Heather Anne Thomas is an American actress, activist, and author who grew famous for her role as Jody Banks in the adventure series ‘The Fall Guy’. Her TV stint began at a young age when she was chosen as one of the hosts for the NBC series ‘Talking with a Giant’. She then went on to earn a degree in Film and Theatre from ULCA before making guest appearances in TV series, such as ‘California Fever’, ‘Co-Ed Fever’ and ‘The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo’. Her breakthrough arrived in 1981 when she was roped in to play a lead role in ‘The Fall Guy’. The show, which ran for five seasons, became quite popular in many states and made Thomas a household name. Since then, she has been part of many TV series and movies. Her most notable movie role was in the 1987 made-for-tv ‘Ford: The Man and the Machine’, which earned her a Gemini Award nomination. As the years passed, Thomas started focusing more on her personal life and decided to stop acting in 1998. She is currently an activist for various causes, in addition to being a scriptwriter and published author.
Heather Thomas started her TV career at a young age. When she was 14, she was chosen as one of the hosts for the NBC series ‘Talking with a Giant’, which involved interviewing and chatting with celebrities from different walks of life. Upon realizing that she loved the camera and acting, Thomas enrolled at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television and graduated from there with a bachelor’s degree in 1980. While in college, she started making appearances on TV in minor roles and working in commercials. Her first credited role was as Caryl Manning in the TV series ‘David Cassidy: Man Undercover’ in 1978. Between 1979 and 1980, she appeared in guest roles in various series, including ‘Co-Ed Fever’, ‘California Fever’, ‘B.J. and the Beat’ and ‘The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo’.
She received her big breakthrough in 1981 when she was cast as Jody Banks, a lead character, in the action-adventure series ‘The Fall Guy’. The series was created by Glen A. Larson, and starred Lee Majors and Douglas Barr apart from Thomas in leading roles. It ran for five seasons from 1981 to 1986 with 113 episodes, and Thomas appeared in most of them. Thomas made her film debut in 1982 with the teen comedy ‘Zapped’. She also appeared in guest roles in various series, including ‘The Love Boat’ (1983), ‘T. J. Hooker’ (1984), and ‘Cover Up’ (1984). In 1987, she starred in the TV movie ‘Ford: The Man and the Machine’ as Evangeline Cote, which earned her a Gemini Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category. Her other releases from this year include ‘Hoover vs. The Kennedys: The Second Civil War’ (TV movie), ‘Cyclone’, and ‘Kiss of the Cobra’. She also guest starred as Andrea in the crime series ‘The New Mike Hammer’ in 1987.
Towards the end of the 1980s, she was seen in the following TV movies - ‘The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission’ (1988) as Lt. Carol Campbell and ‘Rodney Dangerfield: Opening Night at Rodney’s Place’ (1989) as Joan Emery. In the early 1990s, she played the role of Tessa Clarke in the Australian miniseries ‘Flair.’ She couldn’t find bigger roles and had to stick to playing guest characters in series, such as ‘P. S. I Luv U’ (1991), ‘Swamp Thing: The Series’ (1992), and ‘Pointman’ (1995). Following this, her TV appearances trickled down. Her later films include ‘Red Blooded American Girl’ (1990), ‘Hidden Obsession’ (1993), ‘Against the Law’ (1997), and ‘My Giant’ (1998). She decided to give up acting in 1998 to focus on her personal life. She eventually turned to screenwriting and wrote ‘School Slut’, a plot that was purchased by Touchstone Pictures. Heather turned to writing fiction in 2008 and unveiled her first novel ‘Trophies’. In 2014, she was seen in the web series ‘Girltrash: All Night Long’ as Nadine Robson. Currently, Thomas is focusing on activism for various causes and her writing career.
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Controversies & Scandals
Heather Thomas developed a cocaine addiction when she started working in ‘The Fall Guy’. It affected her life deeply, both on professional and personal fronts. She had been taking drugs right since her school days and believed it to be responsible for her academic success. Her addiction had spiraled out of control by the time she was trying to establish herself as an actress. Around this time, she told her family about her drug issues. Her parents, friends, and other family members staged an intervention and got her enrolled in a rehab at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. Ever since undergoing a detoxification program there, she has been living a life free of drugs and advocates against substance abuse. She has mentioned in one of her interviews that she feels more connected to reality and less lonely after getting rid of her addiction.
Family & Personal Life
Heather Anne Thomas was born on September 8, 1957 in Greenwich, Connecticut to Gladdy Lou Ryder and Leon Thomas. Her mother worked as a special education teacher, while her father was a university dean. She studied at Santa Monica High School and graduated in 1975. She was married to Allan Rosenthal, a psychotherapist, from 1985 to 1986. They ended up divorcing after a year of marriage. She later married Hollywood attorney Skip Brittenham in 1992, and they have a daughter together - India Rose Brittenham. Thomas is also the step-mother to her husband’s daughters from his previous marriage, and the family currently lives in Connecticut.