Richard Thomas (actor)

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Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas 2015.jpg
Thomas at the Peabody Awards , May 2015
Richard Earl Thomas

(1951-06-13) June 13, 1951 (age 70)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Education Columbia University (BA)
Years active1958–present
Alma Gonzales
(m. 1975;div. 1993)

Georgiana Bischoff
(m. 1994)
Parent(s) Richard S. Thomas
Barbara Fallis

Richard Earl Thomas (born June 13, 1951) is an American actor. He is best known for his leading role as budding author John-Boy Walton in the CBS drama The Waltons , for which he won an Emmy Award, received a nomination for another [1] and two Golden Globe Awards. [2] He also starred in the miniseries adaption of Stephen King's It and played Special Agent Frank Gaad on FX's spy thriller series The Americans .


Early life and education

Thomas was born in Manhattan, the son of Barbara Fallis and Richard S. Thomas, in 1951.[ citation needed ] His parents were dancers with the New York City Ballet and owned the New York School of Ballet. [3]

Thomas has a nevus on his left cheek. He has stated that this led to his being turned down for a role in a television commercial in his youth. [4]

He was a student at Columbia College, the undergraduate college of Columbia University, where he majored in Chinese before switching to the English department. [5] After he landed the role in The Waltons, he left Columbia during his junior year because he had to commit to the role full-time in Los Angeles. [6] [7]

Acting career

Thomas at age 10 in 1, 2, 3, Go Richard Thomas 1 2 3 Go 1961.JPG
Thomas at age 10 in 1, 2, 3, Go

In 1958, at age seven, Thomas made his Broadway debut in Sunrise at Campobello. [3] In 1959, he appeared in the Hallmark Hall of Fame NBC television presentation of Ibsen's A Doll's House with Julie Harris, Christopher Plummer, and Hume Cronyn. [8] He then began acting in daytime TV. In 1970, he was in a leading role in NBC's Bonanza in an episode called "The Weary Willies". He then appeared in soap operas such as The Edge of Night (as Ben Schultz, 1961), A Flame in the Wind , and As the World Turns (as Tom Hughes, 1966–67), which were broadcast from his native Manhattan.

Thomas received his first major film roles, appearing in Winning (1969) with Paul Newman, about auto racing, [9] and Last Summer (also 1969) with Bruce Davison and Barbara Hershey, a summer coming-of-age movie. [10] He starred in the Universal Pictures/Hal Wallis Production Red Sky at Morning (1971). [11] Thomas played the lead role of 1971's Cactus in the Snow, an independent film which is hard, if not impossible, to find or buy via VHS, DVD or any other format. It is considered a lost film.[ citation needed ]

Thomas on the set of The Waltons, 1973 Richard Thomas John-Boy Walton 1973.JPG
Thomas on the set of The Waltons , 1973

Thomas became internationally recognized for his portrayal of John "John-Boy" Walton, Jr., in the 1970s TV series The Waltons, which was based on the life story of writer Earl Hamner, Jr. He appeared in the CBS television film The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971), [12] which inspired the commissioning of the otherwise largely recast series, and then played the role continuously in 122 episodes until March 17, 1977. Thomas left the series and his role was taken over by Robert Wightman, but Thomas returned to the role in three Waltons TV movies, 1993–97. (The first was A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion in 1993. [13] ) Thomas won an Emmy for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1973. [14]

Thomas played against type as murderer and rapist Kenneth Kinsolving in You'll Like My Mother (1972), opposite Patty Duke. [15] He played the lead roles of Private Henry Fleming in the NBC TV movie The Red Badge of Courage (1974), [16] and Paul Baumer in the 1979 Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie on CBS All Quiet on the Western Front (1979). [17]

In other TV films, he played Col. Warner's younger son Jim in Roots: The Next Generations (1979, the sequel to Roots ); [18] the title role in the biopic Living Proof: The Hank Williams Jr. Story (1983); [19] Will Mossup in the Hobson's Choice (CBS, 1983); [20] Henry Durie in The Master of Ballantrae" for Hallmark Hall of Fame; [21] Martin Campbell in Final Jeopardy"; [22] and the adult Bill Denbrough in Stephen King's It (1990). [23]

In 1980, Thomas made his first Broadway appearance in more than 12 years when he was a replacement in Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July . [24] In 1980, he appeared as Shad, the young farmer entrusted to employ mercenaries to save his planet from Sador and his invading forces, in Battle Beyond the Stars . [25]

In 1987, he appeared on stage in Philadelphia and Washington, DC, in the one-man tour-de-forceCitizen Tom Paine , playing Paine "like a star-spangled tiger, ferocious about freedom and ready to savage anyone who stands in his way," in a staging of Howard Fast's play in the bicentennial year of the United States Constitution. [26] In 1990, he joined Nathan Lane at the Mark Taper Forum [27] in Los Angeles for Terrence McNally's The Lisbon Traviata in the role of Stephan. In 1993, he played the title role in a Shakespeare Theater (Washington, DC) stage production of Richard II . [28]

