C. Thomas Howell

For the rugby league footballer of the 1890s and 1900s, see Tommy Howell.
C. Thomas Howell

Howell at the 2013 Peabody Awards
Born Christopher Thomas Howell
(1966-12-07) December 7, 1966
Van Nuys, California, U.S.
Other names Tommy Howell
Tom Howell
Occupation Actor, film director
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Rae Dawn Chong (1989–1990)
Sylvie Anderson (1992-present)
Children 3

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

Early life

Howell was born in Van Nuys, California, the son of Christopher N and Candace Howell. He has two sisters, Stacy and Candi, and a brother, John.[1] 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 performer. He began acting at the age of four, when he was cast in the Brian Keith Show episode "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 little 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 (he earned his nickname "CT" as that was how his name was recorded on the screen boards). Howell graduated from Saugus High School in 1984. Howell attended The National Conservatory for Drama Arts.


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 1984 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 to receive a scholarship, 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 the United States.[6] In 1988 Howell played Arturo Toscanini in the story of the world-renowned 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 prop comic, Carrot Top.[8]


Howell returned to acting 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

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

In his single days, Howell shared a place with Darren Dalton, with whom he co-starred in The Outsiders, Red Dawn, and The Jailhouse. From 1989 to 1990, he was married to actress Rae Dawn Chong, his Soul Man co-star. He 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.



Year Title Role Notes
1982 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Tyler
1983 The Outsiders Ponyboy Curtis
1984 Grandview, U.S.A. Tim Pearson
1984 Tank William "Billy" Carey
1984 Red Dawn Robert Morris
1985 Secret Admirer Michael Ryan
1986 The Hitcher Jim Halsey
1986 Soul Man Mark Watson
1988 A Tiger's Tale Bubber Drums
1988 Young Toscanini Arturo Toscanini
1989 The Return of the Musketeers Raoul
1990 Far Out Man Himself
1990 Side Out Monoroe Clark
1990 Kid The Kid
1990 Curiosity Kills Cat Thomas
1992 Tattle Tale Bernard Sprat
1992 Nickel & Dime Jack Stone
1992 To Protect and Serve Egan
1992 Breaking the Rules Gene Michaels
1992 That Night Rick
1993 Gettysburg Thomas Chamberlain
1994 Jailbait Sgt. Lee Teffler
1994 Dangerous Indiscretion Jim Lomax
1994 Teresa's Tattoo Carl
1994 Treacherous Micky Stewert
1994 Natural Selection Ben Braden / Alex Connelly
1995 Payback Oscar Bonsetter
1995 Baby Face Nelson Baby Face Nelson
1995 Hourglass Michael Jardine
1995 Mad Dogs and Englishmen Mike Also known as Shameless
1995 Suspect Device Dan Jerico
1996 The Big Fall Blaise Rybeck
1996 Sealed with a Kiss Detective Mick Cullen
1996 The Sweeper Mark Goddard
1996 Pure Danger Jonnie Dean
1997 Matter of Trust Michael D'Angelo Also known as The Surgeon
1997 Laws of Deception Evan Marino
1997 Dilemma Detective Thomas Quinlan
1997 Dead Fire Tucker
1997 Last Lives Aaron
1998 Fatal Affair Malcolm Maddox Also known as Stalker
1998 Sleeping Dogs Sanchez Boon
1998 Charades Evan Also known as Felons
1999 The Crimson Code J.B. Gaines Also known as Red Team
1999 Hot Boyz Roberts
1999 Enemy Action John Reed
1999 The Shepherd Boris Dakota Also known as Cyber City
1999 The Glass Jar Lanois
1999 Avalanche Jack Also known as Escape from Alaska
1999 Hitman's Run Tom Holly
1999 The Prince and the Surfer Dean
2000 Lawless: Dead Evidence Dean Riley
2000 The Million Dollar Kid Valentino
2001 Separate Ways Tom Milton
2001 Asylum Days Nathan Devine
2001 WillFull Nat Wolff
2001 XCU: Extreme Close Up Geoffrey Liddy
2001 Askari Joss McKinley
2002 Night of the Wolf Sheriff Wade Messer
2002 Killer Bees! Sheriff Lyndon Harris
2003 Net Games Adam Vance Also known as Deadly Web
2003 Gods and Generals Thomas Chamberlain
2003 The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting Jim Halsey
2004 The Lost Angel Kuratha
2004 Hidalgo Preston Webb
2004 The Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi
2004 A Killer Within Addison Terrill
2004 Zolar Hedion
2005 The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam Coach Fielding
2005 Crimson Force Captain Baskin
2005 H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds George Herbert
2005 Glass Trap Curtis
2005 Nursie Zack
2005 Ordinary Miracles Jim Powell
2005 The Poseidon Adventure Doctor Matthew Ballard
2006 The Da Vinci Treasure Michael Archer
2006 Hoboken Hollow Clayton Connelly
2006 The Far Side of Jericho Little Jimmy Thorton
2007 Dead Letters KC
2007 The Haunting of Marsten Manor Captain Williams
2007 Fighting Words David Settles Also known as Street Poet
2007 The Stolen Moments of September Sisner
2008 Xenophobia Stone
2008 Mutant Vampire Zombies from the 'Hood! David
2008 House of Fallen Thomas
2008 Big Game Cody "Sully" Sullivan
2008 A Gunfighter's Pledge Horn
2008 Toxic Joe
2008 The Grind Luke
2008 The Thirst: Blood War Jed
2008 War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave George Herbert Director
2008 The Day the Earth Stopped Josh Myron Director
2009 The Land That Time Forgot Frost Michaels Director
2009 Razor Virgil
2009 Fuel Shane
2009 Camouflage Stanley
2009 Secret at Arrow Lake Daniel Williams Also known as Mia's Father
2009 American Pie Presents: The Book of Love Alumnus Guy #2
2009 The Jailhouse Seth Delray
2010 Cupid's Arrow Professor Grimes
2010 The Terror Experiment Chief Grasso Also known as Fight or Flight
2010 Flatline Mr. Thomas
2011 Camel Spiders Sheriff Beaumont
2011 Restitution John Youngstown
2012 Wedding Day Russ
2012 Home Invasion Ray
2012 Commander and Chief Shrub
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man Crane Dad
2012 Chilly Christmas Patrick Cole
2012 MoniKa Double
2012 Escape Paul Jordan
2013 An Amish Murder Nathan Detrick
2013 Don't Pass Me By Jack
2013 The Devil's Dozen Tom
2013 Lost on Purpose Delbert Ferguson
2013 Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Professor Zoom Voice
2013 Storm Rider Mitch
2013 Christmas Belle Rex Everhart Also known as A Fairytale Christmas
2014 Confessions of a Womanizer Tony Also known as Confessions of a Sex Addict
2014 Bigfoot Wars Zeke
2014 Category 5 Charlie DuPuis
2014 A Magic Christmas Jack Carter
2014 Borrowed Moments Jack Also known as Sleight of Hand
2015 Spirit Riders Keith
2015 Rivers 9 Sheriff Quentin
2015 Justice League: Gods and Monsters Dr. Will Magnus Voice
2015 Woodlawn Coach George "Shorty" White
2015 A Christmas Eve Miracle Jack Carter
2015 Magic Hour Tom Worthy
2015 Lazarus Rising Silent Cal
2015 Blood Lust Ryan Also known as Siren Song
2016 Dirty Dealing Carter
2016 Beast Mode Breen Nash
2016 Sick People Dr. Sam Zimmerman Also known as Intensive Care
2016 LBJ Walter Jenkins
2016 The Shadow People Kaine completed
2016 Advance & Retreat Nathan Shapiro post-production
2017 Mac Daddy's Vegas Adventure Alfieri Conti completed
2017 My B.F.F. Ben Wilkins post-production
2017 Blue Weekend Robert Crawford post-production
2017 The Rack Pack Ted post-production
2017 A Question of Faith John Danielson post-production
2017 RIch Boy, Rich Girl Blake filming


