After working in commercials in NYC to support his acting studies, handsome dark-haired Eric Thal auditioned for a small role in Sidney Lumet's "A Stranger Among Us" (1992). Lumet was so impressed by...
Appeared in a pivotal supporting role in "Six Degrees of Separation"
Had leading role in the thriller "Down"; released theatrically in Europe
Left college and moved to New York to pursue a career in acting; supported himself by appearing in commercials
Co-starred with Halle Berry in the ABC TV-movie "The Wedding"
TV-movie debut in title role of Samson in "Samson and Delilah" (TNT)
Acted in high school productions
Made Broadway debut opposite Sigourney Weaver in "Sex and Longing"
Feature film debut in a leading role, "A Stranger Among Us"
Family moved from upstate New York to suburban Philadelphia when Thal was young
After working in commercials in NYC to support his acting studies, handsome dark-haired Eric Thal auditioned for a small role in Sidney Lumet's "A Stranger Among Us" (1992). Lumet was so impressed by the young actor that he invited Thal back to audition for the leading male role. Although he had virtually no professional credits, Thal landed the role of an Hasidic scholar who becomes involved with an undercover police officer (Melanie Griffith). While the film failed to impress critics or the public, Thal's carefully measured intensity and equanimity were praised. He subsequently played a police officer (and the anti-heroine's husband) in the farcical "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag" (1992) and followed up with a small role in "Six Degrees of Separation" (1993), as a heterosexual driven to suicide after an intimate encounter with a con artist (Will Smith). Thal later co-starred as Donald Sutherland's disaffected son in "The Puppet Masters" (1994) and as a man who must face romance after the excitement has worn off in "Joe's So Mean to Josephine" (1997). He segued to the small screen playing the hirsute strongman in the TNT Biblical epic "Samson and Delilah" (1997), opposite Elizabeth Hurley. The following year, Thal was cast as a musician engaged to Halle Berry in the ABC TV-movie "The Wedding". In 2001, he portrayed a mechanic who becomes enmeshed in a rash of elevator accidents in the thriller "Down".
The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre
Haverford Preparatory School
"I think it's good not to have too strict a plan because if you're not writing and producing your own projects, you don't have that much control over what comes your way. But I think it's important to have guidelines. If it's a big part, then you've got to get something out of it that can have significance in tour life because that's the only way you can have passion towards what you're doing." --Eric Thal in Scene, November-December 1994.