution problems.
Later in his career, Tom focused more on doing small roles in films as he had a problem with his finances. He also started working on a fifth “Billy Jack” film, but never got to finish it.
For his personal life, it is known that Laughlin married Delores Taylor in 1954 and they were together until his passing, having three children. In 2001, he was diagnosed with cancer that was inoperable and it caused him to stop working on the “Billy Jack” franchise; he died from this and pneumonia complications in late-2013.