He may have left The Waltons after the show’s fifth season in 1977, but Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Thomas didn’t stop acting. Far from it, the John-Boy actor seems to have only gotten busier.
Fans of The Waltons are likely well aware by now that a reboot of the original Walton’s movie Homecoming is set to hit the small screen on November 28. Thomas isn’t reprising his role as John-Boy. He’s leaving that job up to Logan Shroyer. However, he serves as the movie’s narrator—a part once held by the show’s creator Earl Hamner Jr.
Ahead of the Homecoming premiere, let’s look at some of the other recent acting work former The Waltons star Richard Thomas has done.
Earlier this year, Richard Thomas made his debut as Bodie Lord in the Amazon Prime original show Tell Me Your Secrets. The show’s first season was met with critical success and has been renewed for a second season. However, it doesn’t look like Thomas’ five-episode arc as Bodie will see him return.
More recently, Thomas played a starring role as a character named Roger in a Christmas movie called Christmas vs. The Walters. The film is currently showing in select theaters and has some positive audience feedback.
But Richard Thomas’ biggest recent project hasn’t been released yet. According to IMDb, The Unforgivable was just completed. It features a star-studded cast, including Sandra Bullock as the lead character—a woman released from prison only to find people don’t see her as rehabilitated. The movie stars Jon Berthal, Vincent D’Onfrio, Viola Davis, and of course, Richard Thomas.
It’s still too early to know much about his specific character details. But it’s a big project, to say the least.
Why Did Richard Thomas Leave ‘The Waltons’ in the First Place?
Five seasons isn’t a short amount of time to spend on a TV show, but one has to wonder, why leave a successful show like The Waltons behind?
For Richard Thomas, it wasn’t complicated. The-Waltons.com claims that he did it solely because he wanted to explore other opportunities and interests. There was no reported falling out between Thomas and the show or the network. He just wanted to move on. So that’s exactly what he did.
What he wasn’t expecting, however, was The Waltons bringing in another actor to replace his John-Boy character.
“It was a strange thing to do. Because it’s very hard for people to change their idea of who a character is, what he looks like, what he or she sounds like. And, I don’t know that it was a very successful shift,” Richard Thomas told Studio 10.
Even the existing thought it was a strange move for the show to make. Some found it challenging to work with replacement Robert Wightman at first.