Who is Ernest Lee Thomas?

Ernest Lee Thomas was born on 26 March 1949 under the zodiac sign of Aries, in Gary, Indiana USA. He is a 72-year-old actor and producer, probably still best recognized for landing the role of Roger ‘Raj’ Thomas in the ABC sitcom “What’s Happening!!” (1976-1979) and its sequel “What’s Happening Now!!” (1985-1988), and featuring as Mr. Omar in the CBS sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” (2005-2009).

How rich is he, as of now? Ernest Lee Thomas Net Worth

As of mid-2021, Ernest Lee Thomas’s net worth is estimated at close to $1 million, earned through his successful involvement in the entertainment industry. He has worked on more than 65 television and film titles since he launched his career back in the mid-1970s.

Early Life, Parents, Siblings, Nationality, Ethnicity, Religion, Educational Background

Ernest Lee Thomas spent his early years in a low-income neighborhood in his hometown of Gary, where he was raised an only child by his father who worked as a teacher at a local high school, and his mother, a housewife; however, their names haven’t been revealed. He holds American nationality, belongs to African American ethnic group, and is a Christian. Regarding his education, upon matriculation in 1967, he enrolled into Indiana State University, from which he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Psychology in 1971. He later turned to acting, and graduated from the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1974.

Career Beginnings

Ernest Lee Thomas started pursuing his professional career as a Broadway actor, performing in the revival of “Love For Love” in 1974, and the revival production of “The Member Of The Wedding” in 1975. Later that year he moved to Los Angeles, and made his debut TV appearance in the support role of Ronnie Walker in an episode of the CBS sitcom “The Jeffersons”. His debut film feature appearance came in the same year, when he appeared as a preacher in the coming-of-age comedy-drama film “Cooley High”, directed by Michael Schultz, and which was a huge commercial success.

Rise to Prominence

At the time, Ernest Lee Thomas auditioned for the ABC sitcom “What’s Happening!!”, and won the lead role of Roger ‘Raj’ Thomas, which gained him enormous popularity.

Ernest Lee Thomas

The show lasted for three seasons from 1976 to 1979, and he later reprised the role in its sequel, entitled “What’s Happening Now!!”, which was aired in first-run syndication from 1985 to 1988, as well as in the made-for-TV film “That’s My Mama Now” in 1986. Concurrently, Ernest also worked on other projects, portraying John in the 1977 crime comedy film “A Piece Of The Action”, alongside Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier, and guest-starring in such TV series as “The Brady Bunch Variety Hour”, “Baretta”, and “Roots”, among others.

Projects in the 1990s and 2000s

Following the cancellation of “What’s Happening Now!”, Ernest Lee Thomas became somewhat inactive in the search for major roles. During the next decade, he landed such parts as Sidney in Spike Lee’s epic biographical drama film “Malcolm X” (1992), next to Denzel Washington, and Detective Ross in the thriller film “Kiss And Be Killed” (1993), directed by Tom Milo.

He then made guest appearances in such TV series as “The Parent Hood”, “Soul Food”, and “The Steve Harvey Show”, while his next film role came in 2003, when he featured as Ernest Thomas in the comedy film “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star”.

His next significant role came when he had the recurring part of Mr. Omar in the CBS period sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” from 2005 to 2009, co-created by famous comedian Chris Rock, inspired by his teenage years, and which received critical acclaim. Concurrently, he played Royce Henderson in the 2007 thriller film “Paroled”, and featured as a young principal in the 2009 psychological comedy-drama film “Funny People”, alongside Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

Continued Success

In 2013, Ernest Lee Thomas took the roles of a pastor in the family film “The Pastor And Mrs Jones”, and Martin Coughlin in the horror-thriller film “Foreclosed”, directed by Nick Lyon.

It was followed by his portrayals of Lenny in the drama film “Basketball Girlfriend”, and Uncle AB in the comedy film “The Slimbones”, next to Daniel Curtis Lee and Eddie Griffin, both in 2014. In the next year, he was cast as Admiral Titus Jackson in the sci-fi action-adventure film “Mega Shark Versus Kolossus” and Joseph Jesus in the comedy film “The Family”, for which he also served as an executive producer.

In 2016, he played Bank Teller in the romantic comedy film “79 Parts” – which he would later reprise in its 2019 sequel entitled “79 Parts: Director’s Cut” – and starred in the short sci-fi horror film “Earworm”, for which he won two awards for Best Actor at the Sanford International Film Festival and the Indie Horror Film Festival.

In the following year, he landed the parts of Olympus in the thriller action film “The Gods”, Mr. Williams in the comedy film “Chocolate City: Vegas Strip”, and Hobbi in the made-for-TV musical drama film “The Lost Souls Cafe”.

Recent and Upcoming Years

In 2019, Ernest Lee landed such roles as a pastor in the drama film “Love To Death”, directed by Lee Davis, and Pastor Ron Johnson in the psychological thriller film “John Wynn’s Mirror Mirror”, along with Judi Evans, Tom Sizemore, and Vincent M. Ward. Most recently, he portrayed Ernie in the thriller film “John Wynn’s Playhouse”, and featured as Principal Richards in the family comedy film “Tales Of A Fifth Grade Robin Hood”, both in 2021.

Regarding his upcoming projects, it’s announced that he will appear in such roles as Doctor Thomas in the sci-fi thriller film “John Wynn’s One Hour”, Olympus in the action crime film “The Dark Side”, and James Millicent in the drama film “The Truth”, among others. He will also reprise the role of Mr. Williams in “Chocolate City 3: Live Tour”.

Appearance and Vital Statistics

Ernest Lee Thomas has short dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. He stands at a height of 5ft 4ins (1.63m), while his weight is around 167lbs (76kgs). Information about his vital statistics, biceps size, and shoe size isn’t available.

Personal Life

Ernest Lee Thomas isn’t very open when it comes to speak about his personal life, tending to keep all the details about it away from the public.

He’s been engaged several times, but all of these engagements were eventually ended; he has never married, even though there are some rumors that he once had a wife and that their marriage lasted for two months. He is single as of late-2021, and doesn’t have children.

He was born with the eye condition amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, a disorder of sight in which the brain favors one eye which leads to the person having poor vision in the other.

Hobbies and Favorites

In his spare time, Ernest Lee Thomas enjoys traveling around the world, and has visited Germany, France, and England.

His favorite actors are Tom Hanks and Russell Crowe, while his favorite actress is Natalie Portman. His favorite film titles are “Robin Hood”, “Gladiator”, and “The Terminal”.

Ernest is a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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