Hoyt Axton's face is best known to audiences for his on-screen performances in a handful of '70s and '80s films. These include his role as the father of Billy Peltzer in "Gremlins." In the camp horror classic--one of cinema's most famous and amusing examples of "buyer beware"--Axton's character purchases a lovable, furry "Mogwai" for his son, only for it to produce less affable spawns once the child violates some of the unique rules that accompany all Mogwai: don't get them wet, and don't feed them after midnight. Axton also portrayed the father of Alec Ramsey in "The Black Stallion," the uplifting tale of a friendship between a boy and a wild horse. Axton's legacy as an actor, however, is meager compared to his legacy as a singer-songwriter. His signature song, "Joy to the World" (made famous by the band Three Dog Night), has featured prominently in many films, perhaps most powerfully in "The Big Chill," a comedy-drama about old friends reunited by a funeral. The soundtrack--consisting mostly of '60s and '70s hits--played an integral role in establishing the characters and the nostalgic tone of the story.
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