The sultry Heather Thomas of ‘The Fall Guy’ struggled with addiction – but look at her now, at 66

Heather Thomas, who turned 66 on September 8, was well-known for her leading part in The Fall Guy with Lee Majors and was expected to have a very successful Hollywood career.

However, the stunning blonde hurried to the hospital, thinking her father had an emergency, when the actor’s mother appeared on set during the filming of the show’s conclusion.

She was informed by her relatives and friends who met her at the Santa Monica hospital that her father, Leon, was doing well and that their worries were with her.

For the then-28-year-old woman, this was just the start of a brand new path, as her work and personal life completely changed following that hospital visit.

Discover what became of the former 1980s pinup girl by continuing to read!

Heather Thomas fulfilled her destiny, possessing a natural beauty and ability that rivaled that of Farrah Fawcett and Heather Locklear.

When the girl was just 14 years old, she presented the talk show Talking with a Giant on NBC, where she and four other teenagers conducted celebrity interviews.

Thomas, now 66, studied theater and cinema at UCLA with the goal of advancing her career as an actor, director, and writer. The year before she graduated, she made an appearance in the short-lived comedy series Co-Ed Fever (1979).

The actor, who was born in Connecticut, landed her first major part in 1980 in the television series The Fall Guy. She played Lee Majors’ sidekick, who in the 1970s became well-known throughout the world for his portrayal of Steven Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man.

As the popular action show’s stuntwoman-bounty hunter Jody Banks, Thomas was adored by men who saw her as a sex symbol—a label about which she acknowledges she feels conflicted.

“That comes with a certain amount of required condescension,” Thomas told People. “The blonde bimbo is a stereotype that you fit into. But I was simply enjoying myself at the moment.

Regretfully, she was enjoying herself excessively when using drugs, a tendency that predates her portrayal of Jody Banks.

Her history with drugs began in the sixth grade, when she began abusing narcotics to keep her grades at the top. “I was taking acid and getting straight As,” Thomas declared. I simply believed it to be mind-blowing.

In 1981, Heather Thomas, an actress, posed for a picture in Los Angeles, California. (Image by Getty Images/Harry Langdon))

Her drug use changed as her mentality matured from that of a child to an adult.

Thomas began taking cocaine while she was a student at UCLA, and her drug use worsened in 1981, a year after she started filming The Fall Guy.

Additionally, the 5-foot-7 Thomas developed an obsession with weight and began taking Lasix, a diuretic that may produce extreme sleepiness, feeling as though she had to live up to her reputation as a sex symbol.

She took additional cocaine to give her an energy boost in order to combat the sluggishness.

“At first, I was still getting used to the medicine. I thought I was receiving a good deal on my purchase. She asserted that she had never used cocaine on site and that it had allowed her to work through the night. It is not permitted to use cocaine on sets. It’s no longer clubby to carry it out. It’s merely a personal torment.

A person close to the performer told People that her drug usage was hurting her career, despite her statements to the contrary. According to the source, “word was out on Heather.” “People were aware of her issue.”

Between takes, Thomas’s weight plummeted from 125 to 105 pounds and he was fast asleep. Thomas said, “I was in a minicoma sometimes.”

Subsequently, she fainted in front of Majors, who subsequently contacted her manager and her mother.

Her mother, former special education teacher Gladdy Ryder, informed her daughter that her father was in the hospital after the Fall Guy series finale concluded.

The writer of “Trophies” hurried to St. John’s Hospital, where she was welcomed by relatives and friends who were prepared to have her admitted into the three-week drug program.

Heather Thomas, July 4, 1986, during Farm Aid 2, Austin, Texas. Image courtesy of Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Thomas remarked of that day, “It was a big relief to me.” She also mentioned that she had pneumonia, scarred lungs, and swollen kidneys when she checked into detox. “I wanted to get off the roller coaster I’d been on.” I most likely would have continued on my merry way till I lost my job or passed away if my family hadn’t stepped in.

“The doctors said I should have died three years ago,” she continued.

Thomas, who was dedicated to her recovery, surrounded herself with people who shared her values and would help her achieve her drug-free objectives. That’s when Allan Rosenthal, a co-founder of Cocaine Anonymous, and 28-year-old Thomas first met. She later got married to him and filed for divorce in September 1986.

She was hit by a car while crossing the street that same month, severely injuring both of her legs.


Following her detox, divorce, and surgery to heal severe damage to one leg, Thomas resumed her career, albeit in minor roles in TV shows. She also starred in two Canadian films, Red Blooded American Girl (1990) starring Christopher Plummer, and Cyclone (1987).

After putting her past behind her, Thomas made a fresh start in the 1990s. In an effort to further her career, she married entertainment attorney Skip Brittenham in 1992. In June 2000, Thomas gave birth to her only biological child, India Rose, while also assuming the role of stepmother to his two daughters, Kristina and Shauna.

“I decided to give it up and write for a while,” she told Reuters, “because I had about 45 restraining orders out, and I was on everything from a toilet seat cover to an ashtray—and I was in love, and [then] had two little girls.”

One of Heather’s 26 acting credits came from a brief return in the 2017 film Girltrash: All Night Long.

The actor from Zapped!, who is mostly focused on writing, claimed that frequent privacy violations by stalkers forced her away from performing rather than a lack of roles.

“I was being really harassed. One day, I witnessed a person use a knife to scale the fence. That was it; I had these two small kids who needed to be raised so badly. However, I believe that now that I am older, people won’t annoy me as much.

In addition, Thomas is currently an activist, having previously served on the boards of the Amazon Conservation Team and the Rape Foundation.

Declaring oneself a feminist—a deceptive term for a former gender symbol—Thomas elucidated the significance of both.

“When I was younger, I followed people’s instructions, but as I grew older, I refused to compromise.” I desired independence and control. This got me a house and the recognition I needed to open doors. Having people see your body is not inherently bad. I don’t believe I deceived myself. Being a feminist, in my opinion, does not entail body shame, the woman stated.

Although it’s really unfortunate that Heather Thomas was unable to return to the acting world, we’re glad she received the support she required and is now embarking on a lifelong healing process.

We adored watching her as Jody Banks in The Fall Guy with the Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors, one of the many amazing shows from the 1980s!

What you have to say about Thomas and her recuperation would be greatly appreciated!

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