See ‘Rookie of the Year’ star Thomas Ian Nicholas, now 42
At 13 years old, Thomas Ian Nicholas landed the lead role in the Disney movie Rookie of the Year, playing a boy who breaks his arm playing baseball only to find, after the cast is removed, that his strained tendons have given his fastball the snap of a Major League pitcher. Released in 1993, the film did moderate business at the box office, but became a beloved favorite among millennial moviegoers, alongside other wholesome sports comedies of the era, including The Mighty Ducks and The Sandlot.
While some actors never overshadow that kind of childhood success, Nicholas managed to maintain his career in entertainment, going on to star in a blockbuster movie franchise and reinventing himself as a film producer and musician. Keep reading to see where he is now at 42.
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After Rookie of the YearNicholas appeared in another Disney fantasy, A child in the court of King Arthurand its direct-to-video sequel A child in Aladdin’s palacebut her career moved away from child fare with her next role.
The actor played Kevin Myers, one of four horny teenagers who made a pact to lose their virginity before graduation in the steamy teen comedy that launched a franchise American piereleased in 1999. He would reprise the role for three sequels: 2001’s american pie 22003 American weddingand 2012 American meeting.
Outside of the American pie saga, Nicholas continued to find steady work in television and film. On the big screen, he had roles in Halloween: Resurrection, The rules of attractionand please donatefeaturing Catherine Kener. He also played a number of characters based on real people, including Frank Sinatra, Jr. in Stealing Sinatraa young waltz disney in Walt before Mickeysocial activist Abbie Hoffman in The Chicago 8and “Marty”, a director based on Martin Scorsesein Zerovillerealized by James Franco.
Nicholas has also been involved behind the scenes, as a producer on several films he has appeared in, all directed by the filmmaker Brian A. Metcalf. Together, the duo brought to the screen the films The lost tree vampire drama live among usand the LA crime thriller Negative.
On television, Nicholas appeared in nine episodes of party of fivewas a recurring character on the short-lived teen medical drama Red Band Societyand starred in episodes of Medium, Grey’s Anatomyand Hell’s Kitchen.
Nicholas is best known for his acting, but he bills himself as an actor/musician and has also dedicated a lot of time to the music industry. He toured the world with his rock band the Thomas Nicholas Band, recording six studio albums along the way.
According to its website, the group had recorded more than 700 shows in 12 countries over the past decade. The band is currently recording their seventh album. Nicholas describes their sound as having been influenced by acts and artists like Bruce Springsteen, Dave GrohlSwitchfoot, and John Mayer.
He even married a professional musician, Colette “DJ Collette” Sailorin 2007. The couple share two children: a son, Nolan Riverborn in 2011, and a daughter, Zoe Riverborn in 2016. Marino filed for divorce from Nicholas in May 2022.
In 2017, Nicholas made headlines not for his career as an actor or musician, but for his involvement in a minor literary scandal involving a self-published young adult novel titled Handbook for mortals by a largely unknown first author named Lani Sarem. The publishing industry was shocked when the fantasy novel came out of nowhere to claim the top spot on the New York Times list of bestsellers.
Other authors began to question how a book no one had heard of had topped publishing’s most prestigious and coveted chart, that’s when Nicholas’ name entered the mix. An associate of Sarem who had previously made appearances with her at fan conventions, he was attached as a producer to a proposed film adaptation the duo was promoting.
An investigation soon revealed that Sarem and Nicholas had hired a third party to make bulk purchases of the novel from known bookstores to report their sales to the New York Timesa violation of the newspaper’s policy to determine which books are truly bestsellers. Handbook for Mortals was subsequently removed from the list, by The Hollywood Reporter.
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Earlier this summer, while speaking to KTLA Radio about “1999,” his nostalgia-tinged parody/cover of the Bowling for Soup hit “1985,” Nicholas revealed he’s ready to commit to more nostalgia for the late 1990s, if anyone came calling about a fifth film from the American pie franchise.
“[Film studio] Universal revolves around the idea; obviously the nostalgia is really big right now,” said Nicholas, just the makers of American meeting, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberghave since been acclaimed with the Netflix series Cobra Kaia continuation of the Karate Kid Franchise from the 80s. “So I think anything is possible,” he added.