Sitcom star (and DJ) Jay Thomas passes away – here’s the Michigan connection
Couple things about Jay Thomas, who passed away on Thursday after battling cancer.
First, he had a HUGE career as a disc jockey, in North Carolina, New York and L.A.. I never met or worked with him, but I have a lot of radio friends who did. Yesterday, my Facebook feed was filled with people telling stories about what a great guy he was. You may remember him from being on sitcoms in the 80s. He was Eddie LeBec on "Cheers" and the obnoxious TV talk show host, Jerry Gold, on "Murphy Brown". He was still a disc jockey while he was acting and actually lost his job on Cheers because of something he said on the radio.
For years, Jay was a fixture on "The Late Show with David Letterman", where he would retell the true story of an afternoon, when Jay was a DJ in North Carolina, when he and a friend gave Clayton Moore, TVs Lone Ranger, a ride to his hotel. Letterman has called it the "greatest talk show story, ever".
Second, he had a son that he and the mom gave up for adoption. A couple in Grosse Pointe, Michigan adopted his son, named J.T. Harding. According to the Oakland Press, J.T. has written or co-written numerous hit country songs, like "Somewhere in My Car", by Keith Urban, "Somewhere With You", by Kenny Chesney and "Sangria", by Blake Shelton. J.T. and Jay's two other sons were there yesterday when he passed away.
Here's the story about Jay giving the "Lone Ranger" a ride:
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