Jennifer Stasak Staff Writer
One of my all-time favorite shows growing up was “Home Improvement.” I was introduced to the show by my dad (the same person who introduced me to Billy Joel and “Mad About You”), and remember watching it a lot with him. It didn’t hurt, either, that one of the stars of the sitcom – Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played middle child Randy Taylor – was from our hometown in Pennsylvania. I remember the fascination with JTT, as the “kids” of the day nicknamed him, though I was either too young or too obsessed with N’SYNC at the time to have a childhood crush on him myself. After the show ended, Thomas successfully did what many young stars attempt, but fail to do in Hollywood – escape the limelight.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Thomas explained his decision to step away from the spotlight and pursue higher education. “I’d been going nonstop since I was 8-years-old […] I wanted to go to school, to travel and have a bit of a break.” Though Thomas decided to step back from acting, he hardly had any time for breaks. The now 31-year old studied history and philosophy at Harvard University beginning in 2000 and in 2010, graduated from Columbia University.
There are no regrets for Thomas, on his decision to take time to focus on his education, rather than acting. He explains that he “never took the fame too seriously,” but admits that being a part of “Home Improvement” was a wonderful time in his life but that being Randy Taylor ultimately doesn’t define who he is as a person. “When I think back on the time [spent acting],” he explained, “I look at it with a wink. I focus on the good moments I had, not that I was on a lot of magazine covers.”
Most recently, Thomas reunited with former television father Tim Allen on the comedian’s hit ABC series “Last Man Standing,” as a former colleague of Kristin, Allen’s on-screen daughter. When Thomas and Allen share the scene together, meta jokes fly about Thomas’ character looking “familiar” to Allen. You can see the clip from the March 22nd season finale of “Last Man Standing” and Thomas’ guest appearance here!
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