Henry Jackson Thomas, Jr. is an American actor and musician. He has appeared in over 40 films and is best known for his role as Elliott Taylor in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). He is also known for his roles in films such as Cloak & Dagger (1984), Legends of the Fall (1994), and Gangs of New York (2002). Among Star Wars fans, he is well known as the narrator of three Star Wars: X-Wing books: Rogue Squadron, Wedge's Gamble, and The Krytos Trap.
Aged nine, Thomas had already been in one film, Raggedy Man, when he auditioned for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He won the part by giving a genuinely tearful performance, during which he had drawn upon the trauma of having seen his pet dog being killed by a neighbor’s dog. The film’s success exceeded expectations, and Thomas was troubled by the sometimes extreme reaction of the public.
After E.T., Thomas returned to Texas and only occasionally acted (Cloak & Dagger and on TV) while attending school. He returned to film in the late 1980s and early 1990s and began to prove himself in adult roles, most notably as the younger version of Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates character in Psycho IV: The Beginning.
His most prominent adult role to date was as "Samuel Ludlow" in Legends of the Fall (1994). In 2002, he starred as supporting character Johnny Sirocco in the Martin Scorsese historical fiction film Gangs of New York. He is currently both an actor and musician and starred in the 2011 film The Last Ride (2011) as musician Hank Williams Sr. In the ABC series Betrayal, he plays T.J. Karsten.
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