Richard Thomas. Wikipedia.
Richard Thomas was born in New York City in 1951. His parents were dances with the New York School of Ballet. He made his Broadway debut in “Sunrise at Campbello” at the age of seven. In 1969 he won his first major film role as the son of Joanne Woodward in “Winning”. In 1971 he began working on his most famous role as John-Boy in the hugely popular television series “The Waltons”. In recent years he has tended to act more on the stage. A website on Richard Thomas can be found here.
Armed with a lifetime of talent and training with which to battle against Hollywood typecasting, actor Richard Thomas would, nonetheless, be forever identified with John-Boy, the earnest eldest son of “The Waltons” (CBS, 1972-1981)
. Born into a New York show business family, he made his Broadway debut at the age of seven, and later on film opposite Paul Newman in “Winning” (1969).
The 20-year-old actor was already gaining modest notoriety as a gifted young star in films like “Last Summer” (1971) by the time his leading role in “The Waltons” made him a bona fide television star. When Thomas left the show in 1977 in order to pursue other roles, it proved difficult to shed the lingering image of the somewhat naÃ¯ve John-Boy.
Campy genre work in films like Roger Cormanâ¿¿s “Battle Beyond the Stars” (1980) was balanced out by more rewarding efforts on stage in such Broadway productions as “Fifth of July.” Thomas garnered accolades for his titular role in the music biopic “Living Proof: The Hank Williams, Jr. Story” (NBC, 1983) and as a man haunted by a childhood terror in “It” (ABC, 1990).
Continuing to mix television work with his theatrical endeavors, he took part in such lauded stage productions as “The Stendhal Syndrome” in 2004 and “Race” in 2009. Decades after leaving Waltons Mountain, Thomas appeared both content with his television legacy and determined to continually seek out new challenges as an actor.
The above TCM Overview can also be accessed online here.