Philip Michael Thomas life and biography

Philip Michael Thomas picture, image, poster

Philip Michael Thomas biography

Date of birth : 1949-05-26
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Columbus, Ohio, United States
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-09-06
Credited as : Actor, known for his role in "Miami Vice" tv series, and the movie "Sparkle"

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Philip Michael Thomas (born May 26, 1949 in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.) is an American actor. Thomas' most famous role is that of detective Ricardo Tubbs on the hit 1980s TV series Miami Vice. His first notable roles were in Coonskin and opposite Irene Cara in the 1976 film Sparkle. Following his success in Miami Vice, Thomas appeared in numerous made-for-TV movies and advertisements for telephone psychic services. He served as a spokesperson for cell phone entertainment company Nextones, and he supplied the voice for the character Lance Vance on the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

He is mixed race, being of German, Native American, African American and Irish ancestry.

Miami Vice

Philip played the role of Ricardo Tubbs, an ex-NYPD Cop from the Bronx, who came down to Miami looking for revenge against the person who killed his brother Rafael Tubbs. There in Miami he encounters another undercover cop, Sonny Crockett, who is coincidentally looking for the same person as Tubbs. The pair get their revenge, and Crockett and Tubbs became television icons.

Thomas also invented the acronym "EGOT", meaning "Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony", in reference to his plans for winning all four. Thomas achieved a People's Choice Award and a Golden Globe nomination but lacked even a nomination for any of the aforementioned awards.

Psychic Reader's Network

In 1994, Thomas signed an agreement with Florida-based Psychic Reader's Network (later known as Traffix, Inc.) to become the spokesman for the Philip Michael Thomas Psychic Connection. He appeared in television spots and claimed to have met the planet's premier psychics through his "world travels". He dressed similarly to his Miami Vice alter ego, even opening the ads with the phrase, "From Miami Vice to world advice!"

Traffix replaced Thomas as spokesman in favor of Miss Cleo. Thomas sued, alleging breach of contract, and won. In 2002, a New York arbitrator awarded Thomas $1.48 million for improper use of his name and likeness, and an additional $780,000 in interest.

He also was romantically involved with singer Dionne Warwick, who also was the face behind Psychic Friends Network.

Nash Bridges

In 1997, Thomas was reunited with Don Johnson in the police drama Nash Bridges. He played Cedrick "Rick" Hawks, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent from Miami visiting Bridges, played by Don Johnson, in San Francisco. His first appearance was in the episode "Wild Card", and his second and final appearance was in the episode "Out of Miami", aired in 2001 during the program's final season.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

He performed a voice-over in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) (VG) as Lance Vance, a main character who is trying to avenge his brother, Victor Vance's death. He reprised the voice-over role in the prequel Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006) (VG) which details Lance's arrival in Vice City, his business with drugs, and his relationship with his brother.

Music career

Thomas was in the original San Francisco cast of Hair.

In 1985, Thomas recorded a music album entitled Living the Book of My Life. It sold poorly and failed to produce a hit single. Thomas performed the title song of his album during the 1985 episode of Miami Vice entitled The Maze. The episode "Trust Fund Pirates" featured another of his songs by the name of "La Mirada." Thomas' Miami Vice co-star Don Johnson recorded an album shortly afterward entitled Heartbeat. Although Johnson's album was more successful (producing a top 5 single), both albums are considered prime examples of the hubris of successful performers.

Thomas followed up in 1988 with a second album, Somebody. It also failed to produce a hit and sold poorly. In 1993, Thomas teamed with Kathy Rahill to compose My, My, Miam...i, which was chosen as the city of Miami's theme song. That same year, Thomas teamed with Jamaican fitness instructor Sandi Morais to compose songs for a family-friendly musical entitled Sacha, which enjoyed runs in south Florida and New York. The two formed the Magic Cookie Production Company. Thomas also produced the music for Morais' fitness videos in 2001 and 2006.


Golden Globe Nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series-Drama, 1986; Image Award, NAACP, 1987.Achievements:promoted PMT women's clothing line, 1985.


Plays: Hair; No Place to Be Somebody, 1971; The Selling of the President, 1972; Reggae, 1980; Films: Sparkle, 1975; Mr Ricco, 1974; Book of Numbers, lead role, 1973; Wizard of Speed & Time, 1988; Miami Shakedown, 1993; River of Stone, 1994; Vampirates, 2001; Fate, 2003; TV appearances: "Medical Center"; "Police Woman"; "Toma," 1973; 'Good Times'; "Society's Child"; "Fight for Jennie," 1986; "False Witness," 1989; "Roots: The Next Generation; Miami Vice," 1984-89; "A Little Piece of Sunshine," 1990; "Extralarge: Moving Target," 1990; "Perry Mason: The Case of the Ruthless Reporter," 1991; "Extralarge," 1991; Album: Living The Book of My Life; Singles: "Just the Way I Planned It," 1985; Videos: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, 2006.


* Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972)
* Stigma (1972)
* Book of Numbers (1973)
* Mr. Ricco (1975)
* Black Fist (1975)
* Coonskin (1975)
* Sparkle (1976)
* Death Drug (1978)
* The Dark (1979)
* The Mushroom Eater (1980)
* Of Stigma (1982)
* Hey Good Lookin' (1982) (voice)
* The Wizard of Speed and Time (1989)
* Miami Shakedown (1993) (also executive producer)
* River of Stone (1994)
* Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as Lance Vance (2002)
* Fate (2003)
* Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories as Lance Vance (2006)

Television Work

* Toma (1973) (pilot for series)
* Good Times (1974)
* The Beasts Are On the Streets (1978)
* Roots: The Next Generations (1979) (miniseries)
* Lawman Without a Gun (1979)
* Valentine (1979)
* Miami Vice (1984–1990)
* A Fight for Jenny (1986)
* False Witness (1989)
* Zorro: Pride of the Pueblo (1990)
* A Little Piece of Sunshine (1990)
* Detective Extralarge: Moving Target (1990)
* Detective Extralarge: Miami Killer (1991)
* Detective Extralarge: Magic Power (1991)
* Detective Extralarge:: Jo-Jo (1991)
* Detective Extralarge: Cannonball (1991)
* Detective Extralarge: Black Magic (1991)
* Detective Extralarge: Black and White (1991)
* Perry Mason: The Case of the Ruthless Reporter (1991)
* We Are Angels (1997) (miniseries)

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