Thora Birch

A pretty, rambunctious child actress who began acting in commercials at the age of four, Thora Birch appeared opposite Wilford Brimley (in 14 Quaker Oats spots) and Jimmy Stewart (for Campbell's Soup), not to mention ... Read more »
Born: 03/10/1982 in Los Angeles, California, USA


Actor (42)

Deadline 2014 (Movie)

Lucy (Actor)

Train 2014 (Movie)

Alex (Actor)

Winter of Frozen Dreams 2014 (Movie)

Barbara Hoffman (Actor)

Petunia 2013 (Movie)

Vivian Petunia (Actor)

Dark Corners 2006 (Movie)


Slingshot 2006 (Movie)


Women Rock! 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)


8th Annual Prism Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Playboy's 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Silver City 2004 (Movie)

Karen Cross (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2003 (Tv Show)


The Outer Limits 1994 - 2002 (TV Show)


Ghost World 2001 (Movie)

Enid (Actor)

Night Visions 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


The 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)


The Hole 2001 (Movie)

Elizabeth 'Liz' Dunn (Actor)

6th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


Dungeons and Dragons: the Movie 2000 (Movie)

Empress Savina (Actor)

American Beauty 1999 (Movie)

Jane Burnham (Actor)

The Smokers 1999 (Movie)

Lincoln (Actor)

Doogie Howser, M.D. 1989 - 1990, 1996 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Touched By an Angel 1996 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Promised Land 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)


Alaska 1996 (Movie)

Jessie Barnes (Actor)

Now and Then 1995 (Movie)

Young Teeny (Actor)

Clear and Present Danger 1994 (Movie)

Sally Ryan (Actor)

Monkey Trouble 1994 (Movie)

Eva (Actor)

Hocus Pocus 1993 (Movie)

Dani (Actor)

Patriot Games 1992 (Movie)

Sally Ryan (Actor)

The Itsy Bitsy Spider 1992 (Movie)

of Piano Student (Voice)

All I Want For Christmas 1991 (Movie)

Hallie O'Fallon (Actor)

Paradise 1991 (Movie)

Billie Pike (Actor)

Parenthood 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


Day By Day 1987 - 1989 (TV Show)


Purple People Eater 1988 (Movie)

Molly Johnson (Actor)

Dark Avenger (TV Show)


Dark Corners (Movie)

Karen/Susan (Actor)

Monty (TV Show)


Night Ride Home (TV Show)


The Pregnancy Pact (TV Show)



A pretty, rambunctious child actress who began acting in commercials at the age of four, Thora Birch appeared opposite Wilford Brimley (in 14 Quaker Oats spots) and Jimmy Stewart (for Campbell's Soup), not to mention turning up in the "Just Say No" to drugs campaign. Early in her career, when she was a pretty blonde moppet, she was billed simply as 'Thora' in such efforts as her regular series roles in "Day by Day" (NBC, 1988-89) and "Parenthood" (NBC, 1990) and for her feature acting debut "Purple People Eater" (1988). The tot utilized her full name in the role that first attracted real attention, the precocious young neighbor of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith in "Paradise" (1991), which she followed with the hollow holiday-themed "All I Want for Christmas" (also 1991). Birch went on to portray Harrison Ford's daughter in the thriller "Patriot Games" (1992), then appeared as one of three children who must contend with a trio of witches in the Disney comedy "Hocus Pocus" (1993).


Carol Birch


Jack Birch

handles daughter's career

Kian Birch

born in 1990


graduated from high school in 2001



Cast in John Sayles’ political satire "Silver City" which starred Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Daryl Hannah and Richard Dreyfuss


Starred in the true Lifetime story "Homeless to Harvard"; received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie


Starred opposite Scarlett Johansson as Enid, an ultra-hip, recent high school graduate trying to find herself, in "Ghost World", produced by John Malkovich and his production company Mr. Mudd


Played lead in the thriller "The Hole"; released in the United Kingdom


Acted in "Smokers", set at the posh Lindenhurst Academy in the Midwest; screened at the Santa Barbara Film Festival


Played Empress Savina in "Dungeons & Dragons: The Movie", based on the popular role-playing game