Thomas starred with Maureen O'Hara and Annette O'Toole in the Hallmark Channel movie The Christmas Box in 1995. O'Toole and Thomas had starred in It together five years earlier. [29]

Thomas appeared in a quartet of performances at the Hartford Stage in Connecticut: Hamlet (1987), [30] Peer Gynt (1989), Richard III (1994), and Tiny Alice (1996). In 1997 and 1998, he played Joe Greene in two episodes of Touched by an Angel .[ citation needed ]

In 2001, he appeared in London's West End in a theater production of Yasmina Reza's Art with Judd Hirsch; [31] on the New York stage in The Public Theater's production in Central Park of As You Like It (2005); [32] Michael Frayn's Democracy on Broadway (2004) [33] and the Primary Stages' off-Broadway production of Terrence McNally's The Stendhal Syndrome (2004). [34]

He hosted the PAX TV series It's a Miracle . [35] He starred in the series Just Cause in 2003 for the PAX TV network.[ citation needed ]

Thomas with singer Stacey Robinson in 2014 Richard Thomas (left) with opera star Stacey Robinson in 2014.jpg
Thomas with singer Stacey Robinson in 2014

In 2006, Thomas began an American theater tour of Reginald Rose's play Twelve Angry Men , along with George Wendt at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, playing the pivotal role of Juror Eight opposite Wendt's Juror One. [36]

In 2009–2010, Thomas was featured on Broadway in Race , a play by David Mamet. The production was directed by Mamet and included James Spader, David Alan Grier, and Kerry Washington. [37] In February and March 2011, he starred at the Off-Broadway New York Public Theater in Timon of Athens . [38]

Thomas had a supporting role in the FX Network Cold War drama The Americans , which debuted in January 2013. [39] He played Frank Gaad, an FBI counterintelligence investigator. [3]

Thomas appeared in the 2017 Broadway revival of The Little Foxes , and was nominated for a 2017 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. [40]

In December 2018, Thomas portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in Pittsburgh CLO's production of A Musical Christmas Carol. [41]

In February 2021, Thomas portrayed Bodie Lord in the Amazon series Tell Me Your Secrets , appearing in episode 5.

Personal life

Thomas married Alma Gonzales in 1975. [42] In 1976, they had a son, Richard Francisco. Triplet daughters—Pilar, Barbara, and Gwyneth—were born in 1981. [43] Thomas and Gonzales divorced in 1993. [44]

Thomas married Santa Fe art dealer Georgiana Bischoff on November 20, 1994, [43] [45] and their son, Montana, was born in 1996. Bischoff has two daughters, Brooke and Kendra, from previous marriages. [43] Thomas and Georgiana currently reside in Manhattan, New York. Two of their children, Montana and Kendra, also reside in New York City. [46]



Sources: TCM; [47] AllMovie [48]

1969 Winning Charley
Last Summer Peter
1971 Red Sky at Morning Joshua Arnold
The Todd Killings Billy Roy
Cactus in the SnowHarley MacIntoshLost film; aka You Can't Have Everything or Soldier story'
1972 You'll Like My Mother Kenny
1974Sisters of the Space AgeNarratorShort film
1977 September 30, 1955 Jimmy J.
1980 Battle Beyond the Stars Shad
1989 Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder Charles IngallsVideo
2000The Million Dollar KidTed Hunter
Wonder Boys Walter Gaskell
Bloodhounds Inc. Robert HunterVideo
2009 Taking Woodstock Reverend Don Darren Pettie
2015 Anesthesia Mr. Werth
2021 The Unforgivable Post-production

Television films

Sources: TCM; [47] AllMovie; [48] TV Guide [49]

