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Monday, 19 November 2012

Tom Villard (1953 – 1994), US. Actor

b. November 19, 1953
d. November 14, 1994

American actor, best known for his leading role in the 1980s series "We Got it Made" as Jay Bostwick, as well as roles in feature films "One Crazy Summer", "Heartbreak Ridge", "My Girl", and "Popcorn".

Born Thomas Louis Villard in Waipahu Ewa, Hawaii, he grew up in Spencerport, New York. He has two brothers and one sister. After high school Tom attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania for two years. After college he moved to New York City. There he attended the Lee Strasburg Acting Studio and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Although his name wasn't instantly recognizable, Tom Villard's face was, as he appeared throughout his career on television, in feature films, and on stage around the country. He was featured in situation comedies, episodic tv series', and had leading roles in lower and mid-range budgeted features. At the peak of his career Villard was given featured supporting roles in big-budget studio fare, (such as Heartbreak Ridge, and My Girl). Toward the end of his life he had a recurring supporting role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and portrayed multiple characters in the tv episodics The Golden Girls and Baywatch.

Toward the end of his life, Tom Villard became one of the few actors in Hollywood in the early 1990s who chose to be open about his homosexuality, and the challenge of living with HIV and AIDS. In February 1994 Villard made an unprecedented appearance on the CBS tabloid-style news show Entertainment Tonight, admitting to "...more than 13 million viewers that he was gay, that he had AIDS, and that he needed some help."

Tom moved to Los Angeles in 1980. During Tom's film career he landed roles in numerous films and television shows. Tom passed away from AIDS related pneumonia, in Los Angeles, California.

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