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Ozark: What Richard Thomas Has Been Doing Since The Show Ended

Richard Thomas wasn't on "Ozark" for long, appearing as Nathan Davis, Wendy Byrde's (Laura Linney) estranged father, in the show's fourth and final season, investigating Ben's (Tom Pelphrey) mysterious death. Now that Netflix wrapped a bow on the series, making a Season 5 return unlikely, Thomas, like other "Ozark" actors, has moved on to other projects, some that have brought him back to his thespian roots.

Following the conclusion of "Ozark," Thomas joined Aaron Sorkin's stage rendition of "To Kill a Mockingbird," playing Atticus Finch. Throughout 2022, the actor portrayed the legendary lawyer in numerous productions as Sorkin took his play on the road, touring the entire United States. Thomas took over the role from Jeff Daniels, who played Atticus on Broadway until COVID shut down the production. Thomas has since extended his tenure as Atticus, playing the character through 2023-24 as "To Kill a Mockingbird" continues its nationwide tour.

Although Thomas began his acting career on Broadway, returning to the theater industry isn't his only full-circle moment following the "Ozark" finale. The actor also returned to "The Waltons," taking part in "A Waltons Thanksgiving" on The CW. In the '70s, the role propelled Thomas into stardom, playing John-Boy over seven seasons and three made-for-TV movies. Now that his "Ozark" tenure is over, Thomas walks a familiar path, spending his days on stage or playing John-Boy, mimicking the earliest days of his acting career.

The theater will always be a part of Thomas

Richard Thomas frequently lends his talents to the stage, having performed in numerous theater performances between television and movie roles throughout the 2010s. However, with "To Kill a Mockingbird," he returns to the stage full-time, and while many actors would see that as a daunting task, Thomas never forgot the industry that started his career.

"I never left the theater," he said in an interview with Variety regarding his return to the stage as Atticus Finch, offering a unique viewpoint on the industry. "A lot of people think it's like the gym – you have to go back to the theater or you lose your muscle. It's an aging aunt that you have to go back and tea with like a dutiful family member. No, it's a pleasure. It gives me pleasure and it fulfills a need as a performer that no other medium can fill. That's not to denigrate the others, which are wonderful in their own way. But there's something that theater gives you."

While many actors have lent their talents to the variety of performances the acting industry offers, Thomas has seen incredible success on both sides, receiving Emmy and Tony nominations throughout his career. However, "To Kill a Mockingbird" offers him something that no other role has, allowing him to experience different responses to the play as the production tours the country. "That's the beauty of it," he said in the Variety interview, stating that every show lets him dive deeper into the character of Atticus Finch, illuminating different aspects of him and the story with each performance.