‘Home Improvement’: Where Is Randy Taylor Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas Now?

by Taylor Cunningham

In the 90s, Home Improvement’s Jonathan Taylor Thomas was the ultimate “it” boy in Hollywood. But shortly after storming the TV and film world, he disappeared from the limelight. What happened?

According to various interviews with the star, he got so famous so fast that he burnt out and started hating the career altogether. So, he quit.

Over the span of 17 years, Thomas appeared in 36 projects. The majority of them landed within the seven years that he played Randy Taylor on his breakout classic TV hit. And it was way too much for him at a young age.

As he told PEOPLE in 1994, being a child star meant juggling friends with learning lines and keeping up the image of perfection. And carrying that weight was overwhelming.

“I can’t tell you how many shows I’ve done with full-blown migraine headaches,” he said.

And it didn’t take long for all of the stress to make him walk away from fame—well, kind of.

When Home Improvement went into its eighth season, Thomas decided he was finished being a Taylor. So he told Tim Allen that he wanted to move on with his life and finish school. And the series closed without Randy.

However, Thomas went on to film a few more movies after his exit, which caused some bad blood with his former castmates.

The ‘Home Improvement’ Star Earned an Ivy League Education

Johnathan Taylor Thomas did end up retiring from the industry completely in 2006, though. And just as he told Allen he would, he finished school and then went on for an Ivy League education. And he doesn’t regret his decision one bit.

Thomas studied at Harvard, Columbia, and St. Andrew’s University in Scotland.

“I’d been going nonstop since I was 8 years old,” he told PEOPLE in 2013. “I wanted to go to school, to travel, and have a bit of a break. To sit in a big library amongst books and students, that was pretty cool. It was a novel experience for me.”

Since retiring from the screen, Thomas has lived a quiet and private life at his home in Hollywood, CA. In 2017, he was elected to sit on the SAG-AFTRA National Board, which he accepted. And in 2018, he started working on some projects with his former Home Improvement castmate Zachery Ty Bryan and fellow child star Macaulay Culkin.

Thomas also made amends with Tim Allen and came out of retirement to appear in four episodes of Last Man Standing between 2013 and 2015.

Other than that, there is no word on the former actor’s career status. But according to Celebrity Net Worth, he was able to amass a $16 million fortune while being a 90s heartthrob. So he set himself up nicely to live a life of leisure.