Michelle Thomas

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This article is about the actress. For polyglot linguist and language teacher, see Michel Thomas.
Michelle Thomas
Michelle Thomas photo.jpg
Michelle Thomas
Born Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died December 22 or 23, 1998, (aged 29 years old [1] or 30 years old[2])
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York City, New York, U.S.
Cause of death
Cancer
Resting place
Rosedale Cemetery
Occupation Actress
Years active 1988–1998

Michelle Thomas (died December 22[3][4][5] or 23,[6][7] 1998) was an American actress. She was best known for her roles as Justine Phillips (girlfriend of Theo Huxtable) on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show, and as Myra Monkhouse (girlfriend of Steve Urkel) on the ABC/CBS sitcom Family Matters.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Boston, Massachusetts,[8] Michelle Thomas grew up in Montclair, New Jersey and was an alumna of West Essex High School. She was the daughter of Phynjuar Thomas, a stage actress, and Dennis Thomas, a member of music group Kool & the Gang.[6] In September 1984, and aged 15, Thomas was crowned Miss Talented Teen New Jersey in Hal Jackson's Talented Teen Competition.[9][10] The following year, she competed in the international pageant and won the title of International Queen.[11]

From 1988 to 1990, Thomas played Justine Phillips, the girlfriend of Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show. She later appeared on various television programs during the late 1980s and 1990s including A Man Called Hawk and Thea. She had a role on a TV movie, Dream Date, in 1989. In 1991, she had a small role in Hangin' with the Homeboys. She also appeared in music videos for Mint Condition, Dru Hill and Chubb Rock. In 1993, she won the role of Myra Monkhouse on the long-running sitcom Family Matters. After the series ended in 1998, Thomas portrayed Callie Rogers Stark, an aspiring singer on The Young and the Restless. She left the series in October 1998.

Death[edit]

In August 1997,[7] Thomas was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer, intra-abdominal desmoplastic small-round-cell tumor.[11] She underwent surgery to remove a lemon-sized tumor shortly before landing her Young and the Restless role in the spring of 1998. In October 1998, she underwent surgery after a second cancerous growth ruptured. After being released from the hospital, Thomas flew home to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving with her family.

On December 22 or 23, Thomas died surrounded by her family and friends in New York City at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,[12] aged 29[8][13][14] or 30.[4][7][11][12] On December 26, 1998, a Muslim funeral service was held, as she had requested. She was buried in Montclair, New Jersey, near her home.[7]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 - 1990 The Cosby Show Justine Phillips 8 episodes
1989 A Man Called Hawk Ruthie Carver Episode: "Choice of Chance"
1989 Dream Date Sally Palmer Television movie
1991 Hangin' with the Homeboys Telemarketing operator
1993 - 1998 Family Matters Myra Monkhouse 55 episodes
1994 Thea Keanda 2 episodes
1996 Duckman Voice role Episode: "Exile in Guyville"
1997 Malcolm & Eddie Brooke Bellamy Episode: "Roofless People"
1998 The Young and the Restless Callie Rogers Stark
1999 Unbowed Anna Released posthumously

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1999 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (December 26, 1998). "Michelle Thomas actress on sitcoms, daytime drama". Miami Herald. pp. 4B Local. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  2. ^ Pace, Eric (28 December 1998). "Michelle Thomas, 30, Actress On TV Soap Opera and Sitcoms". The New York Times. p. 8. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  3. ^ Chambers, Cheehsa. December 29, 1998, Variety, Michelle Thomas. Accessed 2009-05-03.
  4. ^ a b Entertainment Weekly, January 8, 1999, "Monitor." Accessed 2009-05-03.
  5. ^ The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 26, 1998, Michell Thomas, Television actress".
  6. ^ a b Pace, Eric. "Michelle Thomas, 30, Actress On TV Soap Opera and Sitcoms", The New York Times, December 28, 1998. Accessed 2007-10-30. "She was born in Boston, Mass., grew up in Montclair, N.J., and graduated from West Essex High School in North Caldwell, N.J."
  7. ^ a b c d "Forever Young, People Magazine.". January 11, 1999. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  8. ^ a b Bay State Banner, February 11, 1999,"Boston-born actress Thomas, dead at 29". Accessed 2009-05-03.
  9. ^ Ross, Pinnie (September 8, 1984). "2000 at Miss Talented Teen Pageant". Baltimore Afro-American. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Ross, Pinnie L. (August 30, 1986). "International Teen Pageant-an extravaganza". Baltimore Afro-American. Retrieved 2010-06-12. 
  11. ^ a b c Company, Johnson Publishing (January 18, 1999). Michelle Thomas, 'Family Matters' TV Star, Dies of Cancer At 30, Jet.. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  12. ^ a b Los Angeles Sentinel, January 6, 1999, "Michelle Thomas Succumbs To Cancer". Accessed 2009-05-03.
  13. ^ "Soap actress dies". Toronto Star. December 30, 1998. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  14. ^ "Y&R's Thomas Dies Of Cancer At 29". CBS News. December 29, 1998. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 

External links[edit]