Jack Starrett

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Jack Starrett
Born Claude Ennis Starrett, Jr.
(1936-11-02)November 2, 1936
Refugio, Texas
Died March 27, 1989(1989-03-27) (aged 52)
Sherman Oaks, California
Cause of death Renal failure
Occupation Actor, Director
Years active 1961–1987
Spouse(s) Valerie Starrett (?-his death)

Jack Starrett (November 2, 1936 – March 27, 1989) was an American actor and film director.[1] He is credited as Claude Ennis Starrett, Jr. in some of his films. Starrett is perhaps best known for his role as Gabby Johnson, a parody of George "Gabby" Hayes, in the 1974 classic parody film Blazing Saddles and is also known for his role as the brutal deputy Art Galt in the 1982 action film First Blood. He also played the cruel foreman Swick in The River. Starrett was often typecast as a tough-talking police officer and played essentially the same character in a trio of biker films: The Born Losers (the film that introduced Billy Jack), Hells Angels on Wheels (both from 1967), and Angels from Hell (1968). He acted in another biker film, Hell's Bloody Devils (1970), and directed two more: Run, Angel, Run in 1969 and Nam's Angels (1970) as well as the horror film Race with the Devil (1975), in which he also played a gas station attendant.

Life and career[edit]

Starrett was born Claude Ennis Starrett, Jr.[2] He was raised in Refugio, Texas and worked in the oil fields before coming to Hollywood.[3]

Starrett starred in the 1961 film Like Father Like Son as Coach Jennings, and later reprised the role in The Young Sinner in 1965 and Like Father Like Son in 1987.

Valerie Starrett, Jack's wife at one time, stated that Jack had always wished to direct rather than act. He made an uncredited first attempt at direction when the original director of The Girls from Thunder Strip.[4]

Through his career, Starrett directed feature films and episodes of television programs. In addition, he made guest appearances on TV shows including Hill Street Blues, Hunter, The A-Team, and Knight Rider (in which he made three guest appearances as different characters.) Starrett starred in three short films directed by Tony Schweikle, "Legend of the Durango Kid," "Colorado Rid'n High" and "Nolo Bait."

Starrett died from renal failure in Sherman Oaks, California at the age of 52. At the time of his death he was married to Valerie Starrett. His daughter is Jennifer Starrett, who is also an actress.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Staff report (March 29, 1989). Jack Starrett, 52; Adventure Film Actor, Director. Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ According to the State of Texas. Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/txbirths
  3. ^ (April 1, 1989). Jack Starrett, Actor/Director in films, TV. San Jose Mercury News
  4. ^ Valerie Starrett Interview Sixties Cinema

External links[edit]