Family & Companions
Jay Thomas was an American disc jockey and actor who was best known for his roles in "Mork & Mindy" (ABC, 1978-1982), "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998) and "Mr. Holland's Opus" (1995). Born in Kermit, Texas and raised in New Orleans, Thomas was a gifted athlete in high school and excelled in multiple sports, including football, boxing and wrestling. He played football for a brief period in college, but quickly discovered that he joined calling the games as a radio announcer, as opposed to playing in them. From there, Thomas turned all of his focus and attention to radio broadcasting. After college he worked as a disc jockey for a number of smaller stations in the South before receiving his first big break when he was asked to be a DJ for a Top 40 station in New York City. Thomas was a familiar voice to radio listeners all across the Big Apple in the late 1970s. With his radio career in full swing, Thomas received an offer to appear as a recurring character alongside Robin Williams on "Mork & Mindy." It was an offer he couldn't refuse and with that, he packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles. Thomas played Remo DaVinci on the series from 1979 to 1981, all the while continuing to serve as a DJ for Top 40 stations in sunny Southern California. He remained a DJ all throughout the 1980s, and continued to act consistently in both movies and television shows, including a recurring role as Eddie LeBec on "Cheers" (NBC, 1982-1993). Then in 1989 Thomas landed his breakout role as Jerry on "Murphy Brown." He appeared intermittently on the series from 1989 through 1998, and went onto win two Primetime Emmys for his performance. Thomas continued acting throughout the 90s and well into the 2010s, with his more notable roles including "Mr. Holland's Opus," "The Santa Claus 2" (2002), and "Ray Donovan" (Showtime, 2013- ). After leaving radio to focus on his acting in the early 90s, Thomas returned to the mic in 2005 with his own weekly radio program on SiriusXM. After an amazing career in entertainment spanning 40-plus years, Jay Thomas passed away from cancer on August 24, 2017. He was 69.
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Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Played a recurring role on "Mork & Mindy"
Made screen-acting debut on "The Love Boat"
Made feature film debut in "C.H.U.D."
Appeared on first TV miniseries, "Master of the Game"
Played recurring character Eddie LeBec, ex-husband of Carla, for three seasons on the hit NBC sitcom, "Cheers"
Made TV movie debut in "Justin Case"
Played Jerry Gold on "Murphy Brown"
Starred in leading role of Jack Stein on the CBS sitcom, "Love & War", which reteamed him with the Diane English-Joel Shukovsky team
Co-starred in "Mr. Holland's Opus"
Had first leading role in "Dirty Laundry"
Played Ares on cult TV hit "Hercules"
Appeared as Glen Shotz on short-lived series "Katie Joplin"
Appeared as the Easter Bunny in Tim Allen vehicle "The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause"
Nabbed a recurring role on Showtime's "Ray Donovan"