The actor Richard Thomas had a companion who supported him and helped him get through the challenging experience of raising a big blended family of children from many relationships. Thomas contemplates his marriage and his role as a father now that he is a parent without children.
Since his debut on the classic television series “The Walton’s,” in which he played aspiring writer John-Boy Walton, Richard Thomas has never been able to live down his part, and his life is still inextricably tied to his portrayal of the character.
As a result of his performance in the part, he was shortlisted for two Golden Globe Awards and two Emmys, and he ended up winning one of them. Nevertheless, he left the ceremony with more than just prizes in his possession. While working on the CBS drama series, the actor also ended up meeting his future wife, Alma.
Alma, a native of California whose parents were Mexican immigrants, caught the attention of the actor while he was out with friends dancing at a middle eastern nightclub in Los Angeles. At the time of their first encounter, Alma was working as a saleswoman, secretary to a press agent, and part-time waitress when they first met.
Thomas admired Alma’s ability to dance and thought her smile was absolutely stunning. After introducing himself to her, he made the first move by asking her out, and the two of them ended up having their first date at a Betty Boop cartoon festival.
After going out together for a year, they finally decided to be married on Valentine’s Day in 1975. The following year, the couple became parents for the first time, welcoming a son named Richard Francisco into the world.
Five years later, they were blessed with a set of triplets named Barbara Ayalla, Gwyneth Gonzalez, and Pilar Alma. During an interview with Studio 10, Thomas joked that he was attempting to re-create a joyful childhood by having as many kids as he did on the program. He was referring to the fact that the show included a large number of children.
People started referring to the actor’s triplets as “John Girl I,” “John Girl II,” and “John Girl III” after the show since his actual life got so entwined with the plot of the program.
HIS TRIPLETS Came as a Big Surprise to Everyone.
When Alma discovered she was pregnant for a second time, both she and her husband immediately assumed they would be carrying a pair of children. After all, identical twins were common on both of the family’s lines. When they went in for checkups at the beginning of the third and seventh months of their pregnancy, the sonograms suggested that they might be having twins.
Despite this, Alma went into labor three weeks before her due date, and while she was in labor, the physicians were able to discover a third pulse. Although there were no complications after the delivery of the triplets, Thomas revealed how anxious he had been, saying:
“I was struggling to keep my breath. Absolutely anything may have transpired.”
Only a few days before, they were the doting parents of a 5-year-old boy who often voiced his displeasure of being a big brother. Now, he had three lovely younger siblings to compete with him for his parents’ attention. After the arrival of his sisters, he suddenly transformed into a kind and attentive older brother, despite the fact that he had previously expressed how much he detested having siblings.
Thomas, who was ecstatic about the expansion of his family, was a very involved father. During Alma’s time spent recuperating, the actress went on a shopping binge, returning with items such as baby cots, blankets, and bottles. Even though they had a nurse come in part-time to assist with the children, Thomas and Alma’s mother continued to work around the clock to care for the infants, making sure they were fed and kept clean.
In the beginning, the babies looked so alike that even their parents could not tell them apart and relied on differently colored earrings to differentiate them. On the other hand, as they started growing, their characteristics began to differentiate themselves from one another.
Alma saw that the oldest, Barbara, was calm; the middle child, Pilar, was irritable and histrionic; and the youngest child, Gwyneth, was lively and ate quickly. Barbara was the quietest of the three.
He was blindsided by Alma’s decision to divorce him.
Unfortunately, Alma and Thomas divorced after 18 years of marriage, and Thomas has stated that the decision to end their marriage, which brought him to his knees, was never his idea. Alma and Thomas were married for 18 years. In his recollection,
“At some time in life, you are brought to your knees, and in my case, it was a terrible divorce that was not, N-O, my idea,” he adds. “In my situation, it was a difficult divorce that was not, N-O, my idea.” “However, as a result of that, I was pulled into a better existence while kicking and screaming.”
He is the first to admit that even though his divorce caused him a great deal of suffering, it was ultimately responsible for him meeting “the one.” Shortly after finalizing his divorce from Alma in 1993, Thomas began seeing Georgiana Bischoff, an art dealer based in Santa Fe.
They eventually started dating, and a little over six months after they had their first encounter, they tied the knot. They had both been married once before and had children from that marriage, so they did not think it was possible for them to find love again. However, they met at the appropriate moment and discovered one other.
They were accompanied down the aisle by fifty of their nearest and dearest friends and family members, and Thomas’ son Francisco served as the best man for the ceremony. His three daughters acted in the capacity of bridesmaids throughout the ceremony.
Thomas asserts that he wed the most plain and honest individual possible. They were able to have a lot of fun together and trusted each other completely. Nevertheless, he also admitted that it was not always simple to do so.
When they first got acquainted, Thomas already had four children from a prior marriage, while Bischoff already had two daughters, Brooke and Kendra, from previous relationships.
It was not exactly a stroll in the park to bring all of the children together to form a harmonious blended family, and the addition of Montana was not without its challenges. He recognized that it resulted in a great deal of friction and presented a great many difficulties, and he further stated:
The addition of our son to a family that already had six children was a significant challenge for us.
They have, thankfully, been able to weather every storm together and successfully raise their family from the beginning of their relationship. They have triumphed over some of life’s most difficult challenges by making the conscious decision to cooperate with one another. The famous actor said that he and his wife were both very skilled cooks who delighted in preparing elaborate feasts for their extended family.
Today, all of their children are adults who have long ago flown the coop and are no longer living at home. They say that two of their children live in California, three live in Bend, Oregon, and two live in their home in New York. At this point, the couple lives alone in their home in New York.
THE MYSTERY BEHIND THE LONG-LASTING MARRIAGE
Even after over three decades of marriage, Thomas and Bischoff’s feelings for one another have not changed much from the day they first laid eyes on one other. According to the norms of Hollywood, they have one of the longest-lasting marriages in the profession.
But what exactly is the mystery? Thomas said that the reason he and his wife have been so happy together is because they married an honest person. He claims that since he married a simple person, he is aware of his position in both his marriage and his life.
Thomas was also able to impart some of his knowledge and experience on parenting. He cautioned parents against attempting to shape their children into an image of what kind of person they would wish them to become. According to him, the key is to encourage children to act in a way that is authentic to who they are.