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
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.
18-Mar-1962 (sign pisces)
Hartford, Connecticut; raised in Wethersfiels, CT;
has Irish ancestry
Height: 6' 5"
Color of eyes: blue
Color of hair: darkblond
Marital status: married to
Keller (fall 1991-), 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 (one older, one
younger, both have doctorates)
Father: Ph.D. Thomas Joseph Griffith was a college professor
at Central CT State University (Business law).
Mary Ann O'Neill (maiden name); she ran several dance schools. (Irish
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),
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Actor, Screenwriter, Producer, Dancer, Singer, Pianist
Thomas is an expert in Tae Kwon Do (he started training at age 12) and has a Black
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
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."
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
contests on the latter instrument.
He trained as an opera singer in New York City with Metropolitan Opera
star Delia Rigal.
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
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
Then he continued to work on Broadway --
other theater highlights include The First
(Broadway), The Threepenny Opera, and Guys and Dolls (The Guthrie Theatre),
played Thomas Jefferson, 2001) and I�m 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, 1993 he produced and starred in
1998 he made an impression as the Gothic leader of the undead in
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
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),
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,
could be seen in
The Closer and
....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
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
"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
"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."