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Two Marriages Scott Morgan Episode: "Relativity"
1989 Nightmare Classics Jenner Brading Episode: "The Eyes of the Panther"
1996 Kindred: The Embraced Frank Kohanek 8 episodes
1998 The Outer Limits Captain Miles Davidlow Episode: "The Joining"
1998 V.I.P Phil Sherman Episode: "Val Got Game"
1998 The Love Boat: The Next Wave John Episode: "Affairs to Remember"
1999 Dead Man's Gun Henry Hubble Episode: "The Phrenologist"
1999–2000 Amazon Dr. Alex Kennedy
2000 Twice in a Lifetime Tony Episode: "The Escaped Artist"
2002 Son of the Beach Jason Dudikoff Episode: "In the Line of Booty"
2004 The District Chris Gunner Episode: "On Guard"
2004–2005 Summerland Kyle Bale 2 episodes
2005 ER Vincent Janeson Episode: "The Human Shield"
2006 24 Barry Landes 2 episodes
2008 Celebracadabra Himself (contestant) Crowned "Best Celebrity Magician"
2009–2013 Criminal Minds George Foyet / The Boston Reaper 5 episodes
2009–2013 Southland Bill "Dewey" Dudek
2010 Psych Agent Camden Driggs Episode: "One, Maybe Two, Ways Out"
2011 The Glades Peyton Robinson Episode: "Second Skin"
2011 Torchwood: Miracle Day The Gentleman Episode: "Escape to L.A."
2011 CHAOS Carson Simms Episode: "Proof of Life"
2012 Alphas Eli Aquino Episode: "The Quick and the Dead"
2012 Revolution Bounty Hunter Episode: "Chained Heat"
2012 Castle John Campbell Episode: "Swan Song"
2012 Longmire Ray Stewart Episode: "A Damn Shame"
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Martin Cordova Episode: "Death Wish"
2013 Horror Haiku John Asher Episode: "I Know What You Know"
2013 Sons Of Anarchy Agent Frank Eagan Episode: "One One Six"
2013 Blue Bloods Alex Polanski Episode: "Justice Served"
2014 Grimm Agent Weston Steward 5 episodes
2014–2015 Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Nate 4 episodes
2014–2015 Stitchers Daniel Stinger 3 episodes
2015 Motive Joe Hillis Episode: "Reversal of Fortune"
2015 Stitchers Daniel Stinger 3 episodes
2015 Ties That Bind Mr. Witherspoon Episode: "Controlled Substance"
2015 Sleepy Hollow Agent Mick Granger Episode: "I, Witness"
2016 Animal Kingdom Paul Belmont 8 episodes


  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 2014-01-11.
  8. "Pure Danger (1996 Video): Full Cast and Crew". IMDb. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  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.

External links

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