Sunday, September 04, 2011

Philip Michael Thomas

Philip Michael Thomas is an actor best known for his role as Detective Ricardo Tubbs in the mid mid-late 1980s TV show, Miami Vice. Although Thomas was a well-known actor at the height of popularity for Miami Vice, his career essentially ended with the show's cancellation in 1990 and he has not had any notable roles in the last two decades.

Thomas was born on May 26, 1949 and broke into acting in his early 20s in the 1970s. His first role was in the 1972 blaxploitation film, "Come Back, Charleston Blue" where he had a minor role as a minister. Thomas followed with small roles over the next 10-15 years in films such as Stigma, Book of Numbers, Bogart, Coonskin and in TV shows such as Griff, Good Times, Toma, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, and Trapper John, M.D.

Thomas finally caught his big break when he was cast as Detective Ricardo Tubbs on the hit TV show Miami Vice in 1984. Although co-star Don Johnson was the biggest star of Miami Vice, Thomas was popular and achieved his own acclaim. Among Miami Vice fans, Thomas was known affectionately as "the scuzzy black guy on Miami Vice."

On Miami Vice, Thomas played Miami undercover police detective Ricardo Tubbs, a former NYPD police officer who traveled to Miami to find the person who killed his brother, Rafael Tubbs. While in Miami Tubbs encountered another undercover cop, Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson), who is also looking for the same person.

Miami Vice was a popular show and was renowned for its heavy integration of music and visual effects to tell a story. Miami Vice also heavily influenced mid-80s fashion as male fans started dressing in hot pink or teal t-shirts with white pants or white sports coats.

Thomas was well-known for possibly possessing the greasiest-looking skin and hair in all of Hollywood. Here are some pictures of Thomas looking his greasiest - I bet his entire face and hair would ignite in flames if someone had lit a match within 5 feet of him when these photos were taken:

Thomas was known for having a massive ego. During a mid-1980s Academy Awards ceremony, Thomas wore a gaudy gold medallion emblazoned with the letters "EGOT," which stands for "Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony." During a 1984 interview, Thomas said, "Hopefully in the next five years I will win all of those awards." Despite his massive career aspirations, Thomas neither won nor was nominated for any of these awards.

After the cancellation of Miami Vice in 1990, Thomas struggled to find steady work. He appeared in a number of crappy made-for-TV movies and had non-recurring roles on TV shows such as The Adventures of Superboy, Zorro, Swamp Thing, and Nash Bridges.

Thomas has also sunk his teeth into a singing career. Thomas recorded a music album entitled Living the Book of My Life in 1985. However, the album 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.

Thomas released his second album, entitled Somebody, in 1988. Somebody also sold poorly and failed to produce a hit. In 1993, Thomas collaborated with Kathy Rahill to compose My, My, Miam...i, which was chosen as the city of Miami's theme song.

Thomas later joined forces 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. Thomas also produced music for Morais' fitness videos in 2001 and 2006.

Cementing his image as a washed-up celebrity and apparently desperate for a steady stream on income, in 1994 Thomas entered into a contractual agreement with the 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 TV ads dressed in a wardrobe similar to that of his Miami Vice Ricardo Tubbs character, opening the ads with the phrase, "From Miami Vice to world advice!"

Traffix later replaced Thomas with Miss Cleo. Thomas sued for 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.

Having sunk from a headline actor on Miami Vice to the spokesman for a physic network by 1994, fans of Thomas must have thought that the actor's career couldn't possibly sink any lower. However, fans were wrong - according to the Internet Movie Database, Thomas's only role since 2003 was a voice-over role for the video game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Philip Michael Thomas struggled in Hollywood for years until finally catching his big break when he was cast as Detective Ricardo Tubbs on Miami Vice. Thomas fought the odds to become a success despite possessing arguably the greasiest skin and hair in all of Hollywood. However, Thomas's career quickly plummeted after the cancellation of Miami Vice as quickly as it rose during the mid-1980s. Now, the actor would be fortunate to be cast in an infomercial. All of this makes Philip Michael Thomas one washed-up celebrity!