‘The Outsiders’: What C. Thomas Howell Did After the Iconic Movie

by Megan Molseed

In 1983 a group of incredibly popular young actors came together to make the cult-classic film adaptation of the wildly popular novel, The Outsiders. And, since then, when many fans catch a glimpse of actor C. Thomas Howell, it’s his Outsiders character, Ponyboy many think of.

But, what has the longtime actor been doing since his role in the coming of age teen-flick? Staying in the business, that’s for sure! Since his portrayal of Ponyboy in The Outsiders, C. Thomas Howell has found a variety of roles throughout Hollywood. He took on a variety of film roles including reuniting with some of his Outsiders costars in the 1984 hit Red Dawn. In addition to his many film credits, C. Thomas Howell took on a variety of television roles over the last few decades in shows such as Animal Kingdom; Ray Donovan; Criminal Minds; The Walking Dead, and SEAL Team. The Outsiders star also made his theatrical debut in 2020 when he starred in the play Worst-Case Scenario.

When He’s Not Acting, He’s Hitting the Stage With His Band

While acting in beloved 1983 film is where we first caught a glimpse of C. Thomas Howell, the longtime actor has added another credit to his resume, musician. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the actor decided to take on some guitar lessons. And, according to the actor’s website, the former Outsiders star quickly got lost in his “newly found love of learning to strum, practice instantly turned to passion.”

Since then, the actor has formed a full-fledged band. The actor chose a name for the band that truly show’s Howell’s appreciation for his breakout role in The Outsiders: Tommy Howell and the Pony Express. C. Thomas Howell and his band are now touring with shows scheduled all over the country. The actor and musician likes to keep his fans updated on the band’s updates, via his Instagram.

People Have Found “Comfort” In ‘The Outsiders’

Starring alongside C. Thomas Howell in the hit teen film are some major iconic film stars such as Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Esteves, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillion, and Ralph Macchio. Since its release, the coming-of-age film has become a massive cult-classic film beloved by many.

“People tell me it’s their comfort film,” notes the film’s producer, the legendary Francis Ford Coppola.

“Or they have a Stay Gold tattoo, or they used the Robert Frost poem for their wedding vows,” the producer says.

“I get asked all the time what the poem means,” he adds. “I had no idea when I was 15 that it represents the circle of life. Even the two boys don’t understand what it means — they’re just sharing a moment — until one of them dies.”