Tom Laughlin Net Worth

June 23, 2023
2 mins read
WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 21: Actors Delores Taylor (L) and Tom Laughlin attend the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's HD restored "Billy Jack" screening sponsored by People at the Billy Wilder Theater at The Hammer Museum June 21, 2009 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jordin Althaus/WireImage)

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.

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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