Richard Thomas, an actor, raised a huge blended family, which was challenging, but he had a partner who supported him and helped him through it all. Thomas considers marriage and children as an empty-nester.
Richard Thomas never got over his part as aspiring author John-Boy Walton on “The Walton’s,” and his life is forever entwined with that of his legendary television character.
He received two Golden Globe nominations for the part and two Emmy nominations, one of which he won. He did not only leave the evening with accolades, though. While working on the CBS drama series, the actor also met his wife Alma.
Alma grabbed the actor’s attention while dancing with friends at a middle eastern nightclub in Los Angeles. Alma is a native Californian with Mexican parents, and at the time of their encounter, she worked as a part-time server, a press agent’s secretary, and a saleswoman.
Thomas thought Alma danced well and had a lovely grin. He introduced himself, he asked her out, and their first date ended up being at a Betty Boop cartoon festival.
They dated for a year before getting married on Valentine’s Day in 1975. The couple gave birth to son Richard Francisco the following year, becoming parents for the first time.
Five years later, they welcomed triplets Barbara Ayalla, Gwyneth Gonzalez, and Pilar Alma. Thomas jokingly said that by including so many children on the show, he was attempting to recreate a happy childhood in an interview with Studio 10.
Since the actor’s real life and the show grew so entwined, people started calling his triplets John Girl I, John Girl II, and John Girl III.
Alma and her husband anticipated having twins when she became pregnant for the second time. Twins did, after all, run in both sides of the family. When they went to the doctor in the third and seventh months of their pregnancy, the sonograms showed that they would be having twins.
But three weeks prior to her due date, Alma went into labor, and the medical staff found a third heartbeat there. Although the triplets were delivered without incident, Thomas acknowledged his anxiety, saying: “I was breathing heavily. Everything was possible.”
Only a few days prior, they had been devoted parents to a 5-year-old child who frequently expressed his distaste for having three gorgeous siblings. He seemed to forget how much he loathed having sisters and became a loving big brother after they returned home.
Thomas was a hands-on father who was happy about the expansion of his family. The actor went on a shopping binge while Alma was getting well, bringing home cribs, blankets, and bottles. Thomas and Alma’s mother worked nonstop to care for the infants, even though they hired a part-time nurse to assist.
The babies initially had such a similar appearance that not even their parents were able to distinguish between them; instead, they had to rely on wearing earrings of a different color. However, when they began to develop, their traits started to stand out.
Alma noted that the three children—Barbara, the oldest, was peaceful; Pilar, the middle child, was fussy and histrionic; and Gwyneth, the youngest, was vivacious and ate quickly.
Unfortunately, Alma and Thomas divorced after 18 years of marriage. Thomas claimed that the divorce, which made him weak, was never his idea. He remembered:
Life will eventually get you to your knees, and in my case, that meant going through a traumatic divorce that was not, N-O, my idea. But as a result of it, I was dragged into a happy life against my will.
He acknowledges that although while his divorce caused him much anguish, it also helped him meet “the one.” After divorcing Alma in 1993, Thomas soon after met Santa Fe art dealer Georgiana Bischoff.
Less than a year after they initially met, they got married after becoming a couple. They did not expect to find love again because they had both previously been married and divorced, but they met at the perfect time.
50 of their closest friends and family members witnessed their entrance down the aisle, with Thomas’ son Francisco serving as the best man. His three children served as the maids of honor.
Thomas claims he married the most straightforward and honest person. They had a great time together and trusted one another. He acknowledged that it wasn’t always simple, though.
Thomas had four children at the time of their union, whereas Bischoff had two daughters, Brooke and Kendra, from prior unions.
It wasn’t quite a walk in the park to have another boy, Montana, and to blend the family harmoniously with the previous children. He acknowledged that it led to a lot of strain and difficulties, adding:
“Having our own boy on top of blending a family of six kids is a big job.”
Fortunately, they have always been able to stick together through every challenge and successfully raise their family. By deciding to cooperate, they have surmounted some of life’s most difficult obstacles. The actor revealed that he and his wife both loved cooking for their large family and were superb cooks.
Their children had all grown up and left the nest by this time. The two claim that two of their children are currently living in California, three are in Bend, Oregon, and two are currently residing in their New York house alone.
After almost three decades of marriage, Thomas and Bischoff are still as in love as they were when they first met. Their union is one of the longest-lasting ones in the industry by Hollywood standards.
However, what is the trick? Thomas explained that the key to his long-lasting marriage was finding an honest spouse. He claims that by choosing a plain spouse, he is more aware of his position in both marriage and life.
Thomas had some parenting advice to offer as well. He counseled parents to refrain from trying to shape their kids into the people they think they should be. He claims that allowing kids the freedom to be themselves is the key.