Roy Thinnes bio (written and compiled by
Roy was born April 6, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois. During his formative years, Roy had
a desire to become a doctor or football player - or, if one wants to believe his early press releases, both. He started in show business at a radio station, where he did everything: engineering, DJ shows, news and dramatizations. That led to an interest in acting in general. When he left the Army he went to New York and then to California, where he started working in episodes of TV shows. Having made his professional acting debut as a teen-aged firebug in a 1957 pilot for the never-sold TV series "Chicago 212", Thinnes spent several lean years "between engagements," working as a hotel clerk, vitamin salesman and copy boy to Chicago columnist Irv Kupcinet.
His first regular TV work was as Phil Brewer on the daytime soap opera "General Hospital" (1963); during this period, the young actor became the television equivalent of a matinée idol, sparking a barrage of protest mail when he briefly left GH in pursuit of other acting jobs. Aggressively campaigning for the starring role of Ben Quick on the 1965 weekly TV version of the 1958 film "The Long, Hot Summer" (1965), Thinnes won the part, as well as a whole new crop of adoring female fans. While "Summer" was unsuccessful, Thinnes enjoyed a longer run as David Vincent on the Fugitive-like sci-fi series "The Invaders" (1967). The Invaders also spawned a comic book series in 1967, which ran for 1 year (4 issues) and is a hot collectible, often going for up to a hundred dollars each on the auction circuit. The Invaders TV show property is currently owned by Paramount/CBS-TV and fans have avidly written them requesting a legal DVD release of the series’ 43 episodes. The Invaders ran from Jan. 10, 1967 (as a mid-season replacement for two failed comedies) to March 26, 1968 on ABC-TV.
Success with the Invaders in 1967 led to marriage to first wife Lynn Loring, who acted with him in the show as well as in the movie Doppelgänger (1969) [aka Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun]; she is now a CBS film executive. They parted in 1984. Though he'd occasionally show up in such theatrical features as The Hindenburg (1975), Airport 1975 (1974) and Blue Bayou (1990) (TV), Thinnes has remained essentially a TV star. Among his post-Invaders TV-series roles was Dr. James Whitman on "The Psychiatrist" (1971), Capt (and later Major) Holms on "From Here to Eternity" (1980), Nick Hogan on "Falcon Crest" (1981) (who, in 1983, married Victoria Gioberti [Jamie Rose] in a highly-rated ceremony), and the dual role of Roger Collins and Reverend Trask in the 1991 prime-time revival of "Dark Shadows" (1991).
Roy's more recent appearances on the "The X Files" (1993) put him back in the forefront. He appeared in two episodes in the 1990s. He revived his role as the enigmatic alien Jeremiah Smith, a turnabout role Chris Carter renewed for Roy in the February 25, 2001 episode (#8.14) of The X-Files, called "This Can't Be Happening."
Roy continues to appear in Television and theatrical films, most recently in Undone, Spectropia
as well as a guest starring role in
“Conviction” (2006). He has been a frequent guest star on the
various incarnations of “Law & Order”. Roy has a background in
stage as well, appearing in many plays, both as an actor and director.
He is also known as an avid graphic artist, with gallery showings in
Texas, California and other areas over the past few years.
Coming soon: a website for Roy's Art!
A recent self
He occasionally appears at science fiction conventions to talk
about his favorite TV role, as star of “The Invaders” (1967), which
remains a cult classic having celebrated it’s 40th anniversary in 2007.