Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$3 million
Date Of BirthJuly 12, 1948
SpouseSally Michelson
FactBiological father of musician and songwriter J.T. Harding. After giving J.T. up for adoption as an infant, father and son were reunited after 20 later and have remained close, ever since.
PaymentsEarned $500,000 from Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

Jay Thomas was born on July 12, 1948, in Kermit, Texas. His parents were Hazel Jane (née Meyers; 1916–2000), a homemaker, and T. Harry Thomas (1914–1982), an oil field worker. He had two sisters, Patsy (1940–2011) and Nancy (born 1942). He was raised in his mother’s Catholic faith (his father was Protestant). He graduated from Kermit High School in 1966. He attended Odessa College and then the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied journalism.

Thomas began his career as a stand-up comedian. He appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1977 and 1978. He had his own comedy specials on HBO and Showtime. He starred in the sitcoms Mork & Mindy (1978–1982) and Cheers (1982–1987). He won an Emmy Award for his role on Cheers in 1989.

Thomas appeared in the films Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995) and The Santa Clause 2 (2002). He had a recurring role on the TV series Ray Donovan (2013–2016).

Thomas was married to Sally Ann Thompson from 1970 to 1984. They had two sons, Jake Thomas and Sam Thomas. He was married to Marjorie Weinman from 1987 to 2010. They had two daughters, Elizabeth Thomas and Olivia Thomas.

Thomas died on August 24, 2017, at his home in Santa Barbara, California, from cancer. He was 68 years old.

General Info

Full NameJay Thomas
Net Worth$3 million
Date Of BirthJuly 12, 1948
ProfessionComedian, Actor, Disc jockey, Radio personality
EducationCentral Piedmont Community College, Jacksonville University, Jesuit High School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


SpouseSally Michelson
ChildrenJ.T. Harding, Samuel Thomas, Jacob Thomas
ParentsKatharine Terrell, T. Harry Terrell
SiblingsTimothy Terrell, Jr.


AwardsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
MoviesMr. Holland's Opus, The Santa Clause 2, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, A Smile Like Yours, The Pool Boys, Labor Pains, Straight Talk, Killing Mr. Griffin, My Date with the President's Daughter, Legal Eagles, An American Daughter, A Strange Affair, Teacher's Pet, Underdogs, Dragonfly, The Tri...
TV ShowsGhost Stories, Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?, Ink, Mork & Mindy, Love & War, Married People, Katie Joplin, Mysteries at the Museum

Social profile links


Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)$500,000


1The Jay Thomas Show is now heard on Sirius Satellite Radio Monday through Fridays from 3:00PM to 6:00PM on Sirius Stars Too, Channel 108. Jay broadcasts from California, New York, and New Orleans. [January 2005]
2Biological father of musician and songwriter J.T. Harding. After giving J.T. up for adoption as an infant, father and son were reunited after 20 later and have remained close, ever since.
3He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6161 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
4Was the Morning man at New York City radio station WXRK, just prior to Howard Stern.
5Starred 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).
6Every holiday season since 1998, he is asked by David Letterman to knock off the meatball atop 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.
7He briefly played professional football in the old World Football League.




The Santa Clause 22002Easter Bunny
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit2002TV SeriesJoe Sherman
The Education of Max Bickford2001-2002TV SeriesJerry Jerry Zibowski
Monday Night Mayhem2002TV MoviePete Rozelle (uncredited)
Ed2002TV SeriesGary Siringo
Surfacing: AKA A Letter from My Father2001Tom
Two Heterosexual Men Get Ready to Go Out2000Short
An American Daughter2000TV MovieTimber Tucker
Stranger in My House1999Ray Young
The Wild Thornberrys1999TV SeriesBull Seal
The Big Tease1999Tony Bolero (uncredited)
Get Real1999TV SeriesJeffrey Marks
Katie Joplin1999TV SeriesGlen Shotz
Dead Man's Gun1999TV SeriesEmil Kosar
Hercules1998-1999TV SeriesAres
Fantasy Island1999TV SeriesCarl Harbin
Last Chance1999Artie
Hercules: Zero to Hero1999VideoAres (voice)
Monkey Business1998Tedesco
The Adventures of Ragtime1998Lester Waylin
The Simple Life1998TV SeriesJoel Campbell
The Wonderful World of Disney1998TV SeriesCharles Fletcher
Murphy Brown1989-1998TV SeriesJerry Gold
Working1997TV SeriesMr. Peyser
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters1997TV SeriesDisembodied
A Smile Like Yours1997Steve Harris
Desert's Edge1997TV ShortHewitt
Ink1996-1997TV SeriesJack Stein
Killing Mr. Griffin1997TV MovieMr. Griffin
Dirty Laundry1996/IJoey Greene
Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man1996TV Series
Encino Woman1996TV MovieMarvin Reckler
A Husband, a Wife and a Lover1996TV MovieEric McKeever
Mr. Holland's Opus1995Coach Bill Meister
Bless This House1995TV SeriesTed
Cybill1995TV SeriesJay
Love & War1992-1995TV SeriesJack Stein
Goof Troop1992TV Series
Batman: The Animated Series1992TV SeriesGuard 1
Straight Talk1992Zim Zimmerman
Married People1990-1991TV SeriesRussell Meyers
Little Vegas1990Bobby
The American Film Institute Presents: TV or Not TV?1990TV Movie
...Where's Rodney?1990TV MovieLou Barnes
Open House1990TV SeriesEvan Gimbel
Miracle Landing1990TV MovieEd Meyer, Maui Tower Supervisor
Freddy's Nightmares1989TV SeriesStan Brooks
Cheers1987-1989TV SeriesEddie LeBec
The Golden Girls1989TV SeriesSy Ferber
Almost Grown1989TV Series
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1988TV SeriesDelivery Man
A Year in the Life1987TV SeriesScott Spencer
Family Ties1987TV SeriesJerry DiNello
Legal Eagles1986Waiter in Restaurant
The Gig1985Rick Valentine
Spenser: For Hire1985TV SeriesTony Broz
The Park Is Mine1985TV MovieTV Reporter (uncredited)
C.H.U.D.1984Cop in Diner
Master of the Game1984TV Mini-SeriesLevy
Mork & Mindy1979-1981TV SeriesRemo DaVinci
The Love Boat1981TV SeriesPaul Harris
Escort ServiceannouncedMichael
Bones2015TV SeriesLenny Jay
NCIS: New Orleans2015TV SeriesMarc Maslow
Ray Donovan2013-2015TV SeriesMarty Grossman
Newsreaders2014TV SeriesTed Fishlake
The Trials of Cate McCall2013Loncraine
Underdogs2013Mike Mayhew
Life Tracker2013Attorney General
Shake It Up!2012TV SeriesDan Gold
Horrorween2011Two Headed Monster
Snatched2011Roger Byamm
Hung2011TV SeriesSandee's father
Talker2011JJ Justice
The Road to Independence: The Movie2011VideoBenjamin Franklin
A Kiss for Jed2011Carter
Retired at 352011TV SeriesMr. Jenkins
American Dad!2007-2010TV SeriesBrett Morris
Sex Tax: Based on a True Story2010Charles Taylor
Cold Case2010TV SeriesLance Katrola '10
The Spirit of '762009VideoBenjamin Franklin
Labor Pains2009Garth
The Pool Boys2009Marty
Boston Legal2008TV SeriesIan Hoberman
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause2006Easter Bunny
Copshop2004TV MovieDet. Mo Diamond
Joan of Arcadia2004TV SeriesObnoxious Investor at Spa
Teacher's Pet2004Barry Anger (voice)
True Confessions of the Legendary Figures2003Video shortEaster Bunny (uncredited)
Run of the House2003TV SeriesBob Melman
Why I Hate Parties (But Pretend to Love Them)2003ShortExtra




