Anthony William George “Tony” Thomas (July 31, 1927 – July 8, 1997) was a British-American film historian, author, writer, producer, and radio and television broadcaster, who is onsidered one of Hollywood’s preeminent film historians, having authored over thirty books, including biographies of Errol Flynn among others, produced more than fifty albums of film music, and produced film documentaries for radio and television. Thomas was born on July 31, 1927, near Portsmouth, England, the son of a bandmaster in the Royal Marines. At the age of eighteen, he moved to Canada, where he became an announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1948. He went on to become a writer and producer of programs about Hollywood and the film industry for CBC Radio. He was also the writer and host of the CBS television series As Time Goes By and was a panelist on the quiz show television series Flashback.
In 1966, Thomas moved to Los Angeles and began a new career as a film historian and author. He wrote books on actors’ careers, such as The Films of Errol Flynn (1969, with Rudy Behlmer and Clifford McCarthy), and many others. He also wrote books on film genres, such as The Great Adventure Films (1976) and The Cinema of the Sea: A Critical Survey and Filmography, 1925–1986 (1988). Thomas was one of the founders of The Film Music Society and served on its advisory board for many years. Considered an expert on film music, he produced albums of classic film scores and wrote the well-received book Music for the Movies (1973), an introduction to important film composers. From 1979 to 1984, he wrote for the Academy Awards shows, and beginning in the late 1970s, was a segment producer for the Oscars.
As an independent film writer and producer, Thomas produced three PBS documentaries, Hollywood and the American Image, Back to the Stage Door Canteen, and The West That Never Was. His distinguished voice was heard for years as the announcer on the televised Kennedy Center Honors and American Film Institute Salutes. Thomas’s later books include Errol Flynn: The Spy Who Never Was (1990). He died on July 8, 1997 at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, of complications from pneumonia, at the age of sixty-nine. He was survived by his son, David, his daughter, Andrea. He is considered one of Hollywood’s preeminent film historians.
The following work by Tony Thomas is contained in my collection:
Requiem for a Cavalier—A Sound Picture of Errol Flynn, with music from films of Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1968).