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Gil Birmingham was an American actor who was best known for portraying Billy Black in the "Twilight" movies. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Birmingham was raised in a buttoned-up military family that enforced rules and discipline. He discovered the guitar when he was a young boy, and quickly learned how to play. For Birmingham, music was a much-needed escape from the rigors of daily life, and he dreamed of making a living from it one day. When it came time to enroll in college, however, Birmingham chose the University of Southern California, where he studied petrochemical engineering. He eventually earned his Bachelor's of science from the school, thus permanently putting his music dreams on hold to take on a more stable career as an engineer. It was also around this time that Birmingham became a workout enthusiast. He would spend long hours at a local gym in Los Angeles, and started entering bodybuilding competitions. It was during one of these workout sessions that Birmingham was discovered by a talent scout who suggested he pursue an acting career. Birmingham took the man's advice and started auditioning for film and TV roles. Soon enough, Birmingham began landing guest spots on shows like "Falcon Crest" (CBS, 1981-1990) and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (CBS, 1993-98), thus realizing that acting was his passion. Birmingham continued appearing in bit parts on TV throughout the '80s and '90s, before landing his first substantial movie role in the 2001 drama "The Doe Boy." His role in that film put Birmingham in the spotlight for the first time in his acting career, and before long he was landing parts in films like "The Lone Ranger" (2003) and "Cosmic Radio" (2007). Then in 2008 Birmingham landed his big break when he was cast as Billy Black in "Twilight" (2008). The film was a global hit, spawning four sequels, all of which Birmingham reprised his role in. Birmingham appeared in his final "Twilight" film in 2012, but continued nabbing high-profile film and TV roles, most notably "House of Cards" (Netflix, 2013- ), "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix, 2015- ), and the 2016 western "Hell or High Water."
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