Joseph Timothy Thomerson (born April 8, 1946) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his role as Jack Deth in the Trancers film series and for his work in numerous low-budget features and for his comedic television roles.
Joseph Timothy Thomerson
April 8, 1946
Coronado, California, U.S.
Tim Thomerson was born in Coronado, California. He was brought up in both Hawaii and in San Diego. Following a stint in the Army National Guard, where he served as a cook in a tank company with actor Brion James, Thomerson chose to become an actor, while taking a job as a set builder and prop man at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, famous for its Shakespearean productions.
Following college, Thomerson began a career as a stand-up comedian, honing his skills. He appeared in comedy clubs that included The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, The Improv in Los Angeles, and Catch a Rising Star in New York City.
When Thomerson moved into comedy, he found himself in a boom period alongside the likes of David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Freddie Prinze. In L.A., he became a regular at the Comedy Store and the Improv, as well as making numerous appearances on television variety shows and in Las Vegas.
Thomerson has had a very long career in television and appeared in scores of films since the 1970s; he had a memorable minor role in Car Wash and played criminal psychologist Jerry Moriarity in the slasher film Fade to Black (1980).
In 1985, Thomerson starred as the time-traveling future cop Jack Deth in the low-budget science fiction film Trancers, produced by Charles Band and Empire Pictures. The role made him an icon of the B-movie genre, and led to Thomerson building a working relationship with the Bands. He was supposed to appear in the feature Pulse Pounders, but it was ultimately never completed.
In 1986, Thomerson reunited with a few of his Trancers co-stars for the World War II science fiction film Zone Troopers; he also appeared in the vampire film Near Dark. He played a villain opposite Melanie Griffith's heroine in the science fiction film Cherry 2000. He also played Major Dan Hackett in the Disney made-for-TV movie, The B.R.A.T. Patrol, starring opposite Sean Astin, Nia Long, and Brian Keith.
When Charles Band started Full Moon Features in the late 1980s, one of his first projects was the sequel Trancers II (1991), in which he reunited Thomerson with much of the cast from the first film. Thomerson would later appear in each of the sequels except of Trancers 6, it starred Zette Sullivan in her only lead role and used archive footage of Thomerson to enhance the film's storyline.
Another film role making Thomerson popular with science fiction fans was that of Brick Bardo in Dollman (1991), a Dirty Harry-like alien cop who is only 13 inches (33 cm) tall; he uses his blaster to take on gangsters and devil-possessed toys. The character also appeared briefly in Bad Channels.
Thomerson has had many memorable roles in feature films, including Uncommon Valor, Air America, Volunteers, Who's Harry Crumb?, Iron Eagle, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as well as numerous television roles, including the series Tour of Duty and 21 Jump Street. He also played Colonel Savage of the Missouri Militia in The Young Riders (1989). In the 1990s, he was a series regular on the TV police drama Sirens, followed by a regular, co-starring role on the series Land's End starring Fred Dryer.
One of Thomerson's early acting breaks came from director Robert Altman who, after seeing Thomerson's stand-up act, cast him in the film A Wedding. At this early stage of Thomerson's film career, he found himself surrounded by Vittorio Gassman, Carol Burnett, Geraldine Chaplin, and Dennis Franz.
Thomerson first came to prominence in the short-lived comedy science-fiction TV series Quark in 1977–78, as Gene/Jean, a character of dual gender who randomly switched from a macho to a feminine personality.
Feature film actorEdit
Thomerson's most famous film role is that of Jack Deth, the hero of Charles Band's Trancers science fiction series. Playing against his comedic roots, Thomerson played Deth as a hard-nosed epitome of machismo, like Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry cop films. The Jack Deth character continued in four more sequels throughout the 1990s. A fifth sequel, Trancers 6, was made and released in 2002 without Thomerson.
