C. Thomas Howell is an American actor best known for his leading roles as Ponyboy Curtis in Francis Ford Coppola's gangster film The Outsiders (1983), and as Mark Watson, who diguises himself as a black man in order to get into Harvard University on a scholarship, in the 1986 film Soul Man.
He started acting at a very young age appearing in Brian Keith's The Little People, and It Happened One Christmas, with Marlo Thomas.
As a child, however, C. Thomas Howell was more interested in pursuing the rodeo circuit than having an acting career. He traveled extensively with the rodeo and was named the California Junior Rodeo Association's All Around Junior Boy's Champion for 1980 and 1981.
In 1981, CT was hired as a stunt player for Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. This ultimately led to a role in the movie, playing Tyler, one of Elliot's brother's friends.
E.T. was released in June of 1982 and shortly after, C. Thomas Howell was cast in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders. It was CT's gripping performance as the tough, but vulnerable, Ponyboy Curtis that skyrocketed him to fame.
That same year, C. Thomas Howell starred in his first TV series, Two Marriages. Soon after came many performances in films such as: Red Dawn, Secret Admirer, Soul Man and The Hitcher.
In the 1990's, CT performed in over 40 films, including: Side Out, Kid, That Night, Breaking the Rules, Suspect Device, Shameless, Sleeping Dogs, and Fatal Affair.
He also appeared in the TV series Kindred: The Embraced, as well as the critically acclaimed mini-series Gettysburg.
Some of C. Thomas Howell's more recent movies include The Hillside Strangler, The Glass Trap, The Hitcher 2, Gods and Generals, and the award winning independent film, The Glass Jar, The Da Vinci Treasure, Toxic and Mutant Vampire Zombies From the Hood!.
He has also made various made-for-TV films including The Poseidon Adventure and Ordinary Miracles. In addition, Tommy has made appearances on several TV shows including ER and 24.
In 2006, he guest starred in two episodes of the FOX drama 24's fifth season as Barry Landes, the boyfriend and doctor of Kim Bauer, played by Elisha Cuthbert.
Barry is a Clinical Psychologist and older than Kim. Kim sought his help after her father Jack's apparent death and her break-up with Chase Edmunds. The two soon became romantically involved.
He is first shown entering CTU with Kim after Jack had Audrey contact Kim and to have her come into CTU. Neither Kim or Barry know that Jack is alive until informed by Audrey Raines.
Barry and Kim are present when a terrorist releases a canister of nerve gas into CTU's ventilation system, killing several personnel, though Barry and Kim are protected with others in a sealed off room.
After the gas clears, Jack instructs Barry to take Kim out of the city to safety.
Although lots of people know of C. Thomas Howell's career as an actor, many are not aware of his behind-the-scenes abilities.
CT directed the films The Big Fall, Pure Danger, and Hourglass. In addition, he co-wrote Hourglass with longtime friend Darren Dalton.
In 2002 CT produced the made for television movie Hope Ranch which he co-wrote with his father Chris Howell. His daughter Isabelle appears in this film as well, portraying the role of Molly.
He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Sylvie, and their three children Isabelle, Dashiell, and Liam.
He enjoys spending his free time golfing, playing on his computer, watching sports, and at his family's horse ranch.