Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Richard Thomas - A Television Legend

When it comes to acting, Richard Thomas can do no wrong.

An acclaimed and diverse performer from day one, Thomas is best known in the world of classic television for his iconic, Emmy-winning performance as John-Boy Walton on The Waltons, which followed early riveting performances on notable shows such as Marcus Welby, M.D.

Decades later, Thomas hosted the heart-warming weekly series, It's A Miracle, which utilized his affable charms to introduce true tales of inspiration and courage from the files of real people who have experienced or required other-worldly assistance out of various life challenges.  And never had a host been more suited to a role.

Back in his Waltons days, it was Thomas (along with the Emmy-winning Michael Learned, Ralph Waite, Will Geer and Ellen Corby) who really road that show into becoming one of the best-acted weekly family dramas in the history of television (even The Carol Burnett Show once did a take-off entitled, The Walnuts, thus confirming that satire and imitation are the sincerest forms of flattery).

Through the years, Thomas has starred in countless hit TV-movies, notably 1990's It (based on Stephen King novel, and starring Thomas' good friend and former Waltons semi-regular John Ritter, of Three's Company fame), and The Christmas Box (which was based on the book of the same name), among many more.

With each performance or appearance, the viewer trusts Thomas to deliver the goods. He’s got it all down. The perfect pause between lines of delivery.  The ideal level of emotional display.  He’s never overtly-melodramatic or underwhelmingly shallow, but always just right.  His theatrical generosity on screen is clearly evident, as well, as various Thomas co-stars through the years have tended to look better and offer stronger performances just because they share screen time with the actor.

Suffice it say, when searching or surfing for something to watch and you come upon titles featuring Richard Thomas you can stop looking … because you’ve just uncovered an American treasure.