Other career highlights include Babo in the adventure film Air America with Mel Gibson and Robert Downey, Jr., grimy mercenary Rhodes in Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, and a scruffy motorcyclist in Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Thomerson is a stock player in the films of actor/director Michael Worth (DUAL, Devil on the Mountain, God's Ears) and a favorite of director Albert Pyun (Dollman, Knights, Nemesis, Nemesis 3: Prey Harder).
In addition, Thomerson has made guest appearances on TV shows The Golden Girls, Walker, Texas Ranger, The Young Riders, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Xena, Warrior Princess, Viper, The District, and Silk Stalkings.
|1975||Mannix||'Rusty'||Episode: "A Word Called Courage"|
|A Shadow in the Streets||Chick||Television movie|
|Hustling||'Two to a cell' Cop (uncredited)||Television movie|
|1976||Laverne & Shirley||'Silky' Mulcheck||Episode: "The Bachelor Party"|
|Harry O||Reporter||Episode: "Hostage"|
|City of Angels||Seyers||Episode: "The Parting Shot"|
|Car Wash||Kenny||As Timmothy Tomerson|
|1977||Benny And Barney: Las Vegas Undercover||Barney Tuscom||Television movie|
|All That Glitters||'Sonny' Packer||TV series|
|Which Way Is Up?||Tour Guide||As Timothy Thomerson|
|1977-1978||Quark||Gene||TV series regular|
|1978||Remember My Name||Jeff||As Timothy Thomerson|
|A Wedding||Russell Bean|
|1978||Hawaii Five-O||Mike Chandler||Episode: "Death Mask"|
|1979||Mork & Mindy (ep. 13)||Sergie||Guest in TV series|
|The Associates||Johnny Danko||TV series regular|
|Angie||Gianni||TV series regular|
|1980||Getting There||Lester||Television movie|
|Fade to Black||Jerry Moriarty|
|1981||Take This Job and Shove It||Ray Binkowski|
|In Trouble||Mr. Damrush||Television movie|
|Golden Gate||Frank Nightingale||Television movie|
|St. Helens||Sheriff Dwayne Temple|
|1981-1982||The Two of Us||Reggie Cavanaugh||TV series regular|
|1982||Some Kind of Hero||Cal|
|Bare Essence||Billy||Television movie|
|Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again||Dr. Knute Lanyon|
|Honkytonk Man||Highway Patrolman|
|1983||Likely Stories, Vol. 2||TV series|
|Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn||Rhodes|
|The Osterman Weekend||Motorcycle cop|
|Gun Shy||Theodore Ogilvie||TV series|
|1984||Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour||Himself||Panelist (March 1984)|
|His Mistress||Tom Goodman||Television movie|
|1984-1988||Hunter||Mule Mulelowski / Police Sergeant Harry Traynor / Police Detective Gil Glasgow||Episodes "Honorable Profession" (1988) ... Mule Mulelowski|
"Change Partners and Dance"(1986) ... Police Sgt. Harry Traynor
"Pen Pals" (1984) ... Police Det. Gil Glasgow
|Murder, She Wrote||Lieutenant Clyde Pitts|
|1986||Iron Eagle||Colonel Ted Masters|
|The B.R.A.T. Patrol||Major Dan Hackett||Television movie|
|1987||Glory Years||Jack Sanders||Television movie|
|Near Dark||Loy Colton|
|Tour of Duty||Sergeant Aubrey Decker||1 episode. The Good, the Bad, and the Dead|
|Down and Out in Beverly Hills||Jerry Baskin||TV series|
|1988||A Tiger's Tale||Lonny|
|The Wrong Guys|
|The Incredible Hulk Returns||Jack LeBeau||Television movie|
|1989||Who's Harry Crumb?||Vince Barnes|
|1990||Vietnam, Texas||Max Heron|
|The Flash||Jay Allen||Television movie|
|Murder, She Wrote||Bert Rogers||TV series|
