Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas

Born: September 23, 1968
Age: 51
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Michelle Doris Thomas (September 23, 1968 - December 22,[2][3][4] or 23,[1][5] 1998) was an American actress and comedian. She was best known for her roles as Justine Phillips on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1988-90), and Myra Monkhouse, Steve Urkel's girlfriend on the ABC/CBS sitcom Family Matters (1993-98).[1]

Thomas was born in Brookline, Massachusetts[6] on September 23, 1968 to Dennis Thomas, a member of music group Kool & the Gang, and Phynjuar Thomas, a stage actress.[1] Thomas grew up in Montclair, New Jersey and was an alumna of West Essex High School; graduating in 1987.[7][1] She was crowned Miss Talented Teen New Jersey in Hal Jackson's Talented Teen pageant, and in July 1984, at the age of 15, became International Queen in the International competition in Montego Bay, Jamaica .[8][9][10]



From 1988 to 1990, Thomas portrayed 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. Thomas had a role in Dream Date in 1989. In 1991, she had a small role in Hangin' with the Homeboys. Thomas also appeared in music videos for Boyz II Men, Mint Condition, Dru Hill, and Chubb Rock.

In 1993, Thomas won the role of Myra Monkhouse in Family Matters. In 1997, Thomas served as a guest host of the weekly music series Soul Train. After Family Matters ended in 1998, Thomas portrayed Callie Rogers Stark, an aspiring singer on The Young and the Restless. In October 1998, Thomas took a medical leave.[1]

Health and death

In August 1997,[5] Thomas was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer, intra-abdominal desmoplastic small-round-cell tumor.[11] She underwent surgery to remove a lemon-sized tumor shortly before landing her The Young and the Restless role in the spring of 1998. In October 1998, she underwent surgery after a second cancerous growth ruptured. After being released from the hospital, Thomas flew home to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving with her family.[5]

On December 22,[12] or 23,[1] 1998, aged 30, she died surrounded by her family and friends in New York City at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,[13][12][14][1][3][5][11] On December 26, 1998, a Muslim funeral service was held, as per her request. She was buried in Montclair, New Jersey.[5]


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Dream Date Sally Palmer Television film
1991 Hangin' with the Homeboys Telemarketing Operator
1999 Unbowed Anna Released posthumously
Year Title Role Notes
1988-1990 The Cosby Show Justine Phillips 8 episodes
1989 A Man Called Hawk Ruthie Carver Episode: "Choice of Chance"
1993-1998 Family Matters Myra Monkhouse 55 episodes
1994 Thea Keanda 2 episodes
1996 Duckman Voice role
Episode: "Exile in Guyville"
1997 Malcolm & Eddie Brooke Bellamy Episode: "Roofless People"
1998 The Young and the Restless Callie Rogers Stark

Awards and nominations

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

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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