Thomas Gomez

Active - 1942 - 1970  |   Born - Jul 10, 1905   |   Died - Jun 18, 1971   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Adventure, Musical, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Awarded a scholarship to a prestigious New York drama school at 17, Thomas Gomez first stepped on the Broadway stage as a cadet in Walter Hampden's Cyrano de Bergerac. He joined Alfred Lunt's company in the 1930s, playing character parts of varying sizes. He also made a pioneering television appearance in a 1940 broadcast of a long-forgotten playlet called "A Game of Chess". After garnering good reviews for his performance in the 1942 play Flowers of Virtue, Gomez was signed to play a megalomanic Nazi spy in his first film, Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942). By virtue of his weight, his raspy voice and his baleful appearance, Gomez was often cast as heavies, though he evinced a preference for characters with "some rascality, warmth and dimension." Of Spanish heritage, Gomez refused to play Latin characters unless they could be presented "with sympathy, or at least with humanity." In 1947, Gomez was Oscar-nominated for just such a role in Ride the Pink Horse. Amidst his dramatic roles, Gomez proved a worthy foil to such comedians as Bob Hope and Abbott and Costello. Thomas Gomez' extensive television work included the part of a most courtly devil in the 1959 Twilight Zone episode "Escape Clause," Soviet functionary Malenkov in the like-vintage Playhouse 90 drama "The Plot to Kill Stalin," and a Minnesota Fats-type pool player in a well-circulated 1965 Mister Ed installment; he also played Pasquale in the 1953 TV revival of radio's Life With Luigi.

Movie Highlights

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