A first cousin of storied humorist Will Rogers, Clu Gulager never equaled his well-known relative's fame but instead made his mark as an obscure Method actor. Gulager debuted on television alongside Paul Newman in "Bang the Drum Slowly," a 1956 episode of "The United States Steel Hour" drama anthology adapted from the novel of the same name. The native Oklahoman's early career was spent playing heavies in crime dramas like "The Untouchables" and "The Lawless Years." And while film work led to parts as Lee Marvin's hitman partner in 1964's "The Killers" and as a mechanic in the 1969 Newman racing film "Winning," it would be weekly Westerns that made Gulager a familiar television face. His sympathetic portrayal of Billy the Kid on the 1960 NBC series "The Tall Man" led to his being a series regular on "Whispering Smith" and eventually playing Emmett Ryker through 103 episodes of 1963's "The Virginian." He took a brief stab at moviemaking as the writer/director/producer of the 1969 short film "A Day With the Boys" (which earned him a Cannes Film Festival award nomination), but Gulager's most notable subsequent movie role was in "The Last Picture Show." Most of his 1970s working was in guest shots on numerous television crime dramas. He enjoyed a brief comeback in the 1985 cult horror film "The Return of the Living Dead" and by the 2000s, Clu Gulager was playing a supporting role in son John Gulager's "Feast" film series.