a.k.a. Phil Tobis, Phil Tobias, Phil Tobus, Grady Sutton, Toby Phillips, P. Thomas, Paul Tanner, Phil Toubes, Paul Tomas, Phil Toubus, Phillip Toubus, Judy Blue
Paul Thomas has lived two lives in the porno business. He was one of the top male performers of the 70's and 80's, making a name for himself as a stud who specialized in sensual one-on-ones and plot-driven potboilers. When his performing days ended, Paul moved behind the cameras and became one of the most successful and popular pornmakers in the world. Simply put, Paul Thomas is an icon of American hardcore
Paul was born in 1951 in Winnetka, Illinois, the son of wealthy parents and the nephew of baked goods queen Sara Lee. He attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, studying political science for a time. Eventually Paul caught the acting bug, though, and moved to New York City to try his luck. His good looks and obvious talent caught the eyes of several producers around town. Soon he was starring in the Broadway production of 'Hair.' He landed the role of Peter in the film version of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in 1973, and soon after moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.
Paul signed with the William Morris Agency and got roles in lots of TV series such as 'Police Story' and 'Mannix.' He soon tired of the crazed competitiveness of the Hollywood scene, though. It was while appearing in a San Francisco production of the play 'Beach Blanket Bingo' in 1974 that Thomas first met porn impresarios the Mitchell Brothers. They convinced him to shoot some hardcore loops for them, and by 1976 he was ready to make his full-fledged porn feature debut in 'The Autobiography of a Flea.' A sex film star was born.
Thomas soon grew to love his new field. He liked being a big fish in a small pond, as he put it, and the porn business was much less cutthroat than mainstream Hollywood. Throughout the next several years, Paul established himself as one of the best actors and most reliable sexers in the industry. He worked his magic in a whole host of top-flight porno features including such classics as 'Desires Within Young Girls,' 'Seven Into Snowy' and 'Candy Stripers 1.'
Much more of a lover than a down-and-dirty defiler of women, Paul enjoyed off-screen relationships with some of the most gorgeous women in porn, such as Annette Haven, Veronica Hart and Christine Heller. In the early 80's, Paul entered into a brief marriage with porner Honey Wilder, but that relationship fell apart fairly quickly. Thomas had a reputation as a guy who'd try anything twice, and his wild lifestyle led him to a year-long 1982 prison stay for smuggling cocaine into the country from South America.
Upon his release from prison, Thomas got back into hardcore. He saw that his career opportunities as a stud were limited and decided to move behind the cameras. He began his directing career in 1988, after a stint as the producing partner of Henri Pachard. Thomas' first directorial effort was 'RoboFox,' and he hasn't looked back since.
Thomas has become one of the most notable porno directors in the business over the past decade or so. While some complain that his films are too plot-driven and not raw enough, Thomas refuses to delve into gonzo-style hysterics. He much prefers porn with a storyline and at least some attempt at acting. Among his most popular works are the entire 'Brat' series, 'Romeo and Juliet,' and 'The Masseuse.'
Thomas has won numerous industry awards for his work, including a trio of AVN Best Director nods for his work on 1990's 'Beauty and the Beast,' 1993's 'Justine' and 1996's 'Bobby Sox.' He continues to work in mainstream film, as well, and has directed a string of features for HBO under his real name (Phil Tobias). He also wrote and directed the 1991 softcore hit 'The Pamela Principle,' this time under the name Toby Phillips.
Paul Thomas is a deserving member of the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame. He continues to produce high-end, glossy hardcore features that keep alive the story-driven traditions that he came into the business with. With nearly 200 features under his belt as a director, and almost as many as a performer, Paul's a true hardcore icon and a man whose name is synonymous with quality eroticism.