From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Richard Earl Thomas (born June 13, 1951 height 5' 8½" (1,74 m)) is an American actor, best known as budding author John-Boy Walton in the CBS drama The Waltons. During his career, Thomas won an Emmy Award, and received nominations for another Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. During his career, Thomas won an Emmy Award, and received nominations for another Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.Thomas was born in Manhattan, the son of Barbara (née Fallis) and Richard S. Thomas, in 1951. His parents were dancers with the New York City Ballet and owned the New York School of Ballet. He attended The Allen Stevenson School and the McBurney School in Manhattan. Thomas was seven when he made his Broadway debut in Sunrise at Campobello (1958) playing John Roosevelt, son of future U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.