|Midnight Caller||Perry Fine||TV series|
|1991||Trancers II||Jack Deth|
|Baywatch||Jim 'Buzz' Buchannon||TV series|
|1992||Eddie Presley||Shock Comic|
|Intimate Stranger||Malcolm Henthoff||Television movie|
|Bad Channels||Brick Bardo|
|Trancers III||Jack Deth|
|1993||Die Watching||Detective Lewis|
|Dollman vs. Demonic Toys||Brick Bardo|
|The Harvest||Steve Mobley|
|Brainsmasher... A Love Story||Detective Black|
|Natural Causes||The Westerner|
|Trancers 4: Jack of Swords||Jack Deth|
|The Cisco Kid||Lundquist||Television movie|
|Hong Kong 97||Jack McGraw|
|Trancers 5: Sudden Deth||Jack Deth|
|Sirens||Sergeant James 'Buddy' Zunder||TV series|
|Walker Texas Ranger||Mitch Bolton||TV series|
|1996||Back to Back||Thomas|
|Nemesis 3: Prey Harder||Farnsworth 2|
|Pacific Blue||The Angel||TV series|
|Land's End||Dave 'Thunder' Thornton||TV series|
|Kid Cop||Arnold Downey|
|Xena: Warrior Princess||Meleager The Mighty||TV series|
|When Time Expires||Rifkin Koss||Television movie|
|The Angry Beavers||Leonard Beaver (voice)||TV series|
|Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman||Woody Sams||TV series|
|Together & Alone||Daddy|
|Escape from Atlantis||Liam Gallagher||Television movie|
|Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas||Hoodlum|
|Border to Border||'Poet'|
|1999||Red Team||William Heywood|
|Unseen Evil||Ranger Chuck Macneil|
|The Magnificent Seven||Guy Royal||TV series|
|Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Mr. Alcerro||TV series|
|The Princess & the Barrio Boy||Monsignor O'Dell||Television movie|
|2001||Devil's Prey||Sheriff Harry|
|Unseen Evil||Ranger Chuck MacNeil|
|2002||Gale Force||Phillip Edwards|
|Shoot or Be Shot||Uncle Bill|
|The Killing Point||Mr. Banyon|
|Project Viper||Sheriff Morgan||Television movie|
|Con Express||Bill Barnes|
|The District||Colonel Carl||TV series|
|Days of Our Lives||Oliver Wentworth||TV series|
|Air Marshal||Senator Chambers|
|A Lousy Ten Grand||Judge|
|2005||The Nowhere Man|
|Dual||Deston / Jared|
|Swarmed||Phineas Washburn||Television movie|
|Hell to Pay||Reverend|
|Junior Pilot||Captain Noonan||also known as Final Approach|
|2006||The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde||Arnie Swift|
|To Kill a Mockumentary||Will|
|Forget About It||Al 'Arizona Al'|
|A.I. Assault||Admiral Harrison||Television movie|
|Bottoms Up||A.J. Mancini|
|Left in Darkness||Joe|
|Evil Bong||Jack Deth|
|Christmas Do-Over||Arthur||Television movie|
|2007||God's Ears||Uncle Steve|
|Urban Decay||Detective Thompson|
|Blue Lake Massacre||Marshall Lex|
|Good God Bad Dog||Bill Monahan|
|Live Evil||The Priest|
|2009||War Wolves||Frank Bergman|
|2011||Shameless||A.B. Fisher||TV series|
|2012||Season of Darkness||Detective Kesler|
|2013||The Silicon Assassin Project||Freddy Jones||TV series|
|2017||Asylum of Darkness||Detective Kesler|
|2011||Homefront||Voice of Freedom|
|Saints Row: The Third||Cyrus Temple|
|2013||Saints Row IV||Simulation Cyrus|
- "Movies". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2007. Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
- Thomas, Kevin (September 24, 1985). "Movie Review: 'Trancers' Plague L.A. in a Futuristic Shake-Up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
- Paul Brenner (2008). "Movie Reviews". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2014.