Tom Laughlin, the actor who wrote and starred in the "Billy Jack" films of the 1970s, died Thursday, his family confirmed Sunday. He was 82.
Laughlin's Billy Jack character was a heroic Native American ex-Army Green Beret who used his karate skills to fight racism and oppression.
The second of the series -- titled "Billy Jack" -- was a low-budget independent film that became a box-office blockbuster in 1971. Laughlin's vigilante character defends a counterculture "Freedom School" from townspeople who harass and discriminate against the Native American students.
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