- Henry Jackson Thomas, Jr
September 09, 1971 (age 49)
- Actor, Musician
- Kelly Hill (2000–2002) Marie Zielcke (2004–2007)
- Henry Jackson Thomas, Carolyn L. Thomas
Henry Jackson Thomas, Jr. (born September 9, 1971) is an American actor and musician. He has appeared in over 40 films and is best known for his role as Elliott Taylor in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), for which he received BAFTA Award and Golden Globe Award nominations. He is also known for his roles in films such as Cloak & Dagger (1984), Legends of the Fall (1994), All the Pretty Horses (2000), Gangs of New York (2002), Dear John (2010) and Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016). Among Star Wars fans, he is well known as the narrator of three Star Wars: X-Wing books: Rogue Squadron, Wedge's Gamble, and The Krytos Trap.
Thomas was born an only child in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Carolyn L. (née Davis), a homemaker, and Henry Jackson Thomas, a hydraulic machinist. He attended East Central High School in San Antonio and Blinn College in Brenham. Thomas is of Welsh descent.
Aged nine, Thomas had already been in one film, Raggedy Man, when he auditioned for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He won the part by giving a genuinely tearful performance, during which he had drawn upon the trauma of having seen his pet dog being killed by a neighbor’s dog. The film’s success exceeded expectations, and Thomas was troubled by the sometimes extreme reaction of the public.
After E.T., Thomas returned to Texas and only occasionally acted (Cloak & Dagger and on TV) while attending school. He returned to film in the late 1980s and early 1990s and began to prove himself in adult roles, most notably as the younger version of Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates character in Psycho IV: The Beginning.
His most prominent adult role to date was as "Samuel Ludlow" in Legends of the Fall (1994). In 2002, he starred as supporting character Johnny Sirocco in the Martin Scorsese historical fiction film Gangs of New York. He is currently both an actor and musician and starred in the 2011 film The Last Ride (2011) as musician Hank Williams Sr. In the ABC series Betrayal, he plays T.J. Karsten.
Thomas wrote songs, sang, and played guitar for the San Antonio, Texas band The Blue Heelers (named for the breed of dog) from the mid to late 1990s. Although the band was never signed to a record label, its self-produced album Twister was warmly received and enjoyed statewide radio play. Moving to Los Angeles in 1998, the band dissolved, but Thomas continued to write and record songs. In 1998, his song "Truckstop Coffee" (recorded with the Blue Heelers) appeared on V2's soundtrack to the film Niagara, Niagara in which Thomas appeared.
In 2003, Thomas worked with Nikki Sudden on the music for Mika Kaurismäki's film Honey Baby, which featured four original songs written and performed by Thomas as the fictitious musician Tom Brackett. An album was in the works, but Sudden died in 2006.