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Jonathan Taylor Thomas Biography

Jonathan Taylor Thomas


Date of Birth
8 December 1981, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Birth Name
Jonathan Taylor Weiss


5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Biography
Jonathan Taylor Thomas was born Jonathan Taylor Weiss on September 8, 1981 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Claudine (Gonsalves) and Stephen Weiss. He has an older brother, Joel, and has Pennsylvania Dutch (German) and Portuguese ancestry. Growing up, he liked the music group Boyz II Men, and his favorite TV shows were Roseanne (1988) and Grace Under Fire (1993), but he also liked watching CNN news, to keep up to date with current events. One thing that Jonathan does not like is meat. He has been a vegetarian since he was four years old, and he doesn't use products that are tested on animals because he believes that it is wrong to hurt them.

When Jonathan was four years old, his family moved from Bethlehem to Sacramento, California. At the age of seven, Jonathan was working as a model for print advertisements in Sacramento, and over the next few years, he appeared in TV commercials for Kelloggs cereal, Mattel toys and for many other products. By this time, Jonathan was ready for bigger roles, and in 1989, he landed the part of Greg Brady's son Kevin in the TV special The Bradys (1990). In 1990, he landed his biggest role yet, as Randy Taylor on Home Improvement (1991). Jonathan's audition went well, but what really gave him an edge over the other boys was that the casting directors thought that he looked a lot like his TV dad-to-be, Tim Allen.

In 1991, Jonathan's parents divorced. He lived with his mother and his brother. He began work in feature length movies, as the voice of young Simba in Disney's The Lion King (1994), and as Ben Archer in Man of the House (1995) opposite Chevy Chase. Among his other movies are Tom and Huck (1995), The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996), Wild America (1997), and I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998).

  • Visited Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, as a possible college to attend.
  • Doesn't like the nickname JTT. He doesn't understand why people just can't say his whole name.
  • Has done voice overs for cartoons and video games such as The Itsy Bitsy Spider (1994), The Adventures of Spot (1987), The Ivy Cottage, and Scooter's Magic Castle.
  • Has one brother: Joel Thomas Weiss.
  • His stage name is derived from his real first name (Jonathan), his real middle name (Taylor), and his brother's middle name (Thomas).
  • Received 1996 NATO/ShoWest YoungStar of the Year Award. [1996]
  • Loves to watch college basketball.
  • He was featured on a 2001 cover of "The Advocate" magazine, a gay and lesbian magazine, for his featured interview, to discuss, in part, his role in Common Ground (2000), a gay themed Showtime Networks movie.
  • Parents: Claudine and Stephen Weiss (divorced in 1989). On his father's side, Jonathan is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent, with small amounts of Swiss-German, Irish, and French, ancestry. One of his paternal ancestors, the Rev. Benjamin Weiss (1849-1901), was a minister in the German Reformed Church. Jonathan's mother is of at least part Portuguese descent.
  • Graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory High School in West Hills, California with honors [2000]
  • Was the first actor to win the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards '99 (1999) for his memorable 8 year role as "Randy Taylor" on Home Improvement (1991).
  • Attended Harvard University for two years (2000-2002), then studied abroad for his third year at St. Andrews University in Scotland. He finally graduated from Columbia University in 2010.
  • Pets: two cats named Simba and Samantha, one dog called McCormick
  • Ranked #25 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars"
  • Grew up in Sacramento and Los Angeles, California.
  • (2007-2008) Enrolled in Columbia GS.
  • Two nephews: Ben (b. 2005) and Jordan (b. 2007).
  • Brother, Joel, is an Assistant Coach for a college in Louisiana.
  • Attends Columbia University Bachelor's Degree Program for adults General Studies.
  • His father worked as a construction supplies salesman.
  • His mother attended Syracuse University.
  • His mother was a social worker then she managed his career.
  • His grandmother's name was Helen Weiss and he has an uncle named Jeff Weiss, who is a playwright and actor.
  • Dog-Lhasa Apso. Cats-Tortoise Persian and Flamepoint Himalayan.
  • His brother is four years older than he is.
  • When he was a young child, his mother worked for an organization for underprivileged adults. She often brought him to work and work-related functions because she wanted him to grow up to be thankful for what he had and to have the willingness to help others.
  • Moved to Roseville, California, after Pennsylvania, and went to Sergeant Elementary before his parents got divorced. He moved to Sacramento with his mother to pursue his career.
  • In Home Improvement (1991), Jonathan played the middle child, Randy, while Zachery Ty Bryan played the oldest brother, Brad. Their characters were 13 months apart. In reality, Jonathan is older than Zachery by a month and a day (Jonathan was born on September 8, Zachery was born on October 9).
  • As of January 2000, is finishing his senior year of high school, and plans to enter college in the fall. He will likely attend either an Ivy League school, or Oxford University, and plans to double-major in theatre and history. He will continue to act during school vacations.
  • Currently attending college. [April 2003]
  • Very good friends with Danielle Fishel, one of the stars of another hit ABC sitcom, Boy Meets World (1993). He attended her 2013 wedding.
  • Trademarks:
  • Raspy voice
  • His natural blond hair.
  • His pearly, bright, white, toothy smile.
  • Quotes
  • An education is a more surefire guarantee that you have possibilities opened to you.
  • "It [rumors of his homosexuality] was just a blatant lie put on the Internet, and then it was just a feeding frenzy... And I'm sure it was validated by my recent roles. What startled me was how willingly people accepted it." Interview with The Advocate, February 1, 2000.
  • The whole thing started on this Web site called Cyber Sleaze, which should probably tell you something. My agent called me and said, 'There's this stuff going around.' I got phone calls from my friends saying, 'What are you going to do about this?' It was just a blatant lie put on the Internet, and then it was just like a feeding frenzy. And I'm sure it was validated by my recent roles.
  • I can't tell you how many shows I've done with full-blown migraine headaches.
  • I'd been going nonstop since I was 8-years-old. I wanted to go to school, to travel, and have a bit of a break. I never took the fame too seriously. It was a great period in my life, but it doesn't define me. [Interview with People Magazine, 2013]

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