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He Played Ponyboy in "The Outsiders." See C. Thomas Howell at 55.

The actor is still celebrating the classic movie today.

To many fans, C. Thomas Howell will always been known as Ponyboy from The Outsiders. And if the name of his new band is any indication, he's proud of that fact. Howell starred in the 1983 film, adapted from the novel of the same name, alongside other popular young actors of the time, including Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Esteves, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillion, and Ralph Macchio. The coming-of-age film is now a cult classic and Howell's most beloved movie.

Howell has continued acting in the years since The Outsiders came out and is still active in the business today. He also recently took on a new career in entertainment as the lead singer of a band called Tommy Howell and the Pony Express. Read on to learn more about the 55-year-old actor and musician's life today.

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The Outsiders was his breakout role.

C. Thomas Howell at the premiere of "Grandview, USA" in 1984
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Howell has been acting consistently since The Outsiders, which was only his second movie after E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In recent years, he has done a lot of work on TV, including in the series Animal Kingdom, Ray Donovan, Criminal Minds, The Walking Dead, and SEAL Team. He made his theatrical debut in 2020 in a play titled Worst-Case Scenario.

He started a band during the pandemic.

As explained on Howell's website, he started playing music during the COVID-19 pandemic. "On May 28, 2020, while the world was in the middle of a pandemic and in total lock down, Tommy Howell picked up a guitar," the site reads. "Lost in his newly found love of learning to strum, practice instantly turned to passion." Now, Howell and his band are touring, and he shares updates about their shows on Instagram.

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He has three children.

Howell has been married twice and has three children, who are all in their 20s—Dashiell, Liam, and Isabelle—with his second wife, Sylvie Anderson. Howell and Anderson were married from 1992 to 2016.

Howell occasionally posts about his kids on social media. Alongside a recent post of himself enjoying a meal with Isabelle, he wrote, "Pizza with one of my cubs? What could be better??? Super proud of you @izzyhowell You bring honor to the family! Shine bright little one."

In an interview with Broadway World in 2020, Howell said his kids weren't particularly impressed with his fame. "My kids have been fantastically underwhelmed with my career in Hollywood," he said. "When my third child was in kindergarten, his teacher asked him what his father did for a living, and his reply was, 'My daddy sits in a trailer at work!'"

He still connects with fans of The Outsiders.

C. Thomas Howell at Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia 2017
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Howell keeps the love of The Outsiders alive. He has done giveaways of signed Outsiders posters on his Instagram account and also sometimes shares old photos from his time working on the movie. He's said that fans still come up to him to share their appreciation of the film and the book, written by S. E. Hinton.

"I can't tell you how many people will come up to me and say something about it, whether they're parents or kids themselves," he told The A.V. Club in 2013. "I hear from so many parents, 'Yeah, my son, my daughter, had a real hard time reading books until they had to read The Outsiders, and they fell in love with that book, then they watched the film, and not only is it their favorite movie, but they read constantly now.'"

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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