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Jay Thomas Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (10)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Kermit, Texas, USA
Died in Santa Barbara, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameJon Thomas Terrell
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jay Thomas was born in Kermit, Texas, to Katherine (Guzzino), a tap-dancing South Louisiana belle of Italian descent, and T. Harry Terrell, Sr., an oil man. Reared in New Orleans, he was always active in sports and performing. He won his first award as emcee of the Jesuit High School talent show. He boxed, wrestled, played football, and ran track. At 16 he started as a stand-up on Bourbon St. He attended Gulf Coast College, University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, Central Piedmont College, and Jacksonville University, graduating with an AA, BS, and MA. He became a sports announcer and DJ in college. He also found time to put in three years of small college football as a QB. When NYC beckoned Jay continued his eclectic career as a top rated morning DJ, comic at the Improve in NYC, and began an active off Broadway acting career, that saw him mix drama and comedy. His first TV role was in "Mork and Mindy". Then on to LA radio as the #1 jock at Power 106, The Ensemble Theater Group, and recurring on "Cheers" as Carla's ice hockey playing husband. He won two Emmy awards for portraying Jerry Gold on"Murphy Brown". He starred in his own TV shows "Married People" with Beth Armstrong and "Love and War" with Susan Dey and later Annie Potts. He appeared as a leading guest star in dozens of sitcoms, cop shows, and MOW's opposite Judith Light, John Tuturro, and Christine Lahti. On the big screen he was featured in "Mr. Holland's Opus", "A Smile Like Yours", and "Santa Claus" 2 and 3. Returning to the stage he starred in plays written and directed by Wendy Wasserstein and Woody Allen. Recently he has hosted shows at Carolines in NYC and the Bellagio in Vegas. He guest starred in an episode of "Hung" on HBO. He won the best actor for and was a co-writer of best comedy at the LA iTV Fest for "Talker". And the Jay Thomas talk show airs daily on SiriusXM.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: jay thomas

Spouse (1)

Sally Michelson (1987 - 24 August 2017) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (10)

He briefly played professional football in the old World Football League.
Every holiday season since 1998, he was asked by David Letterman to knock the meatball off the top of the "Late Show" Christmas tree with a football. The tradition began when quarterback Vinny Testaverde had trouble doing it, and Thomas said he could do it, instead.
Starred with Richard Dreyfuss in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995). He later appeared in two episodes of Dreyfuss' TV series The Education of Max Bickford (2001).
Was the Morning man at New York City radio station WXRK, just prior to Howard Stern.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6161 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Biological father of musician and songwriter J.T. Harding. After giving J.T. up for adoption as an infant, father and son were reunited more than twenty years later and have remained close ever since.
The Jay Thomas Show was heard for a number of years on Sirius Satellite Radio Monday through Fridays, 3:00PM to 6:00PM on Sirius Stars Too, Channel 108. Jay broadcast from California, New York, and New Orleans. [January 2005]
Although grew up in the south he most played "New Yorky" characters.
Has three sons in total, Jake and Sam, with wife Sally Michelson, plus another son, J.T. Harding, born out of wedlock with another (unknown/undisclosed) woman, before Jay and Sally were married, and which Jay and J.T.'s mother gave up for adoption, more than two decades before J.T. and Jay were reunited.
During the summer of 1967, Jay (then Jon Terrell) worked as an apprentice at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, Connecticut. His apprenticeship duties involved building sets at this summer stock theatre. However, Jay would try out his stand-up comic routines on the rest of the staff. These became such a distraction that management changed his duties to mowing the lawn on the grounds. His claim to fame was to serve as the dresser for Tom Poston, who was appearing in a play there. Jay also served as Poston's driver for the week. He drove Poston in to New York to appear on To Tell the Truth (1956), for which Poston was a regular panelist for at that time. During that week's program, Poston made mention of Jay as an up-and-coming comedian who America would soon know about.

Salary (1)

Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) $500,000

See also

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