The Bachelor's Baby1996TV Movie co-executive producer


Mork & Mindy1980TV Series performer - 1 episode


Michael Jordan: Come Fly with Me1989Video documentary short narrator


King Cake: A Big Easy Story2017Documentary post-productionHimself
Ghosts: The Documentary2017DocumentaryHimself
Politics Nation with Al Sharpton2015TV SeriesHimself
Late Show with David Letterman1994-2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
The View2005-2014TV SeriesHimself
American Graduate Day2013TV MovieHimself
Hannity2011TV SeriesHimself
Mysteries at the Museum2010-2011TV Series documentaryHimself - Narrator
Ghost Stories2009-2010TV Series documentaryNarrator
Ed Sullivan's Rock and Roll Classics: The 60s2009TV MovieHimself - narrator only
Celebrity Ghost Stories2009TV Series documentaryHimself
The Fame of Our Fathers2008Video documentaryBen Franklin - John Adams
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire2008TV SeriesHimself - Guest Expert
Howard Stern on Demand2008TV SeriesHimself
Whatever Happened To?2008TV SeriesHimself
Jimmy Kimmel Live!2008TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Road to Independence2007DocumentaryJohn Adams (voice)
Jocking Around2007DocumentaryHimself
Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith2006TV SeriesHimself
The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch2006TV SeriesHimself
101 Craziest TV Moments2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
Dennis Miller2005TV SeriesHimself
The Great American Celebrity Spelling Bee2004TV Mini-SeriesHimself
Hollywood Squares2002-2004TV SeriesHimself
Pyramid2003TV SeriesHimself
The Santa Clause 2: Gag Reel2003Video shortHimself / Easter Bunny (uncredited)
Ultimate Jordan2001Video documentaryNarrator
E! True Hollywood Story2000TV Series documentaryHimself
Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?2000TV SpecialHimself - Host
Politically Incorrect1999TV SeriesHimself
Explosion!1997TV MovieHimself / Host
The Rosie O'Donnell Show1996TV SeriesHimself
Lauren Hutton and...1996TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Late Night with Conan O'Brien1993-1996TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1993-1996TV SeriesHimself
Extremely Weird1995TV MovieHimself - Host
Intimate Portrait1993TV Series documentaryHimself
Circus of the Stars Gives Kids the World1993TV Movie documentaryHimself - Ringmaster
Vicki!1992-1993TV SeriesHimself
The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1992TV SpecialHimself - Nominee: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series & Co-Presenter: Outstanding Supporting Actress in Drama Series
Circus of the Stars #161991TV Special documentaryHimself
The Chuck Woolery Show1991TV SeriesHimself
Cheers1990TV SeriesHimself
Michael Jordan: Come Fly with Me1989Video documentary shortNarrator
Sitcom: The Adventures of Garry Marshall1979TV Movie documentaryHimself / Remo DaVinci (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Howard Stern on Demand2007TV SeriesHimself


Won Awards

1991Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMurphy Brown (1988)
1990Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMurphy Brown (1988)
1989Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameRadioAwarded on June 1, 1989 at 6161 Hollywood Blvd.

Nominated Awards

1992Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesMurphy Brown (1988)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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