|Born||April 6, 1938|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
(m. 1962; div. 1967)
(m. 1967; div. 1984)
(m. 1987; div. 2001)
(m. after 2005)
His first primetime role was in "A Fist of Five", a 1962 episode of The Untouchables, as a brother of an ex-policeman (played by Lee Marvin). Later that year he appeared in a small role as a cowboy named “Harry” on James Arness’s TV Western Gunsmoke (“False Front” - S8E15).
Later he co-starred as Ben Quick in the short-lived 1965-66 television series The Long Hot Summer, which ran on ABC. During its run he received around 1,500 letters per week and appeared on the cover of TV Guide
During 1967 and 1968, Thinnes starred in The Invaders, a TV series in which he portrayed an architect named David Vincent who accidentally witnessed the arrival of aliens from another planet. Vincent waged a seemingly hopeless one-man campaign against them. The series became a cult classic, leading to other 'aliens vs earthlings' films and TV shows.
He returned in 1995 as a much older David Vincent, as part of a TV mini-series titled The Invaders (starring Scott Bakula), and a decade later provided audio commentary for the official DVD releases of The Invaders.
Decades after the unexpected cancellation of the original series, "in Europe ... It hasn’t stopped running."
In 2019, U.S. basic-cable network MeTV began running weekly reruns of The Invaders as part of its popular "Red-Eye Sci-Fi Saturday Night" overnight late Saturday evening/early Sunday morning sci-fi TV series programming schedule.
"Manhunter" (in which Thinnes tracks a bank robbery suspect) is a TV Film that was broadcast on British TV in 1972 (with The Man Hunter as its title) but was not shown on American TV until 1976. A similar title ("The Manhunter"), but with a different plot,[better source needed] was used for a 1974-filmed TV movie. Thinnes guest starred on Twelve O'Clock High, becoming a casualty of war while commanding a B-17 bomber on a dangerous mission. He played an intrepid writer and investigator of the supernatural David Norliss in 1973's The Norliss Tapes, a pilot for an unproduced TV series, and portrayed a suspicious schoolmaster in the TV movie Satan's School for Girls.
He appeared in the disaster films Airport 1975 as the co-pilot, and The Hindenburg as a sadistic SS captain. Thinnes was cast in Alfred Hitchcock's 1976 film Family Plot in the role of nefarious jeweler Arthur Adamson when Hitchcock's first choice, William Devane, was unavailable. Thinnes had already shot several scenes for the film when Devane suddenly became available. Hitchcock fired Thinnes and re-shot all of his scenes. He confronted Hitchcock in a restaurant and asked the director why he was fired. Flabbergasted, Hitchcock simply looked at Thinnes until the actor left. Some shots of Thinnes as the character (from behind) remain in the film.
During the 1982-1983 season, Thinnes appeared as Nick Hogan in 35 episodes of Falcon Crest. He later played Roger Collins in the 1991 revival of TV's Dark Shadows. He appeared on One Life to Live as Alex Crown from 1984–85, and as Sloan Carpenter from 1992-95. He also played a lead role in "The Final Chapter," the first episode of the 1977 series Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected (known in the United Kingdom as Twist in the Tale), and in "The Crystal Scarab", a first-season episode of Poltergeist: The Legacy in 1996. Thinnes was once considered by Paramount for the part of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
He appeared in the 1988 pilot episode of Law & Order, "Everybody's Favorite Bagman", as District Attorney Alfred Wentworth. By the time the show was picked up in 1990, however, Thinnes was contractually obligated to another TV series (NBC's remake of Dark Shadows), and so his character was replaced with D.A. Adam Schiff, played by Steven Hill. Thinnes made two appearances in The X-Files as Jeremiah Smith, an alien rebel with healing and shape-shifting abilities.
Twice Thinnes appeared on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live playing two different characters. From 1984-1985, he played the role of "Alex Crown" and from 1992–1995, he played the role of "Gen. Sloan Carpenter". During both of his stints on the show, his characters became a father-in-law to the same character, Cassie Callison.
In 2005, Thinnes co-starred as Dr. Theophile Peyron in the movie The Eyes of Van Gogh about Vincent van Gogh (played by Alexander Barnett, who also wrote and directed) and his voluntary stay in an insane asylum. The movie focuses on Van Gogh's relationships with Dr. Peyron, as well as fellow Expressionist Paul Gauguin, and his brother, Theo.
