Henry Thomas

For other people named Henry Thomas, see Henry Thomas (disambiguation).
Henry Thomas
Born Henry Jackson Thomas, Jr.
(1971-09-09) September 9, 1971
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actor, musician
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Kelly Hill (2000–2002)
Marie Zielcke (2004–2007)

Henry Jackson Thomas, Jr. (born September 9, 1971) is an American actor and musician. He has appeared in over 40 films and is best known for his role as Elliott Taylor in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), for which he received BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award and Saturn Award nominations. His other notable roles as a child include Raggedy Man (1981), Cloak & Dagger (1984), and Misunderstood(1984). As an adult, he has also had roles in notable movies including, Fire in the Sky (1993), Legends of the Fall (1994), Suicide Kings (1997), All the Pretty Horses (2000), Gangs of New York (2002), 11:14 (2003), Dear John (2010), and Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016).

Personal life

Thomas was born an only child in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Carolyn L. (née Davis), a homemaker, and Henry Jackson Thomas, a hydraulic machinist.[1] He attended East Central High School in San Antonio and Blinn College in Brenham.


Acting career

Aged nine, Thomas had already been in one film, Raggedy Man, when he auditioned for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He won the part by giving a genuinely tearful performance, during which he had drawn upon the trauma of having seen his pet dog being killed by a neighbor’s dog.[2] The film’s success exceeded expectations, and Thomas was troubled by the sometimes extreme reaction of the public.[2]

After E.T., Thomas returned to Texas and only occasionally acted (Cloak & Dagger and on TV) while attending school. He returned to film in the late 1980s and early 1990s and began to prove himself in adult roles, most notably as the younger version of Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates character in Psycho IV: The Beginning.[3]

His most prominent adult role to date was as "Samuel Ludlow" in Legends of the Fall (1994). In 2002, he starred as supporting character Johnny Sirocco in the Martin Scorsese historical fiction film Gangs of New York. He is currently both an actor and musician and starred in the 2011 film The Last Ride (2011) as musician Hank Williams Sr. In the ABC series Betrayal, he plays T.J. Karsten.[3]


Thomas wrote songs, sang, and played guitar for the San Antonio, Texas band The Blue Heelers (named for the breed of dog) from the mid to late 1990s. Although the band was never signed to a record label, its self-produced album Twister was warmly received and enjoyed statewide radio play. Moving to Los Angeles in 1998, the band dissolved, but Thomas continued to write and record songs. In 1998, his song "Truckstop Coffee" (recorded with the Blue Heelers) appeared on V2's soundtrack to the film Niagara, Niagara in which Thomas appeared.[4]

In 2003, Thomas worked with Nikki Sudden on the music for Mika Kaurismäki's film Honey Baby, which featured four original songs written and performed by Thomas as the fictitious musician Tom Brackett. An album was in the works, but Sudden died in 2006.

Awards and honors


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Raggedy Man Harry, Jr. Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film
1982 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Elliott Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film
Nominated—BAFTA Film Award for Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
1984 Misunderstood Andrew
1984 Cloak & Dagger Davey Osborne Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film
1986 Frog Dreaming Cody
1988 Murder One Billy Isaacs
1989 Valmont Raphael Danceny
1993 Fire in the Sky Greg Hayes
1994 Curse of the Starving Class Wesley Tate
1994 Legends of the Fall Samuel Ludlow
1996 Bombshell Buck Hogan
1997 Hijacking Hollywood Kevin
1997 Niagara, Niagara Seth
1997 Suicide Kings Avery Chasten
1999 Fever Nick Parker
2000 A Good Baby Raymond Toker
2000 All the Pretty Horses Lacey Rawlins
2001 The Quickie Alex
2002 Dead in the Water Jeff
2002 I'm with Lucy Barry
2002 Gangs of New York Johnny Sirocco
2003 I Capture the Castle Simon Cotton
2003 Briar Patch Edgar MacBeth
2003 11:14 Jack
2003 Honey Baby Tom
2004 Dead Birds William
2006 The Hard Easy Paul Weston
2007 The Last Sin Eater Man of God
2007 Suffering Man's Charity Eric Rykell
2008 Red Velvet
2009 Don't Look Up Josh Petri
2009 Sweet Flame Bill
2010 Dear John Tim
2012 The Last Ride Mr. Wells / Hank Williams
2013 Big Sur Philip Whalen
2016 Ouija: Origin of Evil Father Tom Hogan
2017 Gerald's Game Filming
Year Title Role Notes
1981 The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid The Kid TV movie
1990 Psycho IV: The Beginning Young Norman Bates TV movie
1992 A Taste for Killing Cary Sloan TV movie
1994 Beyond Obsession John Thompson TV movie
1995 Indictment: The McMartin Trial Ray Buckey TV movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1996 Riders of the Purple Sage Bern Venters TV movie
1998 Moby Dick Ishmael TV movie
1999 Happy Face Murders Dylan McCarthy TV movie
2005 Masters of Horror Jamie Episode: "Chocolate"
2006 Desperation Peter Jackson TV movie
2007–2008 Without a Trace Franklin Romar 2 episodes
2009 CSI Jeremy Kent Episode: "If I Had a Hammer"
2011 The Mentalist Thomas Lisbon Episode: "Where in the World is Carmine O'Brien?"
2013–2014 Betrayal T.J. Karsten Series regular
2015 Sons of Liberty John Adams Miniseries



External links

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