>Jonathan Taylor Thomas
THE COMPLEAT LITTLE ANGLER
EVERYONE COMPLAINS ABOUT THE grind of working on a weekly series. Imagine how tedious it must be for an active 12-year-old like Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the impish middle son, Randy, on Home Improvement. Other than occasional pickup games of basketball with the kids foam Boy Meets World, the sitcom that tapes on an adjoining soundstage, Jonathan’s keenest pleasure at work comes from trading whoppers with some older cohorts who share, a piscatory passion. “There are a couple of fishermen among the crew members on the set,” he says. “I like to sit back with them and swap fish stories. ‘I caught a…nine-footer. Oh yeah!’ ”
Born Jonathan Weiss in Allen-town, Pa., he moved to Sacramento at age 5 with his parents and his older brother Joel. Jonathan began modeling and on his first trip to Los Angeles landed on a TV series as Greg’s son on The Bradys, CBS’s short-lived rebunching of the cult clan in 1990. When it became apparent their youngest would be working a lot, the Weisses moved south. Since there was already an actor with his name, Jonathan used his own middle name, and then tacked on his brother’s middle name to get a distinct professional handle.
He loves to travel on promotional junkets for Home Improvement. “I usually bring my fishing rod,” he explains. So far he has landed salmon and halibut in Alaska and pursued marlin in Hawaii and kingfish in the Caribbean. “The show’s airing in Australia now,” Jonathan says, ingenuously angling for another trip. “It’s real popular over there. And I just read that New Zealand has great fishing. Hopefully I’ll gel a chance to go over there. Do some photo shoots and some fishing. Yeah!”