Thomas Hal Phillips

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For other people named Thomas Phillips, see Thomas Phillips (disambiguation).

Thomas Hal Phillips (October 11, 1922 – April 3, 2007)[citation needed] was an American actor and screenwriter.


Born in Corinth in Alcorn County in northeastern Mississippi[citation needed], Phillips graduated in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State College.[citation needed] He served in the United States Navy during World War II. In 1948, he earned a master's degree in writing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He then taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and wrote books. In 1959, he was appointed by Democratic Governor James P. Coleman to the Mississippi Public Service Commission to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Phillips' younger brother, attorney Rubel Phillips. In 1963, Hal Phillips managed his brother's unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial campaign against the Democrat Paul B. Johnson, Jr.

His first novel The Bitterweed Path was a best seller[citation needed] in its first paperback edition from Penguin Press. The novel was first published in an almost underground way, as a very small, limited run in hardback in 1950 by Rinehart & Co., Inc., and advertised, at the time, as "something new in the literature dealing with man's love for a period when even psychologists knew little of such matters, and people in small towns new nothing."[citation needed] The book, The Bitterweed Path depicts the struggles of two gay men in the Southern United States at the turn of the century, and how an unconventional love triangle involving these two men, and one of their fathers, impacts their three marriages in small-town, deep South.

After returning to the US from service in France in World War II, where he was stationed and fought as a Captain in the US Navy, he began a successful career in Hollywood. His screenplay career continued through the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. He died in Kossuth, Mississippi.[1][citation needed]


  • The Loved and the Unloved
  • The Golden Lie
  • Search for a Hero
  • The Bitterweed Path
  • Kangaroo Hollow
  • Red Midnight


  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • Walking Tall II
  • O. C. and Stiggs
  • Ode to Billy Joe
  • Tarzan's Fight for Life
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • The Brain Machine
  • Minstrel Man
  • Nightmare in Badham County
  • Nashville
  • Cookie's Fortune

Short stories[edit]

  • "Lone Bridge"
  • "Mostly in the Fields"
  • "The Shadow of an Arm"
  • "A Touch of Earth"


  1. ^ Associated Press. Novelist, screenwriter Phillips dies at 84. Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

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