Tom Laughlin

  1. Richard Jaeckal, Attack, 1956.      A tough one to miss… Laughlin, John Goddard and Ralph Reed failed auditions to join director Robert Aldrich’s army in one of the most abrasive WWII movies., examining “the terribly corrupting influence that war can have on the most normal, average human beings.” So, zero assistance from the US Army or Defense Department.
  2. John Gavin, Psycho, 1960.     Alfred Hitchcock combed through TV actors to fit his TV style and bypassed the future three time US Presidential candidate in 1992, 2004 and 2008.
  3. Troy Donahue, Parrish, 1961.     Dropping Anthony Perkins  (“too well known”), stage-screen director Joshua  Logan tested Warren Beatty, Michael Callan – and Laughlin,  the 70s’ Billy Jack.   Beatty tells  a story of how  he and Jane Fonda     were goaded into kissing – “until we had practically eaten each other’s head off.”  Laughlin disputed that, claiming his was The Kiss – shared with Suzanne Pleshette.   “I’m a creative actor and I wanted to make an impression, I grab her by the hair and hold her there for a minute. She’s a little startled… And I suck her down on me… And she took over from there and was incredible… Now whether that happened with Warren, too, I can’t say.” 
  4. Dustin Hoffman, Little Big Man, 1969.  A year before acting-writing-directing his Billy Jack films, Tom Laughlin  was beaten to the rights to Thomas Berger’s novel (in both senses)  history of the West by producer-director Arthur Penn. For his 1966 Bonnie and Clyde.  As, now get this, Warren Beatty as Jack Crabb – from age ten to 121… in two hours and 19 minutes! – and Faye Dunaway as his (adoptive) mother! Warren, apparently, had no wish to be seen as 121. Nor did Steve McQueen.  Dustin Hoffman just adored it!


 Birth year: 1931Death year: 2013Other name: Casting Calls:  4