Bob Thomas

Bob Thomas
Marianna Diamos / Los Angeles Times


Bob Thomas
Film: North side of the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Robert Joseph Thomas on Jan. 26, 1922 in San Diego, CA
Died March 14, 2014 in Encino, Calif.

Acclaimed throughout the industry as the dean of Hollywood reporters, Bob Thomas wrote about the movie business for the Associated Press since the days when Hollywood was run by the men who founded it: Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Harry Cohn and Louis B. Mayer.

Thomas joined AP in 1944. He has witnessed the demise of the studio-contract system, the blacklists of the McCarthy years and the corporate takeover of the movie factories.

Along with miles of column inches for AP, he wrote many books. Many in the film industry credit his 1969 biography of producer Irving G. Thalberg as sparking their interest in pursuing a career behind the scenes. Other Thomas biographies include Joan Crawford and Marlon Brando, as well as a series of books on Walt Disney.

Thomas told The Times in 1999, "I began working at a time that has been called the 'era of wonderful nonsense.' One of my first stories was taking a tape measure out to the studio and measuring Bette Davis, who was supposed to have a perfect figure, after she returned to work from having a baby."

When he received his Walk of Fame star in 1988, he remarked with characteristic low-key humor, "This is 100% better than attending your own funeral."

The Publicists Guild presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2009.

Thomas who continued working until 2010, died March 14, 2014, at his home in Encino, Calif. He was 92.

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