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See "Rookie of the Year" Star Thomas Ian Nicholas Now at 42

The former child actor also starred in the American Pie franchise.

At age 13, Thomas Ian Nicholas landed the role lead role in the Disney film Rookie of the Year, playing a boy who breaks his arm playing baseball only to discover, once the cast is removed, that his tightened tendons have giving his fastball the snap of a Major League pitcher. Released in 1993, the film did moderate business at the box office but became a beloved favorite of millennial filmgoers, alongside other wholesome sports comedies of the era, including The Mighty Ducks and The Sandlot.

While some actors never eclipse that kind of childhood success, Nicholas has managed to keep his career in entertainment alive, subsequently starring in a hit film franchise and reinventing himself as a film producer and musician. Keep reading to see where he is now at age 42.

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He went on to star in a series of era-defining teen comedies.

Thomas Ian Nicholas in 1999
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

After Rookie of the Year, Nicholas appeared in another Disney fantasy, A Kid in King Arthur's Court, and its direct-to-video sequel A Kid in Aladdin's Palace, but his career veered far away from children's fare with his next role.

The actor famously played Kevin Myers, one of four horny teenage boys who make a pact to lose their virginity before graduation in the raunchy, franchise-launching teen comedy hit American Pie, released in 1999. He would return to the role for three sequels: 2001's American Pie 2, 2003's American Wedding, and 2012's American Reunion.

He's continued acting in films and on TV, sometimes producing his own projects.

Thomas Ian Nicholas in 2001
Justin Kahn/WireImage

Outside of the American Pie saga, Nicholas has continued to find consistent work in television and film. On the big screen, he had roles in Halloween: Resurrection, The Rules of Attraction, and Please Give, starring Catherine Keener. He has also played a number of characters based on real-life figures, including Frank Sinatra, Jr. in Stealing Sinatra, a young Walt Disney in Walt Before Mickey, social activist Abbie Hoffman in The Chicago 8, and "Marty," a film director based on Martin Scorsese, in Zeroville, directed by James Franco.

Nicholas has also gotten involved behind the scenes, serving as a producer on several films he appeared in, all of them directed by filmmaker Brian A. Metcalf. Together, the duo have brought to the screen the films The Lost Tree, the vampire drama Living Among Us, and the L.A-set crime thriller Adverse.

On television, Nicholas appeared in nine episodes of Party of Five, was a recurring character on the short-lived teen medical drama Red Band Society, and guest-starred in episodes of Medium, Grey's Anatomy, and Hell's Kitchen.

He launched a successful music career.

Thomas Ian Nicholas in 2017
Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

Nicholas is most famous for his acting, but he bills himself as an actor/musician and has devoted a lot of time to the music industry as well. He has toured the world with his rock group the Thomas Nicholas Band, recording six studio albums along the way.

According to his website, the band had logged more than 700 shows in 12 countries over the past decade. The group is currently in the process of recording their seventh album. Nicholas describes their sound as having been influenced by acts and artists like Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, Switchfoot, and John Mayer.

He even married a professional musician, Colette "DJ Collette" Marino, in 2007. The couple share two children: a son, Nolan River, born in 2011, and a daughter, Zoë River, born in 2016. Marino filed for divorce from Nicholas in May 2022.

He was involved in a plot that rocked Book Twitter.

Thomas Ian Nicholas in 2022
Irvin Rivera/Getty Images for IMDb

In 2017, Nicholas made headlines not for his acting or his music career but for his involvement in a minor literary scandal involving a self-published young adult novel called Handbook for Mortals by a largely unknown debut author named Lani Sarem. The publishing industry was shocked when the fantasy novel appeared out of nowhere to claim the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Other authors began to question how a book no one had heard of had come to top the most prestigious, coveted ranking in publishing, which is when Nicholas's name came into the mix. An associate of Sarem's who had previously made appearances with her at fan conventions, he was attached as a producer to a proposed film adaptation the duo were promoting.

An investigation soon revealed that Sarem and Nicholas had hired a third party to make bulk purchases of the novel from bookstores known to report their sales to the New York Times, a violation of the newspaper's policy for determining what books are truly bestsellers. Handbook for Mortals was subsequently removed from the list, per The Hollywood Reporter.

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He's willing to return for another slice of American Pie.

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A post shared by Thomas Nicholas (@tinband)

Earlier this summer, while speaking to KTLA Radio about "1999," his nostalgia-drenched parody/cover of the Bowling for Soup hit "1985," Nicholas revealed he's down to engage in more late-1990s nostalgia, should anyone come calling about a fifth film in the American Pie franchise.

"[Film studio] Universal is circling the idea; obviously nostalgia is really big right now," Nicholas said, nothing that the directors of American Reunion, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, have since found acclaim with the Netflix series Cobra Kai, a continuation of the Karate Kid franchise of the '80s. "So I think anything is possible," he added.

Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham is a writer and editor who lives in Brooklyn. Read more
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