Tom Villard

Last updated

Tom Villard
Born
Thomas Louis Villard

(1953-11-19)November 19, 1953
DiedNovember 14, 1994(1994-11-14) (aged 40)
Alma mater Allegheny College
Occupation Actor
Years active1980–1994
PartnerScott Chambliss [1]

Thomas Louis Villard (November 19, 1953 – November 14, 1994) was an American actor. [1] He is known for his leading role in the 1980s series We Got It Made , [1] as well as roles in feature films Grease 2 , One Crazy Summer , Heartbreak Ridge , [1] My Girl , [1] and Popcorn .

Contents

Early life

Villard was born in Waipahu, Hawaii and grew up in Spencerport, New York, the son of Diane Ruth (MacNaughton), a teacher for students with emotional challenges, and Ronald Louis Villard, a photochemical engineer. [2] [ better source needed ] He attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, before moving to New York City to attend the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in the early 1970s. In 1980, Villard moved to Los Angeles and soon started landing roles on television and in movies. He also continued performing on stage until the end of his career.

Career

Villard appeared throughout his career on television, in feature films, and on stage around the country. He was featured in situation comedies, episodic TV series, and had leading roles in lower and mid-range budgeted features. He had several television appearances most notably appearing on The Golden Girls and as a panelist on Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour . At the peak of his career Villard was given featured supporting roles in big-budget studio fare, such as Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge , and My Girl (with Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis). One of his final roles was playing a Bajoran monk on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine .

Personal life and illness

Toward the end of his life, Villard became one of the few actors in Hollywood in the early 1990s who chose to be open about his homosexuality, and the challenge of living with HIV and AIDS. In February 1994, Villard made an unprecedented appearance on Entertainment Tonight , acknowledging to "...more than 13 million viewers that he was gay, that he had AIDS, and that he needed some help."

According to a POZ magazine profile in December of that year Villard said, "An awful lot of people suddenly wouldn't let me in the door for auditions. I started speaking a couple of months ago about living with AIDS and having hope," he said. "It feels a little more useful than things (I've done) in the past." He went on to explain that since his appearance on E.T., a whole other group of people had come forward to welcome him. Bill Melamed, Villard's manager added: "I'm particularly proud of him. The reality is, acting is a lousy business... He made a decision that was courageous in any walk of life, but it doesn't surprise me. He has one of the most open spirits."

Death

On November 14, 1994, five days shy of his 41st birthday, Villard died of AIDS-related pneumonia. [3]

As a tribute to him, a non-profit foundation was created by his partner Scott Chambliss, close friend Caren Kaye, and his friend and chiropractor Cheryl Revkin. The Tom Villard Foundation was a Silver Lake community-based effort which engaged local businesses to provide free goods and services for community members living with AIDS. The beneficiaries were the client base of the former Silver Lake AIDS support organization, Being Alive. The Tom Villard Foundation no longer exists. Being Alive is now headquartered in West Hollywood.[ citation needed ]

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1980 CHiPs NeilEpisode: "Sick Leave"
1981 Force: Five Disciple
1981 Sidney Shorr: A Girl's Best Friend EricTV movie
1982 Parasite 3-D Zeke
1982 Grease 2 Boy Greaser (Willie)
1983 Taxi CartoonistEpisode: "A Grand Gesture"
1983 High School U.S.A. Crazy Leo BandiniTV movie
1983 to 1984 We Got It Made Jay Bostwick46 episodes
1984 Surf II Jocko O'Finley
1985 MacGruder and Loud FloydEpisode: "The Inside Man"
1986 The A-Team Barry GreenEpisode: "Beneath the Surface"
1986 One Crazy Summer Clay Stork
1986 Weekend Warriors Seblinsky
1986The Trouble with DickDick Kendred
1986 Heartbreak Ridge Profile
1986 The Golden Girls RickEpisode: "Vacation"
1989 Who's the Boss? Andy DrakeEpisode: "First Date"
1990 Hunter John SkourosEpisode: "Second Sight"
1991 Popcorn Toby
1991 Whore Hippie
1991 Shakes the Clown Dirthead in the Car
1991 My Girl Justin
1992 The Golden Girls Randy BeckerEpisode: "Rose: Portrait of a Woman"
1992 Baywatch HowieEpisode: "Reunion"
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Prylar BekEpisode: "The Collaborator"
1994 In The Army Now Obnoxious Salesguy
1995 Op Center Press AideTV movie (final film role)

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Tom Villard; Actor, 40" . The New York Times . November 17, 1994.
  2. "Tom Villard Biography (1953-)". Filmreference.com. Accessed May 6, 2016.
  3. "AIDS Takes Life of Actor Tom Villard". Eugene Register-Guard . November 16, 1994. Retrieved September 5, 2012.