FROM REAL-LIFE CHILD EVANGELIST TO ON-SCREEN PSYCHO HIPPY
Born in sunny Long Beach, California, Marjoe Gortner found early fame as a child evangelist, ordained at the age of four and travelling the revival circuit across America, where his Pentecostal preachings helped bring him to national recognition as something of an infant freakshow. After a period of inactivity throughout his teenage years, Gortner returned to the pulpit in his mid-twenties, using his name and past fame to expose the fraudulent side of preaching, via the Oscar-winning 1972 documentary Marjoe.
Gortner used the publicity and notoriety generated by Marjoe as his springboard to Hollywood, launching a new career as an actor, which saw his charismatic good looks put to work in a string of cult exploitation, disaster, sci-fi, horror and drive-in action films, including Earthquake (1974), Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976), Food of the Gods (1976) and the galvanising psychological thriller When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder (1979), where he excelled in the role of Teddy, an angry Vietnam vet out to show the inhabitants of a small New Mexico diner that not all perceived hippies chose to live by a credo of peace and love.
Filed with rare photos, stunning movie poster art and interviews with those who worked alongside him, Wildcat The Films of Marjoe Gortner takes the reader on a journey through the celluloid career of a man whose childhood was often as strange and outrageous as the films and television shows he appeared in.