This Kool & The Gang Member’s Daughter Is THIS Cosby Show Actress! OMG!
Michelle Thomas, the actress who is best known for her roles as “Theo’s” girlfriend, “Justine,” on The Cosby Show, as “Myra,” “Irkle’s” girlfriend on Family Matters, and as Callie on The Young and the Restless.
Back in the day many people never knew that Michelle was Dennis Thomas’ daughter, which meant she did a great job at building her own brand without leaning on her father’s name. Her Mother, Phynjuar Thomas is also an actress and was Michele’s acting coach throughout her entire career.
Unfortunately, Michelle sadly passed away at the young age of 30 from stomach cancer. In August 1997, she was diagnosed with a very rare form of stomach cancer called intra-abdominal desmoplastic small-round-cell tumor.
In the spring of 1998, she had surgery to remove a tumor the size of a lemon just before she got the part for her role as “Callie” on The Young and the Restless. In October 1998, Michelle had to have another surgery after a second cancerous growth appeared. Upon her release from the hospital, Thomas flew home to New Jersey to spend Thanksgiving with her family. “With all these stitches, she gets on a plane and came home for Thanksgiving. She got in my bed and stayed there. There’s something magical about a mom’s bed,” says Michelle’s mother, Phynjuar (pictured below).
Her friend and publicist (who is also the daughter of Kool and the Gang’s Robert “Kool” Bell) said this about Michelle’s last days:
“She kept cracking jokes trying to keep everybody happy and hopeful and in good spirits. She was really fighting that disease with all her heart. She wanted to live.”
Malcolm Jamal Warner didn’t just play her boyfriend on the show, he was Michelle’s real life boyfriend for a long time and although they broke up in 1994, they were very good friends and Malcolm was also right there by her hospital bedside when she slipped into her eternal rest. Malcolm still refers to Michelle as one of the most inspirational people he’s ever known. He also said “She was a person with an incredible amount of integrity. She always had a positive outlook.”
Michelle’s mother said this about Malcolm:
“Malcolm was the love of her life,” says Phynjuar. “I think he was her only real boyfriend.”
Who remembers this CLASSIC Cosby Show scene when “Theo” was begging for “Justine” to come back after she broke up with?
As a child, Michelle often accompanied her father Dennis, on Kool and the Gang’s tours. Shortly after Michelle’s death, her mother, Phynjuar, said this about Kool and the Gang’s involvement in Michelle’s life: “They are all her uncles, her true family,” Phynjuar says of her husband’s bandmates. “This has devastated the group.”
Michelle’s mother, Phynjuar, is an…