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Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas
Born Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died December 22, 1998
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1988-1998

Michelle Thomas (died December 22, 1998) was an American actress best known for her role as Myra Monkhouse, the girlfriend of Steve Urkel, on the American sitcom Family Matters from 1993 to 1998.


Early life and career

Born in Boston, Massachusetts,[1] Thomas grew up in Montclair, New Jersey and was an alumna of West Essex High School. She was the daughter of Phynjuar Thomas, a stage actress and Dennis Thomas a member of a music group Kool & the Gang.[2] In the mid-1980s, Thomas was crowned Miss Talented Teen New Jersey in Hal Jackson's Talented Teen Competition. The following year, she competed in the international pageant and won the title of International Queen.[3]

Thomas made her acting debut in 1988 as Justine Phillips, the girlfriend of Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show. She later appeared on various television programs during the late 1980s and 1990s including A Man Called Hawk and Thea. In 1991, Thomas had a small role in comedy Hangin' with the Homeboys. Thomas also appeared in music videos for Mint Condition, Dru Hill and Chubb Rock. In 1993, she won the role of Myra Monkhouse on the long-running sitcom Family Matters. After the series ended in 1998, Thomas portrayed Callie Rogers Stark, an aspiring singer on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. She left the series in October 1998.


Thomas was diagnosed with an incurable form of stomach cancer; intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumor, a rare soft tissue sarcoma.[3] On December 22, 1998,[4][5][6][7] Thomas died in New York City at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,[8] at the age of 29[1][5][7] or 30.[3][6][8]


Year Film Role Notes
1991 Hangin' with the Homeboys Telemarketing operator
1999 Unbowed Anna Released posthumously
Year Title Role Notes
1988-1990 The Cosby Show Justine Phillips 7 episodes
1989 A Man Called Hawk Ruthie Carver 1 episode
Dream Date Sally Palmer Television movie
1993-1998 Family Matters Myra Monkhouse 52 episodes
1994 Thea Danesha's 16-year-old Friend 1 episode
1996 Duckman Voice, 1 episode
1997 Malcolm & Eddie Brooke Bellamy 1 episode
1998 The Young and the Restless Callie Rogers Stark Unknown episodes

Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Series
1999 NAACP Image Awards Nominated Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series The Young and the Restless


  1. ^ a b Bay State Banner, 11 February 1999, "Boston-born actress Thomas, dead at 29". Accessed 3 May 2009
  2. ^ Pace, Eric. "Michelle Thomas, 30, Actress On TV Soap Opera and Sitcoms", The New York Times, December 28, 1998. Accessed October 30, 2007. "She was born in Boston, Mass., grew up in Montclair, N.J., and graduated from West Essex High School in North Caldwell, N.J."
  3. ^ a b c "Michelle Thomas, `Family Matters' TV Star, Dies Of Cancer At 30". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 95 (7): 61. 1999-01-18. ISSN 0021-5996.  
  4. ^ Chambers, Cheehsa. 29 December 1998, Variety, Michelle Thomas. Accessed 3 May 2009.
  5. ^ a b, Michelle Thomas. Accessed 3 May 2009.
  6. ^ a b Entertainment Weekly, 8 January 1999, "Monitor." Accessed 3 May 2009.
  7. ^ a b The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 December 1998, Michell Thomas, Television actress".
  8. ^ a b Los Angeles Sentinel, 6 January 1999, "Michelle Thomas Succumbs To Cancer." Accessed 3 May 2009.

External links

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