Thinnes was born in Chicago of German descent. After serving in the United States Army as a military police officer, he relocated to California and attended Los Angeles City College.
In 2005, Thinnes married film editor Stephanie Batailler.
|1959||The FBI Story||Party Guest||Uncredited|
|1969||Doppelgänger||Colonel Glen Ross|
|1973||Charley One-Eye||The Indian|
|1975||The Hindenburg||SS/Gestapo Captain Martin Vogel|
|1987||Mind Benders||Principal Borden|
|1989||Rush Week||Dean Grail|
|2001||A Beautiful Mind||Governor|
|2005||The Eyes of Van Gogh||Dr. Peyron|
|2007||Broken English||Peter Andrews|
|1957||Cavalcade of America||Mickey Hubbard||Episode: "Chicago 2-1-2"|
|1958||Peter Gunn||Roy Davidson||Episode: "The Man with the Scar"|
|1959||Steve Canyon||Officer Weber||Episode: "Room 313"|
|1962||The Untouchables||Denny Brannon||Episode: "A Fist of Five"|
|1962||Gunsmoke||Harry||Episode: "False Front"|
|1963||Ripcord||Radioman||Episode: "Semper Paratus Any Time"|
|1963||The Untouchables||Red Thomas||Episode: "An Eye for an Eye"|
|1963||The Eleventh Hour||David Dunlear||Episode: "Something Crazy's Going on in the Back Room"|
|1963||Death Valley Days||Ab Singleton||Episode: "Jeb"|
|1963||Gunsmoke||Dr. Peyron||Episode: "Jeb"|
|1963–1965||General Hospital||Dr. Phil Brewer||Series regular|
|1964||The Reporter||Roberts||Episode: "Murder by Scandal"|
|1964||The Reporter||Detective Lieutenant Lee Roberts||Episode: "The Lost Lady Blues"|
|1965–1966||The Long, Hot Summer||Ben Quick||Main cast|
|1965||12 O'Clock High||Maj. Jake Hays||Episode: "In Search of My Enemies"|
|1966||The F.B.I.||Larry Drake||Episode: "The Escape"|
|1966||12 O'Clock High||Capt. Paul Pridie||Episode: "A Distant Cry"|
|1966||The Fugitive||Carl Crandall||Episode: "Wine is a Traitor"|
|1967–1968||The Invaders||David Vincent||Lead role|
|1970||The Other Man||Johnny Brant||TV movie|
|1970–1971||The Psychiatrist||Dr. James Whitman||Lead role|
|1971||Black Noon||Reverend John Keyes||TV movie|
|1972||The Manhunter||David Farrow||TV movie|
|1973||The Horror at 37,000 Feet||Alan O'Neill||TV movie|
|1973||The Norliss Tapes||David Norliss||TV movie|
|1973||Satan's School for Girls||Dr. Joseph Clampett||TV movie|
|1973||Death Race||Arnold McMillan||TV movie|
|1977||Quinn Martin's Tales of the Unexpected||Frank Harris||Episode: "The Final Chapter"|
|1977||Secrets||Herb Fleming||TV movie|
|1977||Code Name: Diamond Head||Johnny Paul||TV movie|
|1978||Battlestar Galactica||Croft||Two episodes|
|1979||From Here to Eternity||Capt. Dana Holmes||Miniseries|
|1979||Supertrain||Senator J. J. Phillips/Eddie Barnes||Episode: "Hail to the Chief"|
|1979||The Return of Mod Squad||Dan||TV movie|
|1979||Stone||Detective Cliff Bell||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1980||From Here to Eternity||Capt. Dana Holmes||Main cast|
|1981||Scruples||Bennett Hall||TV movie|
|1982–1983||Falcon Crest||Nick Hogan||Recurring role|
|1984||Hotel||John White||Episode: "Memories"|
|1984||The Love Boat||Buzz McClaine||Episode: "Country Blues/A Matter of Taste/Frat Brothers Forever"|
|1984–1985||One Life to Live||Alex Crown||Series regular|
|1985||Murder, She Wrote||Lt. Ted Misko||Episode: "Dead Heat"|
|1986||Highway to Heaven||Howard Sellers||Episode: "Oh Lucky Man"|
|1987||1st & Ten||Teddy Schrader||Recurring role|
|1987||Murder, She Wrote||Sheriff Howard Landry||Episode: "Trouble in Eden"|
|1987||The Law & Harry McGraw||George Bellamy||Episode: "State of Art"|
|1989||Passport to Terror||Jimmy||TV movie|
|1990||Blue Bayou||Barry Fontenot||TV movie|
|1990||War of the Worlds||Van Order||Episode: "Video Messiah"|
|1990||Law & Order||D.A. Alfred Wentworth||Episode: "Everybody's Favorite Bagman"|
