Tom Laughlin not only dropped 54 pounds (by his own account) to star in "The Return of Billy Jack"--but he lost nine years as well.
A press release from the stalled Toronto production describes Laughlin as "the 46-year-old actor-writer-director." Laughlin was claiming 46 back in the summer of 1977--turning 47 on Aug. 10 of that year. A 1977 Film Comment article had Laughlin's son Frank then as 22--meaning a 46-year-old Laughlin today would have been a father at 15 ( after his college grid-iron heroics and other legendary Laughlin exploits).
Donald Martin, until recently Laughlin's unit publicist, told Outtakes that the current 46 figure came "straight from the horse's mouth. That was the age he gave us."