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Q: What ever happened to the boy who played Elliott in "E.T.?"

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Author: 
Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Quite a bit has happened to Henry Thomas since he was made a star at age 11 by Steven Spielberg's opus, "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," but it's pretty well undeniable that that film was his peak.

But the lead role in a film of that caliber would probably be the peak of any actor's career, really. It remains one of the best-loved, and highest-earning, films of all time.

But that was 27 years ago, in 1982.

His first role after "E.T." was the lead in the heart-tugging 1984 film "Misunderstood," based on the novel by Florence Montgomery. He starred opposite Gene Hackman, which is not a bad entry on anyone's resume.

Roles have actually been coming pretty steadily every since, though not many more leading ones. And the ones that have come certainly haven't all been A-list.

He's developed into a fairly busy supporting star though, and his bigger roles tend to come in period pieces -- films like 1994's "Legends of the Fall" (as one of Brad Pitt's brothers) and the 2002 multi-Oscar-nominated "Gangs of New York."

As for more modern fare, he also had sizable roles in the cult-hit 1997 drama "Suicide Kings" and in the 2000 film "All the Pretty Horses," an adaptation of the novel by film-friendly author Cormac McCarthy.

Though it did make him a star, "E.T." wasn't Thomas's first role. A year earlier he had roles in the little-remembered Sissy Spacek feature "Raggedy Man," and the even more obscure telefilm "The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid" (which was based on a Coca-Cola commercial, of all things).

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