C. Thomas Howell

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C. Thomas Howell
BornChristopher Thomas Howell
(1966-12-07) December 7, 1966 (age 47)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesTommy Howell, Tom Howell
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Rae Dawn Chong (1989–1990)
Sylvie Anderson (1992–present)
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C. Thomas Howell
BornChristopher Thomas Howell
(1966-12-07) December 7, 1966 (age 47)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesTommy Howell, Tom Howell
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)Rae Dawn Chong (1989–1990)
Sylvie Anderson (1992–present)

Christopher Thomas Howell (born December 7, 1966), known by his stage name C. Thomas Howell, is an American actor and film director. He starred in the films The Outsiders as Ponyboy Curtis and in The Hitcher as Jim Halsey. He also appeared in Soul Man, Red Dawn, Secret Admirer, Grandview U.S.A., E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Howell appeared as Bill "Dewey" Dudek in Southland.

Early life and education[edit]

Howell was born on December 7, 1966, in Los Angeles, California, the son of Candice and Christopher N. Howell. He has two sisters, Stacy and Candi, and a brother, John.[1] He is nicknamed either "Tommy" or "CT". His father worked as a stunt coordinator and rodeo performer. As a young boy, Howell wanted to be a stuntman and was even a child stunt player. He began acting at the age of four, when cast in The Brian Keith Show in an episode called "The Little People".

When Howell was young, his parents divorced,[2] leaving his mother with both of her sons and daughter Stacy, and his father took Candi with him.[3] Howell shared his time with each parent and started his career through his father's job. When he was 12, he became a rodeo champion at the California Junior Rodeo Association and was named "All-Around Cowboy" in August 1979. While growing up, he also spent time golfing with his grandfather (where his nickname "CT" came because that is how he was recorded on screen boards).[citation needed] Howell graduated from Saugus High School in 1984.


Howell's showbiz debut was acting in the The Brian Keith Show episode "The Little People" as a little boy whose ears are being checked out by a doctor. When he got older, he tried stunt acting like his father and worked on commercials for a while.[4] He tried rodeo riding for a few years. In 1982, He made his film debut as Tyler in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Afterward, he was cast as the lead role Ponyboy Curtis in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders, which earned him a Young Artist Award. Following The Outsiders, he became a teen idol, appearing in teen magazines like Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, which referred to him as "Tommy" and "Tom".


In 1983 he and Outsiders co-star, Patrick Swayze, reunited for Grandview, U.S.A., also with Jamie Lee Curtis, and Red Dawn, with Charlie Sheen and Lea Thompson. Howell also had a pivotal role in Tank, with James Garner and Jenilee Harrison. In 1985 he again starred in the lead role in Secret Admirer, opposite Lori Loughlin and Kelly Preston. Howell was one of two final actors in the running to play Marty McFly in Back to the Future the other being Eric Stoltz, who was eventually selected. Michael J. Fox would later go on to replace Stoltz after filming had begun.

In 1986 he played a hitchhiker's target in the film The Hitcher, another of his successful movies. The sequel was released in 2003. Following that he starred as a white student who pretends to be black in the poorly received Soul Man, which currently holds an aggregated score of 14% at Rotten Tomatoes.[5] Howell has since stated that he does not regret playing the main character in blackface and that Soul Man was "an important part of [Howell's] life" and "an important film" for racial relations in America.[6] In 1988 Howell played Arturo Toscanini in the story of the world renown conductor in Franco Zeffirelli's Il giovane Toscanini with Irma Capece Minutolo and Elizabeth Taylor, which was one of his very first straight-to-video releases. Howell and Kelly Preston reunited as lovers in A Tiger's Tale.


At the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, Howell appeared in The Return of the Musketeers and Side Out. In 1993, he starred with Linda Fiorentino and Nancy Allen in the campy thriller Acting on Impulse. After several straight-to-DVD features and a starring role in That Night, he achieved success again in the movie Gettysburg, which was popular with history buffs and history classrooms. He starred as Mike, a motorcycle courier in Mad Dogs and Englishmen (U.S. title: Shameless) with Elizabeth Hurley. His made-for-television movie credits include Suspect Device, Sealed with a Kiss and Dead Fire. He starred in Dads, an unsold sitcom pilot.[7] He also appeared in the short-lived TV series Kindred: The Embraced.

