then                                                                 and today (2011)                                  

 

Richard Thomas

Richard Earl Thomas was born on June 13, 1951 in New York. His parents, Richard Thomas and Barbara Fallis were both dancers at New York City Ballet in New York and they run the "School of Ballet." Richard Thomas began his career at the age of seven on Broadway in New York, where he played John Roosevelt, son of the later President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Shortly afterwards he got his first role on television as Oliver Twist. Richard Thomas appeared in many other television roles, like in Bonanza, Marcus Welby, Medical Center and more.

In 1971 he appeared as John-Boy in the movie The Homecoming, A Christmas Story. One year later he continued as John-Boy in The Waltons for the next five years and he got most popular all over the world with his role as John-Boy.

In The Waltons he portrayed the eldest son of a large family during the Great Depression, whose greatest dream is to become a writer. Richard Thomas played this role as a sensitive, dreamy boy who had always a sympathetic ear for others, published his own small newspaper and never forgot his big aim of being a writer some day, simply outstanding.

After five years of portraying John-Boy Richard Thomas left the Waltons at the end of the 5th season. His wish was to do something new, and probably he also was afraid of being defined as John-Boy for the rest of his life. But to be honest, who does not even today remember John-Boy when he looks into the still youthful looking face of Richard Thomas ?

To the great joy of the audience Richard Thomas came back to the Waltons in the following movies "A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion" (1993), "A Walton Wedding" (1995) and "A Walton Easter" (1997).

In 1974 Richard portrayed in the war drama "The Red Badge of Courage a young soldier during the American Civil War. In the coming years he acted in many different movies and series. So he got a role in the miniseries "Roots" in 1979, the same year he portrayed a young german soldier called Paul Baumer in the movie "All Quiet on the Western Front", based on the novel by Erich Remarque. In the deaf drama "Johnny Belinda" from 1982, he represented a young social worker who takes care to a deaf and dumb girl named Belinda (played by Rosanna Arquette).

Richard Thomas is a very busy actor in film, television and mainly on stage.

Richard Thomas was also active as an author like John-Boy in "The Waltons" . He has published three books of poetry.

Due to hearing loss caused by nerves damage Richard Thomas needs to wear hearing aids since he was about 30 years old . This may be the reason why he is committed - next to his professional activities - for the Better Hearing Institute in Washington DC.

From 1975 to 1993 Richard Thomas was married to Alma Gonzales and they have four children (a son and triplets) together. In 1994 Richard Thomas married his second wife Georgina Bischoff. They have one son, Montana James, born 1996. The actor lives in New York City with his family.

 


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