Richard Thomas has been on television since he was five years old. Now 70, “The Waltons” star continues acting to this day. A consistent presence on TV over the course of 65 years, the John-Boy actor has appeared in so many shows it’s likely hard for him to keep track of them all. One of his appearances, however, will be remembered well by “Blue Bloods” fans.
In the second episode of Season 8 from 2017, titled “Ghosts of the Past,” Richard Thomas plays the character of Congressman Walters. It is his only appearance on the show. But that doesn’t make it any less memorable. “The Waltons” fans who happen to see the episode will either be delighted or shocked to find the John-Boy actor playing a treacherous role.
In the episode, Will Este’s Jamie Reagan is tasked with getting to the bottom of the mysterious reappearance of a girl who went missing over a decade ago. The chief suspect? None other than Richard Thomas’ Congressman Walters.
“The Waltons” star’s appearance on “Blue Bloods” is indicative of what he has enjoyed over the past few decades. The hit CBS police drama is one of many bit parts the Emmy Award-winning actor has taken in recent memory. That’s not counting his recurring role on “The Americans,” of course. There, he played the role of Frank Gaad through 58 episodes from 2013-2016.
Richard Thomas Has Been Extremely Busy Since ‘The Waltons’
Before he made an appearance on “Blue Bloods,” Richard Thomas played characters on America’s favorite procedural. Two different iterations of it, to be exact.
In 2009, he appeared in an episode “Law & Order” in which he played a character named Roger Jenkins in an episode titled “Dignity.” And his television career wouldn’t be complete without a few spots on “Law & Order: SVU.”
“The Waltons” star first appeared on “SVU” in 2001. He played a character named Nat Randolph in an episode titled “Scourge.” Next, he took the role of Daniel Varney in the 2013 episode “Brief Interlude.”
Police dramas aside, Thomas’s television resume is the perfect example of consistent work. He played David Robinson in “The Adventures of the Swiss Family Robinson” from 1998 to 1999. A few years later, he took on the role of Hamilton Whitney III in the series “Just Cause.” Contemporary TV fans might recognize Thomas from the three episodes he did in the role of Sanford Bensinger on “Billions.”
What’s interesting about his career trajectory is that it appears to back up the reasons he gave for leaving “The Waltons” in the first place. He clearly likes the freedom to move onto new things.
“I never intended to do more than the first five years. When I left in year five, I didn’t think the show had lost much. I thought it was still going strong and doing really well. I don’t know much about what happened after I left, but I was very happy in the show,” he told Smashing Interviews Magazine in 2014.