He started an interest in crime-thrillers after starring in Payback and playing gangster Baby Face Nelson in a film of the same name. He went on to direct and star in the 1996 direct-to-video release, Pure Danger, featuring alongside Teri Ann Linn and beloved prop comic and bodybuilder, Carrot Top.[8]


Howell returned to the theater in the 2000s in movies such as Asylum Days, the Gods and Generals prequel to Gettysburg, and The Hillside Strangler, in which he played serial killer Kenneth Bianchi. In 2006, Howell starred in Hoboken Hollow. He also became a supporter of the production company The Asylum, which produced his straight-to-DVD movies.

In 2005, he starred in H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds, one of three 2005 adaptations of the novel The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Because of its success, Howell directed and starred in a straight-to-DVD sequel War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave in 2008, which was heavily criticized. In 2005, he also reunited with his Secret Admirer co-star Lori Loughlin, when he had a recurring role on her television show Summerland as Zac Efron's father. After War of the Worlds, he spent time directing unsuccessful straight to-DVD movies. Also, in 2008, he directed and starred in The Day the Earth Stopped, a mockbuster intended to capitalize on The Day the Earth Stood Still. For these reasons, 20th Century Fox have threatened legal action against The Asylum, but no action has yet been taken. He also appeared as a doctor in The Poseidon Adventure, an adaptation of the 1972 film of the same name. Coincidentally, his father's first stunt co-ordination was for the original movie,[9] though uncredited. He briefly hosted a show on KLSX later that year.


Howell appeared in the 2012 film The Amazing Spider-Man.[10]

Television work[edit]

After filming The Outsiders, Howell co-starred in his own television series, Two Marriages, which ended after four episodes, but letters of support got it back on air. Howell later expressed disappointment in the series,[11] but eventually found it more satisfying.

After Two Marriages, Howell made guest appearances in shows like Moonlighting and The Hitchhiker. In 2000, Howell played a doctor stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash in Amazon. He initially turned down a guest role in ER after missing out on a role he wanted, but his wife signed him up after yet another offer. Following ER, he guest appeared in 24. He guest starred in five episodes of Criminal Minds on CBS as serial killer George Foyet / The Boston Reaper, a recurring villain based on the Zodiac Killer.

Howell has played the role of Officer Bill 'Dewey' Dudek, a wild, loudmouth, but efficient police officer recovering from alcoholism, in the L.A. police drama Southland since 2009. He appeared in Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 and was promoted to a series regular for Season 5, which began in February 2013. The series was cancelled on May 10, 2013.

In 2011, he guest starred on The Glades and in Torchwood: Miracle Day.[12]


Howell has worked with Francis Ford Coppola many times and in other areas of making motion pictures including writing, producing, and directing. In 1995, he wrote and directed Hourglass, in which he starred with Sofia Shinas. The following year, he helped produce The Big Fall and Pure Danger. Howell did not write or direct another movie until 2004. He and his father co-wrote the made for television movie Hope Ranch and Howell produced the film as well. The film was a success and Howell went on to write and produce Blind Injustice the next year. Two years later he produced The Stolen Moments of September.

Personal life[edit]

In his single days, Howell shared a place with his friend, Darren Dalton, with whom he co-starred in The Outsiders, Red Dawn and The Jailhouse . From July 11, 1989, to sometime in 1990, Howell was married to actress Rae Dawn Chong, his Soul Man co-star. He then married Sylvie Anderson in 1992. They have three children, Isabelle (born February 17, 1993), Dashiell (born January 2, 1997), and Liam (born April 24, 2001). His family currently resides in Stevenson Ranch, California.



