Tony Thomas; Film Historian, Author, Producer
Tony Thomas, 69, one of Hollywood’s preeminent film historians. Thomas was the author of 30 books, produced more than 50 albums of music and produced several television documentaries. He was also the announcer for “The Kennedy Center Honors” and “American Film Institute Salutes.” A native of Portsmouth, England, Thomas moved to Canada as a youth and in 1948 became an announcer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He later worked for the network as a writer and producer of programs about Hollywood and the motion picture business. He hosted the Canadian television series “As Time Goes By” and was a panelist on the series “Flashback.” Thomas moved to Los Angeles in 1966 and began churning out such books as “The Films of 20th Century Fox,” “The Hollywood Musical,” “The Busby Berkeley Book” and biographies of Errol Flynn and Joel McCrea. An expert on music used in films, he produced record albums of classic film scores and wrote the well-received book “Music for the Movies.” Thomas was a founder of the Society for the Preservation of Film Music and served for many years on its advisory board. He also worked as a writer and producer for several Academy Award shows and for the syndicated television series “That’s Hollywood.” Thomas also produced documentaries about films, including “The West That Never Was,” “Wild Westerns” and “The Hollywood Soundtrack Story.” On Tuesday in Burbank of pneumonia.