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

With her major role in The Fall Guy alongside Lee Majors, Heather Thomas, who turned 66 on September 8, was well-known and was predicted to have a very successful Hollywood career.

But when the actor’s mother showed up on stage during the last scene of the play, the gorgeous blonde rushed to the hospital, believing her father had an emergency.

When she was met at the Santa Monica hospital by her family and friends, they assured her that her father, Leon, was doing well and that they were worried about her.

The 28-year-old woman’s career and personal life drastically changed as a result of her hospital admission, so this was just the beginning of an entirely new journey for her.

Keep reading to find out what happened to the former pinup girl of the 1980s!

With her natural beauty and talent matching that of Farrah Fawcett and Heather Locklear, Heather Thomas achieved her destiny.

The child hosted Talking with a Giant, an NBC talk show where she and four other teens interviewed celebrities, when she was just 14 years old.

With the intention of expanding her career as an actor, director, and writer, Thomas, now 66, attended UCLA to study theater and film. She appeared in the brief comedy series Co-Ed Fever (1979) the year before she graduated.

Born in Connecticut, the performer got her big break in 1980 with a role in the TV show The Fall Guy. She was the sidekick of Lee Majors, who rose to international fame in the 1970s as Steven Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man.

Men loved Thomas as the popular action show’s stuntwoman-bounty hunter Jody Banks, and she concedes that she feels torn about being labeled as a sex symbol.

Thomas told People, “That comes with a certain amount of required condescension.” “You fit into the cliché of the blonde bimbo. But right then, I was just having fun.

Unfortunately, she was getting too high off of drugs, which is a habit that existed before she played Jody Banks.

Her drug history started in the sixth grade, when she started misusing drugs to maintain her high grades. Thomas said, “I was taking acid and getting straight As.” I just thought it was incredible.

As her mentality evolved from that of a child to an adult, her drug use also altered.

When Thomas was a UCLA student, she started using cocaine, and a year after she started filming The Fall Guy, her drug usage got worse.

The 5-foot-7 Thomas also started taking Lasix, a diuretic that can cause excessive sleepiness, since she felt pressured to live up to her status as a sex symbol. She also developed a fixation with weight.

To offset the sluggishness, she took extra cocaine to give her a boost in energy.

I was still getting used to the medication at first. I felt like I was getting a decent value for my money. She claimed that the cocaine had enabled her to work through the night, even though she had never used it on the job site. Cocaine usage is not allowed on set. It’s no longer appropriate to do so. It’s just an internal struggle.

Despite the performer’s denials to the contrary, a person close to her told People that her drug use was harming her career. The informant claimed that “word was out on Heather.” “People knew about her problem.”

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

After that, she passed out in front of Majors, who called her mother and manager.

After the Fall Guy series finale, her mother, Gladdy Ryder, a former special education teacher, told her daughter that her father was in the hospital.

After racing to St. John’s Hospital, the author of “Trophies” was greeted warmly by friends and family who were ready to accept her to the three-week drug program.


Regarding that day, Thomas said, “It was a big relief to me.” When she came into detox, she also disclosed having swollen kidneys, pneumonia, and lung scarring. “I was tired of riding this roller coaster,” If my family hadn’t intervened, I probably would have carried on living my life to the fullest until I lost my job or passed away.

She went on, “The doctors said I should have died three years ago.”

Thomas, who was committed to her rehabilitation, surrounded herself with like-minded individuals who would support her in reaching her drug-free goals. That’s when 28-year-old Thomas and Allan Rosenthal, one of Cocaine Anonymous’ co-founders, first got together. Later on, she wed him, and in September 1986, she filed for divorce.

That same month, she was crossing the street when she was struck by a car, seriously hurting both of her legs.

After going through detox, getting divorced, and having surgery to repair serious damage to one leg, Thomas went back to work, although in small TV series parts. In addition, she acted in two Canadian movies, Cyclone (1987) and Red Blooded American Girl (1990), both starring Christopher Plummer.

In the 1990s, Thomas moved on from her past and started over. In 1992, she wed entertainment lawyer Skip Brittenham in an attempt to advance her career. In June 2000, Thomas became the stepmother of his two children, Shauna and Kristina, and gave birth to her only biological child, India Rose.

She told Reuters, “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, so I decided to give it up and write for a while.”

Heather appeared in a short cameo in the 2017 movie Girltrash: All Night Long, earning one of her 26 acting credits.

The Zapped! actor, who focuses mostly on writing, stated that she stopped performing because of repeated invasions of privacy by stalkers, not a lack of roles.

I was receiving a lot of harassment. I saw someone scale the fence with a knife one day. That was it; I had these two little children that desperately needed to be raised. But I think that when I get older, people won’t irritate me as much.

Furthermore, Thomas has been on the boards of the Rape Foundation and the Amazon Conservation Team before becoming an activist today.

Proclaiming oneself a feminist—a misleading label for a bygone gender norm—Thomas explained the meaning of both.

“As I got older, I refused to compromise; when I was younger, I followed people’s instructions.” I wanted autonomy and command. This helped me get a house and the credibility I needed to get opportunities. It is not always a negative thing to have people see your body. I don’t think I was lying to myself. The woman said, “In my opinion, being a feminist does not entail body shame.”

Heather Thomas is starting a lifelong healing process, and while it’s really terrible that she was unable to return to the acting industry, we’re delighted she received the help she needed.

One of the many amazing shows from the 1980s that we loved to watch was The Fall Guy with the Six Million Dollar Man Lee Majors, in which she played Jody Banks.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on Thomas and her recovery!

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