1982E.T. the Extra-TerrestrialTylerFilm Debut
1983The OutsidersPonyboy Curtis
1984Grandview, U.S.A.Tim Pearson
TankWilliam "Billy" Carey
Red DawnRobert Morris
1985Secret AdmirerMichael Ryan
1986The HitcherJim Halsey
Soul ManMark WatsonMarried co-star Rae Dawn Chong
1987Into the HomelandTripp Winston
1988A Tiger's TaleBubber Drums
Giovane Toscanini IIArturo Toscanini
1989The Return of the MusketeersRaoul
1990Far Out ManHimself
Side OutMonoroe Clark
Curiosity KillsCat Thomas
1992Tattle TaleBernard Sprat
Nickel & DimeJack Stone
To Protect and ServeEgan
Breaking the RulesGene Michaels
That NightRick
1993GettysburgThomas Chamberlain
1994JailbaitSgt. Lee Teffler
Dangerous IndiscretionJim Lomax
TreacherousMicky Stewert
Natural SelectionBen Braden / Alex Connelly
1995PaybackOscar Bonsetter
Baby Face NelsonBaby Face Nelson
Teresa's TattooCarl
HourglassMichael Jardine
Mad Dogs and EnglishmenMikeAlso known as Shameless
Suspect DeviceDan Jerico
1996The Big FallBlaise Rybeck
Sealed with a KissDetective Mick Cullen
The SweeperMark Goddard
Pure DangerJonnie Dean
1997Matter of TrustMichael D'AngeloAlso known as The Surgeon
Laws of DeceptionEvan Marino
DilemmaDetective Thomas Quinlan
Dead FireTucker
Last LivesAaron
1998Fatal AffairMalcolm MaddoxAlso known as Stalker
Sleeping DogsSanchez Boon
CharadesEvanAlso known as Felons
1999The Crimson CodeJ.B. GainesAlso known as Red Team
Hot BoyzRoberts
Enemy ActionJohn Reed
ShepherdBoris DakotaAlso known as Cybermaster
The Glass JarLanois
AvalancheJackAlso known as Escape from Alaska
Hitman's RunTom Holly
The Prince and the SurferDean
2000Lawless: Dead EvidenceDean Riley
The Million Dollar KidValentino
2001Separate WaysTom Milton
Asylum DaysNathan Devine
WillfullNat Wolff
XCU: Extreme Close UpGeoffrey Liddy
AskariJoss McKinley
2002Night of the WolfSheriff Wade Messer
Killer Bees!Sheriff Lyndon Harris
2003Net GamesAdam VanceAlso known as Deadly Web
Gods and GeneralsThomas Chamberlain
The Hitcher II: I've Been WaitingJim Halsey
2004The Lost AngelKuratha
HidalgoPreston Webb
The Hillside StranglerKenneth Bianchi
A Killer WithinAddison Terrill
2005The Keeper: The Legend of Omar KhayyamCoach Fielding
Crimson ForceCaptain Baskin
H. G. Wells' War of the WorldsGeorge Herbert
Glass TrapCurtis
Ordinary MiraclesJim Powell
The Poseidon AdventureDoctor Matthew Ballard
2006The Da Vinci TreasureMichael Archer
Hoboken HollowClayton Connelly
The Far Side of JerichoLittle Jimmy Thorton
2007Dead LettersKCFormerly known as Cold Ones
The Haunting of Marsten ManorCaptain Williams
Fighting WordsDavid SettlesAlso known as Street Poet
The Stolen Moments of SeptemberSisner
Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood!David
House of FallenThomas
Big GameCody "Sully" Sullivan
A Gunfighter's PledgeHorn
The GrindLuke
The Thirst: Blood WarJed
War of the Worlds 2: The Next WaveGeorge HerbertAlso director
The Day the Earth StoppedJosh Myron
2009The Land That Time ForgotFrost Michaels
Cupid's ArrowProfessor Grimes
Secret at Arrow LakeDaniel WilliamsAlso known as Mia's Father
American Pie Presents: The Book of LoveAlumnus Guy #2
2010The Terror ExperimentChief GrassoAlso known as Fight or Flight
FlatlineMr. Thomas
The JailhouseSeth Delray
2011RestitutionJohn Youngstown
Camel SpidersSheriff Beaumont
2012The Amazing Spider-ManCrane Dad
Wedding DayRuss
Commander and ChiefShrub
EscapePaul Jordan
Home InvasionRay
Chilly ChristmasPatrick Cole
2013Justice League: The Flashpoint ParadoxProfessor ZoomVoice
Storm RiderMitch
An Amish MurderNathan Detrick
The Devil's DozenTom
Lost on PurposeDelbert Ferguson
Don't Pass Me ByJack
Christmas BelleRex EverhartAlso known as A Fairytale Christmas
2014Dirty DealingCarter
Magic HourTom Worthy
Borrowed MomentsJackAlso known as Sleight of Hand
Confessions Of A WomanizerTony
Category 5Charlie DuPuis
Bigfoot WarsZeke
Lazarus RisingSilent Cal
Play James PlayKirkAlso known as A Beautiful Tragedy
Rivers 9Sheriff Quentin


