Henry Thomas biography
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Date of Birth: September 9, 1971
The only son of a hydraulic machinist, Thomas was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He
was still a young boy when he made his first feature film, Raggedy Man, with Sissy Spacek
and Eric Roberts. An editor on that film brought the young actor's work to Steven Spielberg's
attention. While working on the post production of this film, Thomas was cast in one of the
biggest box-office hits ever: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial , in which he starred as the
Besides becoming a merchandising icon, Thomas received numerous nominations for his role of
Elliott including a BAFTA and a Golden Globe award for Best Young Actor.
Thomas wasn't able to sustain his newfound stardom thanks to a series of substandard
films, but there were occasional high points during his awkward teens, notably the role
of an 18th-century paramour in Valmont (1989).
Henry took time to study philosophy and history at Texas' Blinn Junior College. He also
became a member of a Celtic folk-rock band, The Rain Dogs, which performs locally around
San Antonio. Thomas sings, plays guitar and writes the songs which he insists is "only a
fun hobby" when he is not in front of the camera.
In 1993, the now-fully-grown Thomas came full circle with another "alien encounter" film,
Fire in the Sky. Thomas' return to stardom seemed to be a "given" during the 1994-95
season with the choice role of young frontiersman Samuel Ludlow in Legends of the Fall (1994)
and a starring part as an accused child molester in the made-for-TV Indictment: The McMartin
Trial (1995). Directed by Mick Jackson, it premiered on HBO and received a CableAce nomination.
Elsewhere on television, Thomas has starred in the film A Taste for Killing, Psycho: The
Beginnings, in which he played teen-aged Norman Bates, and Beyond Obsession, in which he
starred as a young man manipulated into murdering his girlfriend's mother. He also starred
as Ishmal in the tele-film, Moby Dick , alongside Patrick Stewart.
Thomas turned to stage in the late '90s, appearing in the Broadway production of Morning
Star. This led to the lead opposite Martha Scott in The Willow and I, and to another
starring role opposite Geraldine Fitzgerald in Irwin Shaw's Sons and Soldiers.
Besides acting and singing, Thomas has narrated three Star Wars: X-Wing novels on tape: Rogue
Squadron, Wedge's Gamble and The Krytos Trap.
The veteran actor's most recent projects include the biographical music drama The Last Ride
(2012), the romance Big Sur
(2013), and the horror flick Ouija: Origin of Evil
Thomas currently lives on a ranch in San Antonio.