An actor turned writer and acting teacher, Michael Thoma left some seeds of sentimentality and nostalgia with his roles on the screens of Hollywood. His unprecedented death in the 1980s from cancer was a real shame as we could have seen more of his renditions, performances, and maybe even a book coming to flourish about his incredible life.
Michael Thoma: 4 Things About His Noteworthy Career Acting And Teaching!
1. Who is Michael Thoma’s wife?
Lynn Bennett (30 January 1981 – 3 September 1982) ( till his death)
Marilyn Johnson (15 June 1962 – 1971) ( divorced)
Rosemary Prinz (1951 – 1957) ( divorced)
2. Michael Thoma childhood:
Michael Thoma (Michael John Thoma) was born on 4 December, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. But according to IMDb, he could have ties to Canada as it says that Michael Thoma was actually a Vancouver-based actor turned writer and acting teacher.
3. Michael Thoma career:
Fame (1982) as Mr. Crandall
The misadventures and adventures, successes and frustrations of the students and teachers of the New York City High School for the Performing Arts were narrated on Fame.
The series is a continuation for the small screen of the film Fame, directed by Alan Parker in 1980. The series counted on a good part of the distribution of the cinematographic version. Young aspiring artists had to train in the most varied disciplines: dance, singing, literature, acting to achieve the desired success. Each episode began with a few words from Lydia, the dance teacher (played by Debbie Allen), who summed up the philosophy that fueled the plots and became very popular at the time: Look for fame, but fame has a cost!
Although the characters of the faculty were fairly stable, there was a lot of rotation among the Academy students, and with the exception of the characters of Danny Amatullo and Leroy Johnson, no students remained in the series throughout the six seasons.
The Bionic Woman (1977) as Boris Slotsky
The Bionic Woman is an American television series spin-off of The Six Million Dollar Man about cyborg Jaime Sommers, played by Lindsay Wagner.
The character that first appears in the major story is Steve Austin’s fiancée who has just suffered an accident and Austin convinces his boss to put bionic implants but her body rejects it, and she dies in the removal surgery. However, the character fell to the public’s liking, which made the producers create a spin-off of her own. The explanation for her return is that she was in suspended animation until her body recovered, but no memory.
Winter Kills (1979) as Ray Doty
Winter Kills is an American film directed by William Richert, released in 1979. It has been dubbed into Catalan. Employed in a large American firm based in Germany, an individual asked himself. Not being mature enough for his job and his wife, he decides to stage his own kidnapping to become a man.
President Tim Keegan was assassinated in Philadelphia 19 years earlier and Nick, the late president’s half-brother, is summoned to hear a deathbed confession from a man claiming to be the second gunman in the assassination near the town hall.
The man says the shot was ordered by a mobster named Casper Jr. Nick sets out to find the truth and locates the shooter’s rifle. When the men he is with are gunned down, Nick enlists the help of his father, Pa Kegan. The latter, a patriarch of bullying, sorely disappointed by Nick’s lack of political and financial insight, takes command of the investigation with the help of John Cerruti, his right-hand man. Nick submits to this directive but investigates on his side.
Michael Thoma, who died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles just at the start of the 80s, portrayed Greg Crandall, a kindly but demanding drama teacher, on the ”Fame” series. From 1975 to 1978 he the American actor took up the role of Doc Maxwell, the best friend of the father, on ”Eight Is Enough.”
Michael Thoma was also featured in several television movies and in episodes of series including ”Studio One,” ”The Bionic Woman,”’The Waltons,” ”The Rockford Files”, ”The Rookies,” and ”General Hospital.”
The American actor began his acting career in 1943 as a high school student. During that time he was working in a radio serial in Philadelphia. Soon, he would be called to enter the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York prior to serving in the Army during World War II. At the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, he graduated in 1948 with classmates who included fellow Hollywood stars like Don Rickles, Grace Kelly, and Anne Bancroft.
As his acting career went on, Michael Thoma explored teaching at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in the 1950’s and in 1974 helped open the school’s western campus in Pasadena, California, where he would later go on to not only serve as a teacher, but also an administrator and director.
4. Michael Thoma death:
Michael Thoma, who we saw as a drama teacher on the television program ”Fame” and played the role of a family friend on ”Eight Is Enough,” left this world for another after a two-year battle with cancer in 1982, at just 55 years old.
When he died in the year 1982, he was survived by his wife, Lynn Bennett, and two children. For his funeral service, his guests were scheduled at the academy’s western campus.