1983Two MarriagesScott Morgan"Relativity"
1989Nightmare ClassicsJenner Brading"The Eyes of the Panther"
1996Kindred: The EmbracedFrank Kohanek8 episodes
1998The Outer LimitsCaptain Miles Davidlow"The Joining"
V.I.PPhil Sherman"Val Got Game"
The Love Boat: The Next WaveJohn"Affairs to Remember"
1999Dead Man's GunHenry Hubble"The Phrenologist"
1999-2000AmazonDr. Alex KennedyMain Cast
2000Twice in a LifetimeTony"The Escaped Artist"
2002Son of the BeachJason Dudikoff"In the Line of Booty"
2004The DistrictChris Gunner"On Guard"
2004-2005SummerlandKyle Bale2 episodes
2005ERVincent Janeson"The Human Shield"
200624Barry Landes2 episodes
2008CelebracadabraHimself (contestant)Crowned "Best Celebrity Magician"
2009, 2013Criminal MindsGeorge Foyet / The Boston Reaper5 episodes
2009-2013SouthlandBill "Dewey" DudekRecurring Cast (Seasons 1-4), Main Cast (Season 5)
2010PsychAgent Camden Driggs"One, Maybe Two, Ways Out"
2011The GladesPeyton Robinson"Second Skin"
Torchwood: Miracle DayThe Gentleman"Escape to L.A."
CHAOSCarson Simms"Proof of Life"
2012AlphasEli Aquino"The Quick and the Dead"
RevolutionBounty Hunter"Chained Heat"
CastleJohn Campbell"Swan Song"
LongmireRay Stewart"A Damn Shame"
Hawaii Five-0Martin Cordova"Death Wish"
2013Sons Of AnarchyAgent Frank Eagan"One One Six"
Blue BloodsAlex Polanski"Justice Served"


  1. ^ aboutct. Cthomashowell.net. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
  2. ^ Tommy Howell: I'm Just a Normal Kid!. Cthowell.net. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
  3. ^ Marriage. Cthowell.net. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
  4. ^ Cooking. Cthowell.net. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
  5. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes: Soul Man (1986)". 
  6. ^ Harris, Will. "C. Thomas Howell on The Outsiders, blackface, and how Marlboros got him cast in E.T.". The Onion AV Club. The Onion AV Club. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Other Works for C. Thomas Howell". IMDb. Retrieved 11/01/2014. 
  8. ^ "Pure Danger (1996 Video): Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 11/01/2014. 
  9. ^ Interview for the Poseidon Adventure Remake. Cthomashowell.net. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
  10. ^ Barrett, Annie. (2011-01-10) 'Spider-Man': C. Thomas Howell joins the reboot | Inside Movies | EW.com. Insidemovies.ew.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
  11. ^ Two Marriages. cthowell.net
  12. ^ Torchwood: Miracle Day casting news. Den of Geek. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.

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