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Thomas Ian Griffith
was introduced years ago as the 'New Van Damme and Steven Seagal' when he starred in Excessive Force. This wasn't his first role. He started in 1984 in Another World, and would have some small roles later.
In Karate Kid 3 in 1989 he would first prove to be a good martial artist and later in Excessive Force he turned out to be a great martial artist. Since that time he would have more starring roles and even write and produce his own movies, using Tae Kwon Do skills after years of training under
Master Jun Chong. Now Thomas had the opportunity to play a variety of characters, from hero to villain, and human to vampire in John Carpenter's Vampires.


click to enlarge photo (another one see German Bio)


Please note that I created this Thomas Ian Griffith Web Site for entertainment purposes only and it may not be 100% accurate ... although I have strived to be. It is simply my way of showcasing a talented actor who has not received the recognition I believe he deserves. I hope he gets cast in more mainstream films in the future. To my mind he's a better actor than his famous peers, VanDamme and Seagal, and has a much better charisma and likeable screen presence. The cliched description of tall, dark and handsome can apply to many actors, but in the case of Thomas Ian Griffith it is an appropriate one.



 

Personal Information

Born: 18-Mar-1962 (1960?) (sign pisces)
Birthplace:
Hartford, Connecticut; raised in Wethersfiels, CT; has Irish ancestry
Height:
6' 5"
Color of eyes:
blue
Color of hair:
darkblond
Marital status:
married to actress Mary Page Keller (Nov. 1991- present), who first met him on the set of Another World; they have 2 sons together (Connor 0'Neill Griffith, born in June 1994, Eamon Griffith, born 1997)
Siblings: 2 sisters, Colleen, Mary Beth (one older, one younger, both have doctorates)
Father: Ph.D. Thomas Joseph Griffith was a college professor at Central CT State University (Business law).
Mother: Mary Ann O'Neill (maiden name); she ran several dance schools. (Irish step dance)

Education:
College of the Holy Cross , (Massachusetts), majoring in English literature and music), dropped out in 1980 to pursue acting; graduate of South Catholic High School ('78), Hartford, CT
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Dancer, Singer, Pianist

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Interests/skills

Thomas is an expert in Tae Kwon Do (he started training at age 12) and has a Black Belt since 1970 in both Kenpo Karate (training since he was 14) and Tae Kwon Do. He is also trained in kick-boxing and is a proficient swordsman, a wrestler, and a trained stage-fighter. 

He dropped out of College of the Holy Cross to pursue a stage career, landing his first gig in the Broadway hit "
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" in 1979. He had been a serious actor for about 8 years in the New York area before moving to California.

Thomas played piano at mother's dance studio. A hometown source provided: Mrs. Griffith "ran one of the best - if not the best - academy of Irish step-dancing in the country. People on both sides of the Atlantic concede that Mrs. Griffith was the best Irish step-dancing teacher in the world." (source: tigriff.net).
He spent part of his youth travelling with his mother to Ireland, UK and Canada to participate in Irish step-dancing competitions.
Thomas is also accomplished on accordion and won contests on the latter instrument. He trained as an opera singer in New York City with Metropolitan Opera star Delia Rigal.

.....trivia:
He likes antiques (1993), and chicken and spaghetti :-) (1990). (He submitted a recipe into a
special cookbook.) In the 90s he and Mary Page Keller had a Golden Retriever.


 

Career 

He made his Broadway debut 1979 in chorus of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as a dancing football player. Several years of chorus work and small roles followed before the handsome player got his first break and his first taste of stardom playing Catlin Ewing on the NBC daytime drama Another World.

Then he continued to work on Broadway -- other theater highlights include The First (Broadway), The Threepenny Opera, and Guys and Dolls (The Guthrie Theatre), 1776 (he played
Thomas Jefferson, 2001) and Im Getting My Act Together (L.A.s Broadway Reprise)-- and in regional theater until starring as the quintessential villain in Karate Kid III (feature film debut 1989).

