Gil Birmingham is an American actor of Comanche ancestry, best known for his portrayal of Billy Black in the The Twilight Saga film series. Birmingham was born in San Antonio, Texas. His family moved frequently during his childhood, due to his father’s career in the military. He learned to play the guitar at an early age and considers music his “first love”. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California, he worked as a petrochemical engineer before becoming an actor. In the early 1980s, a talent scout spotted Birmingham at a local gym, where he had been bodybuilding and entering bodybuilding contests. This led to his first acting experience, in a music video for Diana Ross, for her 1982 hit song “Muscles”. After appearing in Ross’ music video, Birmingham began to pursue acting as his primary career. He studied acting with Larry Moss and Charles Conrad. In 1986, Birmingham made his television debut on an episode of the series Riptide. By 2002, he had a recurring role as the character Oz in the medical drama Body & Soul, starring Peter Strauss. In 2005, he was cast as the older Dogstar in the Steven Spielberg six-part miniseries Into the West. He recently played a Texas ranger a ranger, in Hell or High Water, opposite Jeff Bridges.
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