Byron Thames has Michael Landon to thank for his career; after a chance meeting with the "Little House on the Prairie" star, Thames was cast on Landon's frontier drama "Father Murphy" as Matt Sims, a young orphan who escapes a life in the workhouse. After the series ended in 1983, Thames landed a recurring role on "Silver Spoons," centered on the relationship between a too-serious child and his immature father, and was cast as Michael Keaton's younger self in the campy gangster film "Johnny Dangerously." He portrayed a bullied teen who runs away from his family in the romantic comedy "Seven Minutes in Heaven" and a free-spirited teen in the short-lived "A Brand New Life," about the chaos that ensues when a working-class waitress (Barbara Eden) marries a millionaire businessman (Don Murray). In 2001 he played the title diner owner in the largely improvised indie movie "Don's Plum," which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, among others, as aimless L.A. teens. Thames wrote, directed, produced, and acted in the short 2003 film "Love Songs" and appeared as himself in an episode of the HBO series "Californication."