According to IMDb, Thomas worked as a lighting director on Married With Children, The Facts of Life and General Hospital through his career. He was nominated for a primetime Emmy in 1986 for Outstanding Lighting Direction for the 58th Annual Academy Awards and won a daytime Emmy in 2011 for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction for a Drama Series for General Hospital.
Thomas made headlines in May 2018, after the Daily Mail published footage of him appearing to stage photos with the paparazzi. He told TMZ that he looked “stupid and hammy” amid the photo scandal. As a result of the backlash, he told the outlet that he no longer planned to attend his daughter’s wedding, despite the palace confirming on May 4 that he was set to walk Meghan down the aisle. A source told Us that the former actress was “devastated” by her father’s decision to skip out on her big day.
The 73-year-old told TMZ on May 14 that he was having second thoughts and wanted to attend the wedding. However, later that same day, Thomas said he was having heart surgery on May 15, after suffering a heart attack a week earlier.
Prince Charles stood in for Thomas and walked her down the aisle.
He has subsequently criticized the royal family in interviews with British tabloids and claimed that his daughter is “under too much pressure” and looks “terrified” in photos from royal engagements. A source close to the duchess told Us that “Meghan is so upset” over her father’s actions and while she still cares for him, “she doesn’t even know how to communicate with her dad without knowing he won’t exploit her. She lives in fear that he’ll leak their communication. If he’s spoken this much already, why wouldn’t he leak their conversation?”
Meghan expressed her frustration over her father’s numerous scandals in an August 2018 letter, telling Thomas that he had “broken [her] heart into a million pieces.” The former actress did not inform her dad about her pregnancy before the news broke in October 2018, and a source revealed exclusively to Us after Archie’s birth that Thomas was “devastated” that he would not be given the chance to meet his grandson.
The Duchess of Sussex’s father spoke his mind following his daughter and her husband Harry’s announcement that they were stepping back from their “senior” royal duties on January 8, 2020. “I’ll just simply say I’m disappointed,” he told Us at the time.
A week later, the British press reported that he was set to testify against his daughter in her legal battle against The Mail on Sunday, who Meghan is suing the U.K. for publishing the heartfelt letter she wrote to her dad.
Following Meghan and Harry’s tell-all interview in March 2021, her father weighed in on their comments about their time in the royal family.
“I have great respect for the royals, and I don’t think the British royal family are racist at all,” Thomas said at the time. “I don’t think the British are racist. I think Los Angeles is racist, California is a racist, but I don’t think the Brits are.”
Thomas later opened up about how he wasn’t made aware that Meghan had welcomed her daughter, Lili.
“I’m not a tearful type … but I’m certainly hurt by a lot of it,” he said during an interview with 60 Minutes Australia in June 2021. “There’s a good chance I might never see my grandchildren.”Back to top