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Robert Joseph Thomas (January 26, 1922 – March 14, 2014) was an American Hollywood film industry biographer and reporter who worked for the Associated Press from 1944.

Bob Thomas
Born
Robert Joseph Thomas

(1922-01-26)January 26, 1922
DiedMarch 14, 2014(2014-03-14) (aged 92)
Encino, California, U.S.
OccupationBiographer, reporter
Spouse(s)Patricia (m. 1947–2014; his death)
ChildrenThree

As of 2014, he was twice listed in the Guinness World Records, for the longest career as a reporter, and for the most consecutive Academy Awards shows covered by an entertainment reporter.[1]

Contents

Personal lifeEdit

Born in San Diego in 1922,[2] he grew up in Los Angeles, where his father was a film publicist. He attended UCLA. He lived in Encino with his wife, Patricia. They had three daughters.[3] Thomas, aged 92, died on March 14, 2014 at his home.[1]

Writing careerEdit

Thomas made his mark by engaging celebrities in activities that brought out their personalities, whether by measuring their waistlines after childbirth (as he did with Betty Grable) or testing just how tall a leading lady needed to be by kissing her himself (as he did with June Haver). Acclaimed as the dean of Hollywood reporters, Bob Thomas had been writing about the movie business for the Associated Press since the days when Hollywood was run by the men who founded it: Jack L. Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Harry Cohn, and Louis B. Mayer.[citation needed]

During his long history of reporting for the AP, Thomas authored at least 30 books. Many in the film industry credit his 1969 biography of producer Irving G. Thalberg as sparking their interest in pursuing a career behind the scenes. Other Thomas biographies include Liberace, Joan Crawford, Marlon Brando, David O. Selznick, Walter Winchell, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Howard Hughes, Abbott & Costello, Walt Disney, and a children's book, Walt Disney: Magician of the Movies.[3]

His biographies on Howard Hughes[4] and Abbott & Costello[5] have been made into television movies.[3]

AwardsEdit

For contributions to the motion picture industry, Thomas received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (the first author-reporter to be given this honour[1]), which was paid for by his friends in advance and placed at 6879 Hollywood Boulevard.[6] In 2009, in recognition of over 60 years of covering the entertainment business for the Associated Press, the Publicists Guild awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award.[7]

BibliographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Rogers, John (March 14, 2014). "Bob Thomas, dean of Hollywood reporters, dies". charlotteobserver.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "California Births, 1905 - 1995". FindMyPast.com.
  3. ^ a b c d e Thomas, Bob (1978). Joan Crawford: A Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-24033-1. (author notes from end jacket cover)
  4. ^ "The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977 TV movie)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Bud and Lou (1978 TV movie)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Bob Thomas; Hollywood Walk of Fame". HWOF.com.
  7. ^ Cohen, Sandy (February 19, 2009). "AP's Bob Thomas wins lifetime achievement award". The Times Herald, Associated Press. Retrieved August 13, 2017.

SourcesEdit

  • Bob Thomas, Los Angeles Times, Steve Proffitt, March 21, 1999

External linksEdit