Thaao Penghlis is an Australian-born actor of Greek heritage. After high school, Penghlis left Sydney for New York and the stage, where he performed until he made his television debut in 1973, with a small part in an episode of the crime drama "Hawkins". By the late 1970s, he began working in movies, reaching his zenith quickly with a substantial supporting role in the Oscar-nominated psycho-horror "Altered States". But in 1981, Penghlis found his true calling when he joined the core cast of the daytime soap heavyweight "Days of Our Lives" as Tony DiMera, the son of Stefano DiMera, the villain and DiMera patriarch on the long-running series. Though his character was introduced to the show in 1981, he didn't actually become a regular until 2002, and a regular indeed: by 2009, when his DiMera character was killed off as a result of his death from a fight, Penghlis had put in over 1,000 episodes on the NBC classic. Prior to that hearty run, which earned Penghlis a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2008, his two biggest parts have been as Nicholas Black on the late-'80s revival of the TV classic "Mission Impossible", where he co-starred with the original "Mission" series star Peter Graves; and as Micah DeAngelis on another NBC daytime soap, "Santa Barbara", during the early 1990s.