C. Thomas Howell, is an American actor and director. He starred in the films The Outsiders, as Ponyboy Curtis, and The Hitcher, as Jim Halsey. He also starred in Grandview U.S.A., Red Dawn as Robert, Secret Admirer as Michael, and Soul Man, and appeared in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and much more!
In 1984 he and Outsiders co-star, Patrick Swayze, reunited for Grandview, U.S.A., also with Jamie Lee Curtis, and Red Dawn, with Charlie Sheen and Lea Thompson. Howell also had a pivotal role in Tank, with James Garner and Jenilee Harrison. In 1985 he again starred in the lead role in Secret Admirer, opposite Lori Loughlin and Kelly Preston.
At the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, Howell appeared in The Return of the Musketeers and Side Out. In 1993, he starred with Linda Fiorentino and Nancy Allen in the campy thriller Acting on Impulse. After several straight-to-DVD features and a starring role in That Night, he achieved success again in the movie Gettysburg, which was popular with history buffs and history classrooms. He starred as Mike, a motorcycle courier in Mad Dogs and Englishmen (U.S. title: Shameless) with Elizabeth Hurley. His made-for-television movie credits include Suspect Device, Sealed with a Kiss and Dead Fire.
Howell returned to acting in the 2000s in movies such as Asylum Days, the Gods and Generals prequel to Gettysburg, and The Hillside Strangler, in which he played serial killer Kenneth Bianchi.
In 2005, he starred in H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds, one of three 2005 adaptations of the novel The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Because of its success, Howell directed and starred in a straight-to-DVD sequel War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave in 2008. In 2005, he also reunited with his Secret Admirer co-star Lori Loughlin, when he had a recurring role on her television show Summerland as Zac Efron's father.