Philip Michael Thomas

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For the 19th century American politician, see Philip Francis Thomas.
Philip Michael Thomas
Born (1949-05-26) May 26, 1949 (age 67)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Residence Windermere, Florida, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Actor, musician
Years active 1972–2006
Spouse(s) Kassandra Thomas (m. 1986-1998)
Children 11

Philip Michael Thomas (born May 26, 1949) is an American actor. Thomas' most famous role is that of detective Ricardo Tubbs on the hit 1980s TV series Miami Vice. His first notable roles were in Coonskin (1975) and opposite Irene Cara in the 1976 film Sparkle. After his success in Miami Vice, Thomas appeared in numerous made-for-TV movies and advertisements for telephone psychic services. He served as a spokesperson for cell phone entertainment company Nextones, and supplied the voice for the character Lance Vance on the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born in Columbus, Ohio, but grew up in San Bernardino, California.[1] His father, Louis Diggs, was a plant foreman at Westinghouse. Thomas' mother was Lulu McMorris. He and his seven half brothers and sisters went by the surname Thomas, which was the last name of his mother's first husband.[2]

As a child, he acted in his church's theater group, and at age 15, while participating in the Pentecostal Delman Heights Four Square Gospel Church choir, became interested in ministry.[2] He graduated from San Bernardino High in 1967 and briefly took up work as a janitor to save money for college.[1] Thomas earned a scholarship to the predominantly black Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, where he studied religion and philosophy after high school.[2][3]

After two years at Oakwood College, Thomas transferred to the University of California, Riverside.[2] During this time, he auditioned for and won a role in the San Francisco cast of Hair, which began his acting career.,[1][4][5] Thomas ultimately quit school to pursue acting as a profession, appearing in several features during the 1970s. His big break came in 1984, when he landed a starring role in the popular television series, Miami Vice, alongside Don Johnson.[2]

Acting[edit]

Miami Vice[edit]

Thomas played the role of Ricardo Tubbs, an ex-NYPD police officer from the Bronx who came to Miami seeking revenge on the person who killed his brother Rafael Tubbs. In Miami he encounters another undercover cop, Sonny Crockett, who is coincidentally looking for the same person.

Thomas was reportedly paid $25,000 per episode for Seasons 1-2. In 1986, he was given an increase to $50,000 per episode for Seasons 3-5. While his co-star, Don Johnson, was paid $30,000 per episode for Seasons 1-2 and $90,000 per episode for Seasons 3-5.

Thomas coined the acronym "EGOT", meaning "Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony", in reference to his plans for winning all four.[6] He has not, as yet, been nominated for any of these awards, but has received a People's Choice Award and a Golden Globe nomination.[7]

Psychic Reader's Network[edit]

In 1994 Thomas signed an agreement with Florida-based Psychic Reader's Network (later known as Traffix, Inc.) to become the spokesman for the Philip Michael Thomas International Psychic Network. He appeared in television ads and claimed to have met the planet's premier psychics through his "world travels". He dressed similarly to his Miami Vice alter ego, even opening the ads with the phrase, "From Miami Vice to world advice!"[8] He appeared in informercials with Eileen Brennan and Todd McKee and his daughter, Sacha Nicole to promote the psychic line.[9] Thomas even released a cassette of music tied to his psychic business, titled PMT Psychic Connection, Volume I.[10]

Traffix replaced Thomas with Miss Cleo. Thomas sued, alleging breach of contract, and won. In 2002 a New York arbitrator awarded Thomas $1.48 million for improper use of his name and likeness and an additional $780,000 in interest.[11]

Nash Bridges[edit]

In 1997, Thomas was reunited with Don Johnson in the police drama Nash Bridges. He played Cedrick "Rick" Hawks, a U.S. Postal Inspector from Miami visiting Bridges (Johnson) in San Francisco. His first appearance was in the episode "Wild Card", and his second and final appearance was in the episode "Out of Miami", aired in 2001 during the program's final season.[12]

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City[edit]

He performed a voice-over in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) (VG) as Lance Vance, a main character who is trying to avenge his brother, Victor Vance's death. He reprised the voice-over role in the prequel Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006) (VG) which details Lance's arrival in Vice City, his business with drugs, and his relationship with his brother.

Music career[edit]

In 1985, Thomas released a music album titled "Living the Book of My Life" album under his own record label called Spaceship Records.[13] It sold poorly and failed to produce a hit single, although Thomas produced a video for the track "Just the Way I Planned It".[14] Thomas performed the title song of the album during the 1985 Miami Vice episode, "The Maze." The episode "Trust Fund Pirates" featured another of his songs, "La Mirada". Thomas' Miami Vice costar Don Johnson recorded an album shortly afterward titled Heartbeat. Although Johnson's album was more successful (producing a top 5 single), both albums are considered prime examples of the hubris of successful performers.[15]

Thomas followed up in 1988 with a second album, Somebody.[16] It also failed to produce a hit and sold poorly. In 1993, Thomas teamed with Kathy Rahill to compose "My, My, My, Miam...I",[17] which was chosen as the city of Miami's theme song.[18] That same year, Thomas teamed with Jamaican fitness instructor Sandi Morais to compose songs for a family-friendly musical titled Sacha, which enjoyed runs in south Florida and New York.[19] The two formed the Magic Cookie Production Company. Thomas produced the music for Morais' fitness videos in 2001 and 2006.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Thomas is a vegetarian and is known as a nonsmoker and nondrinker.[1][3] In 1986, Thomas married Kassandra Thomas. They have five children together (Noble, Kharisma, Sovereign, Sacred, and Imaj). In 1998, Thomas and Kassandra divorced. Thomas also has six children (Sacha, Khrishna, India, Gabriel, Chayenne, and Melody) from previous relationships.

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Video games[edit]

Television[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Randolph, Laura (April 1988). "The Philip Michael Thomas even his 'Miami Vice' Fans Don't Know". Ebony. Johnson Publishing Co. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Biography.com Editors. "Philip Michael Thomas Biography". The Biography.com website. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Wallace, Carol (December 9, 1985). "The Ego Has Landed". People (archive). Time, Inc. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Philip Michael Thomas Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on May 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ Zoglin, Richard (September 16, 1985). "Cool Cops, Hot Show". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  6. ^ Tim Long (February 26, 2008). "The Oscars: Where Is the Love for Philip Michael Thomas?". Vanity Fair. 
  7. ^ "Thomas' nomination page at the Golden Globes website". Golden Globes. 
  8. ^ "1994 Commercial for Philip Michael Thomas International Psychic Network". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  9. ^ "Infomercial for Philip Michael Thomas International Psychic Network". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  10. ^ Philip Michael Thomas. "PMT Psychic Connection, Volume I". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  11. ^ Matt Bean (June 6, 2002). "Ex-'Miami Vice' star wins first round against psychic network". CNN. 
  12. ^ "Internet Movie Database". IMDB. 
  13. ^ Philip Michael Thomas. "Living the Book of my Life". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  14. ^ Philip Michael Thomas. "Just the Way I Planned it". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  15. ^ Andrew Stuttaford. "Something in the Air". National Review. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  16. ^ Philip Michael Thomas. "Somebody". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  17. ^ Philip Michael Thomas. "My, My, My Miam...I". Vimeo. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 
  18. ^ "Thomas' Music Entry". Sandi Morais Online. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  19. ^ "Sacha on Broadway". Sandi Morais Online. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  20. ^ "Philip Michael Thomas' Resume". Retrieved 2016-03-24. 

External links[edit]