Who is C. Thomas Howell?
He was one of the rising young stars of the ’80s, and even the world-famous director Steven Spielberg said that he’s a fantastic actor, and gave him the role of Tyler in the Oscar-nominated “E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial”; however, some other roles ‘killed’ his career. You’re guessing that we’re talking about C. Thomas Howell. What is interesting about him is that he never wanted to be an actor, but dreamed of becoming a stuntman.
Many critics believe that his career went down after his role in the controversial comedy “Soul Man”, however, C. Thomas believes that the movie “Young Toscanini” was the reason why he dropped off the Hollywood radar.
He continued acting though, and has over 220 acting credits to his name, but unfortunately C. Thomas hasn’t repeated the success he had at the beginning of his career. However, let us tell you all about his life, career, and his future projects.
Early life, family, and education
Born in Los Angeles, California USA, on 7 December 1966, C. Thomas (C. is an abbreviation of Christopher) will celebrate his 56th birthday in 2022. He was raised in Van Nuys, near Los Angeles, by his parents Candice and Christopher, with his three siblings, John, Stacy and Candy.
Their father, Christopher was a rodeo performer and stunt co-ordinator, and this is why C. Thomas wanted to become a stuntman. As a child, he was a rodeo star and child stunt performer, and enjoyed it. After his first role, he decided to continue acting.
Speaking of his educational background, he attended Saugus High School, but upon matriculating in 1984, he didn’t go to college.
Roles in movies
C.Thomas’ acting debut was his role in the 1982 epic movie “E. T.” also starring Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas and Peter Coyote. The movie had over 90 award nominations and won 52, including four Oscars (Best Music – Original Score, Best Sound, Sound Effects – Editing, and Best Effects – Visual Effects).
He followed with his role as Ponyboy Curtis in the 1983 crime-drama “The Outsiders”, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring opposite Matt Dillon and Ralph Macchio, and his performance brought him the Young Artist Award for Best Young Motion Picture Actor in a Feature Film.
In the following year, he was seen as Billy in “Tank”, starring opposite James Garner and Shirley Jones, in this action comedy which was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Family Motion Picture – Drama.
Also in 1984, C. Thomas starred with Patrick Swayze and Jamie Lee Curtis in the drama “Grandview, USA”, followed by his lead role in “Red Dawn”, also starring Patrick Swayze and Lea Thompson. This action drama followed a story of a group of teenagers who defend their town from Soviet forces during World War III.
Next, C. Thomas was seen starring in the 1985 romantic drama “Secret Admirer”, opposite Lori Loughlin and Kelly Preston. He followed with his role as Jim Halsey in the 1986 movie “The Hitcher”, also starring Rutger Hauer, before he was seen as Mark Watson in “Soul Man”.
The movie followed a story of a spoiled teen who disguises himself as a young black man in order to receive a full scholarship to Harvard. C. Thomas said about this movie that it was a comedy with a very funny screenplay and that he didn’t understand why it received such mixed reactions. He thinks that it was a harmless movie, however, according to critics, this role seriously harmed C. Thomas’ career.
Next, he was seen starring in the 1987 comedy-drama “A Tiger’s Tale”, followed by his role in the TV movie “Into the Homeland”.
In the following year, he was cast to play Arturo in “Young Toscanini” a biographic drama about the legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, also starring Elizabeth Taylor and Sophie Ward. C. Thomas said that when he accepted this role, both he and the rest of the crew thought that it would be at least an Oscar-nominated movie – the budget for this movie was over $15 million, but in the end it was released only in Italy, and wasn’t theatrically released in the US.
After his role as Arturo, C. Thomas’ career began slowing down, and the early ’90s saw him mostly co-starring in low-budget and TV movies. Since the list of his roles is very long, we’ll mention just some of his most significant – his role in “Baby Face Nelson” (1996), “Fatal Affair” (1998), and “The Million Dollar Kid” (2000).
From 2000 until 2020, C. Thomas was seen in numerous movies, however, his roles were mostly supporting and minor. In 2004, he starred in the horror “Nursie”, and his next lead role came in the 2008 thriller drama “Big Game”, which was poorly rated by the audience and critics.
We are happy to announce that C. Thomas Howell will be joining us this March 23-25th at HorrorHound Weekend: Cincinnati….
In 2012, he was seen portraying Jack’s father in Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man”, and in 2018, it seemed that C. Thomas was making a big comeback to theaters with his role as Blake in the romantic drama “Rich Boy, Rich Girl” which brought him the Milledgeville-Eatonton Film Festival, US Jury Prize for Best Supporting Actor.
Most recently, he was seen in “Beast Mode” (2020), and “The Wrong Path” (2021), and he starred in “Because We’re Family” which premiered in October 2022.
Roles in series
C.Thomas made his first television series appearance portraying Scott Morgan in two episodes of the 1983 series “Two Marriages”. In the following years, he guest starred in numerous series, while his first significant role came in the 1996 crime drama “Kindred: The Embraced”.
During 1999 and 2000, he was seen as Doctor Alex Kennedy in “Amazon”, and another significant television role was C. Thomas’ portrayal of Officer Dewey Dudek in “Southland” (2009-2013). He followed with recurring roles in “Stitchers” (2015-2017), “The Punisher” (2017), “SEAL Team” (2017-2021), and “The Walking Dead” (2018-2021), among many other guest roles. Concurrently, C. Thomas made appearances in “Dynasty” (2018), and “Bosch” (2019).
Love life and relationships
While he was in the spotlight, there were various rumors about C. Thomas’ love life, but what we do know is that he dated actress Kyle Richards in the late ’80s.
C.Thomas was in a marriage with an actress Rae Dawn Chong, who is probably still known best for her role in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple”. The two met on the set of “Soul Man” and eventually married on 11 July 1989, but divorced after just a year.
His second wife, Sylvie Anderson is a non-celebrity person, about whom nothing is known. The couple exchanged their wedding vows on 25 July 1992, and have three children together, namely Liam, Dashiell and Isabelle, whose birthdays haven’t been revealed. Sylvie filed for divorce in 2015, finalized in 2016.
As of November 2022, it seems that C. Thomas is single.
What is he doing today?
As mentioned, C. Thomas is still acting, and his fans will be happy to hear that he’s completed filming the movies “Reagan” and “Old Dads” which are currently in development. He is filming the series “Obliterated”, and has one of the lead roles in this action crime-drama which will tell the story of an elite Special Forces team from Las Vegas.
He’s active on his Instagram, which has been followed by over 85,000 people, thus his fans can keep track of his life and career.
When you hear that an actor had over 200 acting credits, you would assume that he’s earned a hefty sum of money, however, according to sources, C. Thomas’ net worth has been estimated at $4 million. Although most of the income he’s accumulated starring in movies and series, he’s also a musician, and founder of the band Whiskey Demon.