1959 A Doll's House Ivor
1971 The Homecoming: A Christmas Story John-Boy Walton
1973The Thanksgiving StoryN/A
1974The Red Badge of CouragePvt. Henry Fleming
1975 The Silence Cadet James Pelosi
1978 Getting Married Michael Carboni
1979No Other LoveAndrew Madison
All Quiet on the Western Front Paul Baumer
1980To Find My SonDavid Benjamin
1981Berlin Tunnel 21Lieutenant Sandy Mueller
Barefoot in the Park Paul Bratter
1982 Pavarotti & Friends Himself
Johnny BelindaWilliam Richmond
Fifth of July Kenneth Talley Jr.
Christmas at Kennedy Center with Leontyne PriceHimself
1983 Living Proof: The Hank Williams, Jr. Story Hank Williams Jr.
Hobson's ChoiceWill Mossup
1984 The Master of Ballantrae Henry Durie
1985 Final Jeopardy Marty Campbell
1988 Go Toward the Light Greg Madison
1989 Glory! Glory! Rev. Bobby Joe
1990 Andre's Mother Cal Porter – Andre's Lover
Common GroundColin Diver
1991Mission of the SharkLieutenant Steven Scott
Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus James O'Hanlan
1992 A Thousand Heroes Gary Brownaka Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232
Lincoln John Hay Voice role
1993 I Can Make You Love Me Richard Farleyaka Stalking Laura
Precious VictimsDon Weber
Linda Paul Cowley
A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion John-Boy Walton
1994To Save the ChildrenDavid Young
1995 Death in Small Doses Richard Lyon
A Walton Wedding John-Boy Walton
Down, Out & Dangerous Tim Willows
The Christmas Box Richard Evans
1996West Virginia: A Film HistoryNarratorVoice role
What Love SeesGordon Holly
TimepieceRichard Evans
1997 A Walton Easter John-Boy Walton
A Thousand Men and a BabyDr. Hugh 'Bud' Keenanaka Narrow Escape
Flood: A River's RampageHerb Dellenbach
1998Big and HairyVictor Dewlap
2000 In the Name of the People Jack Murphy
The Christmas Secret Jerry McNeil
2001 The Miracle of the Cards Dr. Neal Kassell
2002 Beyond the Prairie, Part 2 Charles Ingalls
Anna's Dream Rod Morgan
2005Annie's PointRichard Eason
2006 Wild Hearts Bob
2011Yesterday, Today and TomorrowDickaka Time after Time

Television series

1961 Way Out Jeremy KeelerEpisode: "The Croaker"
Great Ghost TalesConradinEpisode: "Srendhi Vashtar"
The Defenders Johnny RemingtonEpisode: "The Boy Between"
From These Roots RichardUnknown episodes
The Edge of Night Ben Schultz, Jr.
1961–1962 1, 2, 3 Go! Himself5 episodes
1964 A Flame in the Wind Chris AustinEpisode: "#1.1"
1965 Seaway Martin AndersonEpisode: "Last Voyage"
1966–1967 As the World Turns Thomas Christopher Hughes #4Unknown episodes
1969–1970 Marcus Welby, M.D. Dennis Alan Graham2 episodes
1970 Medical Center Toby TavorminaEpisode: "Runaway"
Bracken's World AlanEpisode: "Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon"
Bonanza BillyEpisode: "The Weary Willies"
1971 The F.B.I. John "Chill" ChiltonEpisode: "The Game of Terror"
1972 Night Gallery Ian EvansEpisode: "The Sins of the Fathers"
1972–1977 The Waltons John-Boy Walton 124 episodes
1973 Match Game 73 Himself5 episodes
1979 Roots: The Next Generations Jim Warner3 episodes
1989 The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible MarkEpisode: "The Easter Story"
1990 Tales from the Crypt Dr. TraskEpisode: "Mute Witness to Murder"
It Bill Denbrough 2 episodes
1995 The Outer Limits Dr. Stephen LedbetterEpisode: "The New Breed"
The Invaders Jerry Thayer2 episodes
1996 Dave's World HimselfEpisode: "L.A. Times"
1997–1998 Promised Land Joe Greene4 episodes
Touched by an Angel 2 episodes
1997Riding the RailsNarratorTV documentary
1998 The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson David Robinson30 episodes
1999 The Practice Walter ArensEpisode: "Committed"

/ - / 1999-2001 / Its A Miracle series / Host

2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Daniel VarneyEpisode: "Scourge"
2002–2003 Just Cause Hamilton Whitney III22 episodes
2006 Nightmares & Dreamscapes Howard CottrellEpisode: "Autopsy Room Four"
2009 Law & Order Roger JenkinsEpisode: "Dignity"
2011 Rizzoli & Isles Professor Dwayne CravitzEpisode: "Rebel Without a Pause"
2013–2016 The Americans Frank Gaad41 episodes
2013 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Nat RandolphEpisode: "Brief Interlude"
White Collar William WolcottEpisode: "Master Plan"
2014 The Good Wife Ed PrattEpisode: "Dear God"
2016 Chicago P. D. Adam AmesEpisode: "A Night Owl"
Elementary Mitch BarrettEpisode: "Henny Penny the Sky is Falling"
Conviction Earl SlavittEpisode: "A Different Kind of Death"
2017, 2019 Billions Sanford Bensinger3 episodes
2017 Blue Bloods Congressman Richard WaltersEpisode: "Ghosts of the Past"
2019 The Blacklist David FoyEpisode: "The Third Estate"
2019–2020 NCIS: New Orleans Deputy Director Van Cleef2 episodes
2020 The Comey Rule Chuck Rosenberg miniseries
2021 Tell Me Your Secrets Bodie Lord5 episodes



Awards and nominations

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1973 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series The Waltons Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama [50]
1990 CableACE Awards Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries Glory! Glory!
1995 Linda
2016 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play [51] Incident at Vichy
2017 Tony Awards Best Featured Actor in a Play [40] The Little Foxes

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