Co-starred as the petulant, mixed-up daughter of Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening in "American Beauty"


Had featured role in the CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation "Night Ride Home"


Made uncredited appearance in "Anywhere But Here"


Made guest appearances on "Touched By an Angel" and "Promised Land" (both CBS)


Starred in the adventure flick "Alaska"


Was in the ensemble cast of "Now and Then"; first teenage role in films; her character would grow up to be Melanie Griffith


First starring role in "Monkey Trouble", with Harvey Keitel as a gypsy who'd been using the monkey to pick pockets and Mimi Rogers as her mother


Reprised role as Ford's daughter in "Clear and Present Danger"


Acted in "Hocus Pocus", starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy


Portrayed Harrison Ford's daughter in "Patriot Games"


Played first major role as Billie in "Paradise", starring Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith; first billing using full name


Had featured role in the short-lived NBC sitcom "Parenthood", based on the popular movie


Appeared in the CBS action pilot "Dark Avenger"


Film debut in "Purple People Eater"


Played Molly on short-lived NBC comedy series, "Day by Day", billed as Thora


Began acting in commercials at age four, including the "Just Say No" to drugs campaign and 14 Quaker Oatmeal commercials opposite Wilford Brimley

Bonus Trivia


Her parents were expecting a boy, whom they would have named Thor. Instead, they added an "a" to feminize Thor, learning later that Thora is actually a Norse goddess, the sister of Thor and ruler of Thursday.


Birch holds a blue belt in karate.


Her official fan Web site is at


"At 24 I want to be a director. Then I want to go into ice skating for a year and then be a cop for year and then I would like to go back to directing and then I would like to be a singer." --Thora Birch quoted in Los Angeles Times, September 28, 1991.


On changing the world: "I think we should decompress it, knock it down, and then restructure the whole thing from the bottom up again. Recently there was something on the news about how amphibians are becoming extinct and it caught me off guard how much I was upset by it. One of my friends said, 'You're nuts crying about a freaking lizard!' But at the time, it just messed me up." --Birch to Dominique Swain in Interview, October 1999.


"She does not give of herself easily. She is not good at presenting herself as a package. You really have to burrow quite deep with Thora. But then it was that sense of hidden depths that was so fascinating to me." --"American Beauty" director Sam Mendes quoted in The Daily Telegraph, November 24, 2001.


Mendes defended Birch to The Daily Telegraph reporter Emma Forrest when Forrest had a difficult interview with the actress: "Oh, dear. Thora was in one of those moods. ... Look, she's a complicated girl, a complicated woman now. She has clearly been a troubled soul and I couldn't say what that is about because there is this kind of force field around her that stops you from going there. But that confusion and unease she has about herself is precisely what makes her so fascinating to watch." --From The Daily Telegraph, November 24, 2001.


About her nude scene in "American Beauty": "I wasn't nervous about it. I thought I'd be a mess. But when it came to it, it wasn't a lascivious moment--not titilating." --Birch to London's Evening Standard, January 27, 2000.


"I just pick characters that I fall in love with for some reason. I haven't really given my choices any grand thought in terms of what I'm doing with my career. But you also can't ignore what you're doing career-wise. I'd like to play the 'typical' parts. I just haven't done them yet. Maybe I've made a mistake because two of the characters that I've played are troubled. That could be a big mistake, because everyone sees me that way, and I'm not that way." --Birch quoted in Venice, August 2001.


"I don't get pleasure watching my own work, but when other people are affected in a positive way by it, that to me is the highest compliment. It's my job to move people, so when that happens I am supremely happy."-Birch Interview November 2002


"I've sometimes wondered why people, especially in the entertainment industry, maintain this sort of reverence for entertainers from the past. And I think that that passion is sustained because there's an element of the unknown attached to it-the not knowing every aspect of these people or their methods, their likes or dislikes or what they do at home. I think that when that mystery is diminished in an artist, whether it's through seeing so much of them or becoming aware of them on a visual and therefore vaguely physical level, it diminishes that love, and I don't like being part of diminishing that love in my fans' eyes."-Birch Interview November 2002