Heather Thomas rose to stardom thanks to her role as Jody Banks in the 80s series The Fall Guy. She famously quit acting in the 90s and fell from the public eye for a while before taking another role on the 2010s.
Thomas was born in September of 1957 in Greenwich, Connecticut to a special education teacher, Gladdy Lou Ryder. She left Connecticut for Los Angeles when she was accepted into the UCLA Theatre program to studying acting.
Before she graduated in 1980, she had a few roles under her belt. One of which was a television show called Co-Ed Fever that was notably cancelled after the first episode aired. She played Sandi, a student at a former all girls college before they started allowing boys to attend the school, too. The show was made to capitalize on the public interest in college sitcoms after the success of the National Lampoon series began. It was cancelled due to the low viewership and countless viewer complaints.
The Fall Guy
Her first notable role was in the television show The Fall Guy. The series followed a Hollywood Stuntman who would moonlight as a bounty hunter Colt Seavers. Heather Thomas played Jody Banks, one of his fellow stunt workers who would tag along and help him on different cases from time to time.
There were 112 episodes total in the five seasons the show was aired, Thomas was in all of them. The show was a hit during its five year run and was even made into comic books and video games. They even used it to introduce and gain traction for a new show called Trauma Center, which crossover with an episode of The Fall Guy.
Other notable roles of hers include her first film role in Zapped! a movie about high school students given telekinetic powers that they use to get revenge on their bullies. Her first starring movie role was in Cyclone, a 1984 film about a woman who had to deliver a top-secret government motorcycle across the country after her husband, who was supposed to deliver it, was killed.
Her brief film career was mostly low budget action and thrillers before she quit acting in the late 90s. Her last starring role was in the film Hidden Obsession about a TV new anchorwoman who was stalked by a serial killer who mainly targeted strippers while she was alone on vacation.
In 2014 she took her first role in almost 20 years as Nadine in an indie film called Girltrash: All Night Long. The film is centered around a band hoping to participate in Los Angeles’ Battle of the Bands, but are met with countless struggles trying to make it on time. It won awards at two film festivals for best feature film as well as best soundtrack. Thomas hasn’t acted since then.
What is Heather Thomas Doing Now?
Since quitting acting in the late 90s, Thomas has been very vocal about the reasons behind it. She was a Hollywood pin up girl and garnered a lot of male attention. She had several stalkers and told reporters that she had over forty-five restraining orders out at one point. At the time she had a growing family with her husband Harry Marcus Brittenham and decided she needed to focus on them and step out of the limelight.
She pivoted her career to writing shortly after. She’s written scripts for television and film, though she says that none of them have been produced yet. She even published a novel in 2009 called Trophies. The book is about a trophy wife who breaks the unspoken code of other wives by getting involved with another’s charity turf. Her friends turn into enemies and she has to claw her way back to the top from poverty after she’s abandoned by her husband and left penniless.
Trophies is all about the Hollywood elite and the charity circuit, which Heather Thomas is a prominent part of with her husband. The pair host monthly charity breakfasts at their home and Thomas is a board member of the Rape Foundation and the Amazon Conservation Team. She’s very active politically, too, supporting many democratic candidates and being an active feminist.
Thomas stays out of the public eye for the most part these days, but she is still actively contributing to many fundraisers and helping raise awareness for many different causes and you can often find her signing autographs and taking photos with fans at conventions.