Heather Thomas

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Heather Thomas
Heather Thomas.jpg
Thomas in May 2008
Heather Anne Thomas

(1957-09-08) September 8, 1957 (age 62)[1]
Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
OccupationActress, author
Years active1978–98, 2013–14
  • Allan Rosenthal (1985–86)
  • Skip Brittenham (1992–present)

Heather Anne Thomas (born September 8, 1957)[1] is an American actress, author, and political activist, who co-starred as Jody Banks on the TV series The Fall Guy.

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, to Gladdy Lou Ryder, a special education teacher in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. She graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1975 and went on to attend UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, graduating in 1980. While at UCLA, she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.


Thomas started acting at age 14, when she was one of the hosts of a series on NBC called Talking with a Giant, where she interviewed celebrities.[2] In 1978, she began acting in small television roles; she appeared in the series Co-Ed Fever, of which she later said, "It was cancelled after the third commercial."[3]

After Co-Ed Fever's cancellation, Thomas was chosen for the role of Jody Banks in The Fall Guy, which starred Lee Majors and was produced by Glen Larson, from its 1981 premiere to its 1986 cancellation. Thomas became addicted to cocaine during her run in the program, and entered rehabilitation for that addiction in the mid-1980s.[2][4] She appeared in several movies, the first of which was Zapped! in 1982, but she gave up acting in 1998. Thomas appeared on numerous pin-up posters during the 1980s.

Following her acting career, Thomas wrote a screenplay called School Slut and sold it to Touchstone Pictures for a figure reported as "mid-six-figure."[5] Touchstone did not make the film, however, and Thomas acquired the rights to produce it herself.[2]

In April 2008, Thomas's first novel, Trophies, was published by William Morrow.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Thomas married Allan Rosenthal in August 1985; Rosenthal is one of the founders of Cocaine Anonymous;[7] they divorced in September 1986.[8] In September 1986, Thomas was struck by a car while crossing San Vicente Boulevard, and she sustained serious injuries to both of her legs.[9] In October 1992, Thomas married entertainment attorney Skip Brittenham.[10] Their daughter, whom they named India Rose, was born on June 19, 2000.

Thomas left acting in part due to stalkers, as well as a desire to focus on her family and to explore writing.[11] When asked by Reuters "Was it really so bad in the 1980s that you had to quit?" Thomas replied "Yes, I was getting so stalked. I had one guy climb over the fence with a knife one time. I had these two little girls and they desperately needed raising so that was that. But I think now I have gotten so old that people won’t bother me much."[11]


Thomas and Brittenham became joint hosts of a monthly fund-raising breakfast gathering at their home in Santa Monica, California, which became known in Washington as the "L.A. Cafe".[12][13] Thomas serves on the advisory boards of the Rape Foundation[14] and Amazon Conservation Team.[15] According to newsmeat.com, Thomas contributed over US$280,000 to political candidates since 1992, mostly to Democratic and special-interest groups, such as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), with $2,400 towards supporting Republican Mary Bono.[citation needed]


Year Film Role Notes
1982 Zapped! Jane Mitchell
1987 Cyclone Teri Marshall
Kiss of the Cobra Merryl Davis Alternative titles: Death Stone
Der Stein des Todes
1990 Red Blooded American Girl Paula Bukowsky
1993 Hidden Obsession Ellen Carlyle
1997 Against the Law Felicity
1998 My Giant Showgirl
2014 Girltrash: All Night Long Nadine Robson
Year Title Role Notes
1978 David Cassidy: Man Undercover Caryl Manning 1 episode
1979 Co-Ed Fever Sandi 1 episode
California Fever Joanne 1 episode
1980 B. J. and the Bear Caroline Capote 1 episode
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Caroline Capote 1 episode
1981–1986 The Fall Guy Jody Banks 111 episodes
1983 The Love Boat Sheila 2 episodes
1984 T. J. Hooker Sandy 1 episode
Cover Up Amber 1 episode
1987 The New Mike Hammer Andrea 1 episode
Ford: The Man and the Machine Evangeline Cote Television movie
Nominated: Gemini Award for Best Performance by a Supporting Actress
Hoover vs. The Kennedys: The Second Civil War Marilyn Monroe Television movie
1988 The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission Lt. Carol Campbell Television movie
1989 Rodney Dangerfield: Opening Night at Rodney's Place Joan Emery Television movie
1990 Flair Tessa Clarke Miniseries
1991 P.S. I Luv U Mary Markham 1 episode
1992 Swamp Thing: The Series Tatania 1 episode
1995 Pointman Lynn Forbes 1 episode


  1. ^ a b "Today in History – September 8". Bay Ledger News Zone. Associated Press. September 7, 2007. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Serena Kappes (January 28, 2003). "Former TV sex symbol Heather Thomas is a screenwriter, activist, mom". CNN. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  3. ^ Peter Meade (February 26, 1984). "Heather Thomas is a busy body". Sunday Star-News. Wilmington, NC. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  4. ^ https://people.com/archive/heather-thomas-emerges-from-the-private-hell-of-drug-addiction-with-the-help-of-her-therapist-mate-vol-23-no-16/
  5. ^ Dan Snierson (July 25, 1997). "School's In". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  6. ^ "Trophies ~ a novel by HEATHER THOMAS". trophiesnovel.com. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Roped Together". The Gainesville Sun. August 4, 1985. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  8. ^ Marilyn Beck (September 19, 1986). "Hoffman Plans Comedy". The Victoria Advocate. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  9. ^ "Heather Thomas has surgery on leg after being hit by car". The Ledger. Lakeland, Florida. September 18, 1986. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  10. ^ Daunt, Tina (October 12, 2012). "Hollywood wife has a green touch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Goldsmith, Belinda; Tourtellotte, Bob (April 16, 2009). "Just A Minute With: Former pin-up Heather Thomas eyes comeback". Rueters. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Tina Daunt (April 18, 2009). "Heather Thomas' salon a top breakfast stop". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  13. ^ Joel Stein (July 23, 2009). "Activism, Hollywood-Style". Time. Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  14. ^ "The Rape Foundation Board | The Rape Foundation | Bringing state-of-the-art, comprehensive care to rape victims and sexually abused children". The Rape Foundation. Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  15. ^ "Our Team | Amazon Conservation Team". www.amazonteam.org. Retrieved February 22, 2016.

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