|1991||An Inconvenient Woman||Sims Lord||Miniseries|
|1991||Murder, She Wrote||J.K. Davern||Episode: "The Taxman Cometh"|
|1991||Dark Shadows||Roger Collins/Rev. Trask||Main cast|
|1991||P.S. I Luv U||Larry Benton||Episode: "The Honeymooners"|
|1992||Lady Against the Odds||P.L. Storrs||TV movie|
|1992||FBI: The Untold Stories||Agent Jim Theisen||Episode; "D.B. Cooper/The McCoy Hijacking"|
|1992||Stormy Weathers||Andrew Chase||TV movie|
|1992–1995||One Life to Live||Gen. Sloan Carpenter||Series regular|
|1995||Walker, Texas Ranger||Col. Dayton||Episode: "Case Closed"|
|1995||The Invaders||David Vincent||Miniseries|
|1996||Terminal||John Cabot||TV movie|
|1996–2001||The X-Files||Jeremiah Smith||Recurring role|
|1996||Poltergeist: The Legacy||Clayton Wallace||Episode: "The Crystal Scarab"|
|1996||Touched by an Angel||Senator Guy Hammond||Episode: "Secret Service"|
|1997||Law & Order||Victor Panatti||Episode: "Terminal"|
|1997||Players||Logan Cates||Episode: "Con Job"|
|1999||Law & Order||Mr Kushner||Episode: "Ramparts"|
|2000||The Sopranos||Dr. Baumgartner||Episode: "House Arrest"|
|2000||D.C.||Fred Hamilton||Episode: "Guns and Roses"|
|2000||Bar Hopping||Man with Cassandra||TV movie|
|2001||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Sheridan Beckworth||Episode: "The Faithful"|
|2002||Oz||Leader of Aryan Brotherhood||Episode: "Good Intentions"|
|2002||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Curtis Johansen||Episode: "Greed"|
|2006||Conviction||Ralph Hanlon||Episode: "Deliverance"|
- Howard Thompson (November 12, 1969). "'Journey to Far Side of Sun' Opens". The New York Times.
- William Labov; Ray Broadus Browne; Pat Browne (2001). The Guide to United States Popular Culture.
- Stephen Bowie. "The Invaders: The Nightmare Has Already Begun".
- "Thinnes’ big break came in the form of a two-year stint on General Hospital, starting in 1963.
- (April 9–15, 1966 issue).
- Roy Thinnes at IMDb
- Susan King (November 12, 1995). "Retro : Thinnes' Invaders is thick with new sightings". LATimes.com Los Angeles Times.
We were prepared to go on for a third season ... ratings were fairly respectable at that time.
- Stephen M. Deusner (June 11, 2008). "They're on Your TV!: 'The Invaders'". The Washington Post.
- George Gent (September 7, 1970). "TV Will Drip Social Significance". The New York Times.
- IMdb citation: "The Manhunter (1972) DVD-R".
- "The Man Hunter (1972)". BFI (British Film Institute).
Alternative title: The Manhunter
- "Television". The New York Times. July 24, 1776.
- "Hunting Down "The Manhunter""". March 24, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- "Family Plot trivia". IMDb.com. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- Tom Buckley (February 14, 1979). "TV: New 'Here to Eternity' on NBC". The New York Times.
- "STAR TREK/Casting". LettersOfNote.com. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
- Thomson-Gale (2003). The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained.
- Bruce Weber (September 10, 2002). "Theater Review: 'Of Mice and Men' and the Apocalypse". The New York Times.
- "Toledo Blade". on February 12, 1969
- Ruth Ryon (March 9, 1997). "De Niro leases house for $30,000 a month". The Orlando Sentinel.
- "Roy Thinnes marries film editor Stephanie Batailler". Soapopera World. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
- "TV Weekend: Scruples". The New York Times. May 22, 1981.
- John J. O'Connor (August 19, 1987). "TV Review: 'FIRST AND 10,' HBO Football sitcom". The New York Times.
- Caryn James (October 17, 1997). "Television Review: Rogues in Cahoots With the F.B.I." The New York Times.
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