1991 Thomas provided story, produced and starred in
Ulterior Motives (with his wife MPK), 1993 he produced and starred in Excessive Force. MPK was also in the movie Timecop II, but they didn't have a scene together.

1998 he made an impression as the Gothic leader of the undead in John Carpenter's Vampires. With his dancer's training and sexy charisma, Griffith cut a memorable figure of evil and proved a worthy opponent to James Woods' vampire hunter.

1999 Thomas appeared in a music video of Reba McEntire called
"What Do You Say"; it was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video.
He has starred in numerous made for TV films, including
The Secret of Giving opposite Reba McEntire (1999), The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax opposite Angela Lansbury (1999), and 1990 he portrayed Rock Hudson in ABC's docudrama The Rock Hudson Story, for which he received critical acclaim.

He recently had a recurring role on
One Tree Hill, and could be seen in The Closer and Cold Case.
These days he is focused on writing. His desire to continue to work with the horror master John Carpenter led to the creation of Asylum. He is also a partner in Storm Tiger Enterprises (source: investcomics.com). As a writer, Griffith has several feature films to his credit and is a staff writer on the television series, Grimm.


 

Quotes 

....on martial arts and movies:
"I became addicted to Tae Kwon Do. It was a great sport to have on the side while I was working as an actor in New York." (1993)

"I didn't come from the typical martial arts background and THEN became a movie actor. It's sort of the other way around. I'm looked upon as a theater actor who happened to know martial arts before I got into the movies. So people tend to look at me in a different light." (1993)

"I like to keep it mixed up. After Karate Kid III, I didn't want to do another movie like this. So I got the lead role in the film Rock Hudson, just to break it up. I love doing the action, and I love doing the karate stuff, but at the same time I live doing the drama as well, and I try to keep it in balance. I enjoy doing martial arts films, but I like the straight stuff too. I'd like to go back and do some Shakespeare, and maybe knock out a play or two. It's all about keeping balance." (1993)

"I think audiences like to see their favorite actor handle himself physically on screen, however he does it. He can wrestle, or box, or he can know karate. That is atttractive to the types of people who enjoy these [martial arts] movies. Plus, as an actor, it's a blast being able to do it." (1993)

"Kids are always infatuated with the action in Martial Arts Films. Let me tell you, there is nothing better for kids than the Arts. That is what kept me straight and decent. I always had a place to go. That was the dojo. I always had something to look forward to doing." (1992)

"It's like a kid playing, all the things you got in trouble for." (1992) (on action movies)
"Genre karate movies don't interest me." (1992) (on typecasting)
"I want to do things with character, passion, heart." (1992) (on movies in general)


....on himself:
"I'm not real big socially. I've never been one for going out to parties. I do my own thing. I'm more for a one-on-one relationship. I prefer spending time with my girlfriend (model Jacqueline Scott)". (1984)

"No matter what happens, I will always be the same person."

 

Magazines & Articles -Index

Vampires (misc., 1998-)
Meet the Karate Kid's Worst Enemy (Black Belt Mag. 1993)
Griffith Is Latest Force In Hot World Of
Hollywood Action Movies (The Courant, 1993)
New Line Cinema's "Excessive Force" (Karate International, 1992)
Hyphenate Thomas Ian Griffith (Premiere, 11/1992)
Treading softly on "Rock" (TV-Guide, 1990)
Mary Page Keller & Thomas Ian Griffith (People Weekly, 1987)
The Lady and the Cowboy (Daytime TV, 1984)
Catlin...On A Hot Tin Roof (Soap Opera Digest, 1984)

            


Fan-Mail - Addresses

 
Lou Pitt, The Pitt Group
9465 Wilshire Blvd. # 470
Los Angeles, CA 90212
USA

Metropolitan Talent Agency,
5405 Wilshire Blvd. # 218
Los Angeles, CA 90036
USA (untested)

Help (address untested)










 


 

 

                                                             

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