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Every actor with a proven track record has that one role they have played that one could say is almost as popular if not more so than they themselves to the public. For actor Thomas Gibson, the role that he is best known for which can be said to be more popular than he himself is that of former prosecutor turned Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner in the CBS series Criminal Minds.
The Julliard School trained actor, who is also known for his roles in other shows like Chicago Hope and Dharma & Greg, played this role for over a decade, from 2005 to 2016, before leaving under acrimonious circumstances.
Thomas Gibson’s Life Prior to Criminal Minds
Born on the 3rd of July 1962 into a Roman Catholic family in Charleston, South Carolina, Thomas Gibson’s career path was set very early in life. While his father Charles was a lawyer and politician who served in the South Carolina state Senate and House, and his mother Beth was a social worker, the young boy was sent to a performing arts school at a very young age.
Gibson attended Little Theater School and then Bishop England High School. He later went on to attend the College of Charleston from 1979 to 1981 before gaining a scholarship to attend the world-famous Juilliard School in New York. There, he studied for a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and graduated in 1985.
Prior to his professional training for performing arts, Thomas Gibson as a child always had a flair for drama. As a nine-year-old, he appeared in children’s theater and also made an appearance in Seize the Street: the Skateboard Musical, produced by the Charleston Stage production company. His first foray into television acting was in 1987 in the CBS legal drama Leg Work. He appeared in another CBS production As the World Turns before making his film acting debut in 1992 in Ron Howard’s Far and Away where he played the role of Stephen Chase.
Over the years, Gibson’s career trajectory has been upward with numerous impressive performances. Some of the notable movies he has appeared in include Denys Arcand’s Love and Human Remains, Barcelona, Men of War, Sleep with Me, Eyes Wide Shut, and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas among others.
Facts About His Role in Criminal Minds
In 2005, Thomas Gibson landed the role of Aaron Hotchner, one of the most experienced agents and the Unit Chief of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) team of the FBI who struggles to balance the demands of his job with his family life in the American police procedural crime drama television series, Criminal Minds.
Gibson remained a part of the show for the next 12 seasons, appearing in 256 episodes and winning an Entertainment Weekly online poll for Under-appreciated Entertainer of the Year for his performance on the show.
On August 12, 2016, CBS and ABC Studios who co-distribute the show announced that the actor had been fired after he had already appeared in two episodes of its twelfth season.
The Reason Why He was Fired
Thomas Gibson was fired from the show for getting into an on-set brawl with co-executive producer and writer Virgil Williams. According to the actor, the reason for the altercation was due to a line in the script that supposedly contradicted a previous one.
Gibson said he met Williams to discuss it and the latter dismissed his objections. Later on, Williams would walk into a room where the actor was talking about the issue with other cast members and an altercation ensued between them. Gibson left the set after the incident and went home where he received the call that he was fired from the show.
It was reported that his firing from the show came as no surprise to most of the cast and crew of Criminal Minds as Gibson was seen as a difficult character who had trouble controlling his fiery temper. The altercation that led to his dismissal was said to be the second time he had gotten into trouble on the set. The first incident occurred in December 2010 when he shoved assistant director Ian Woolf during a late-night location shoot. He was subsequently mandated by his bosses to take eight hours of anger management classes.
Following his dismissal from the show, Thomas Gibson’s character in the subsequent episodes was said to have been sent away on a special assignment. It was later revealed that his Hotchner character had resigned from the FBI and entered into Witness Protection after a serial killer had been stalking his son.
What has Thomas Gibson Been Up To Lately?
After leaving Criminal Minds in 2016, Gibson took a break from acting, only doing a voice role in the drama film Axis (2017) before getting to play the main role of Colonel Branson in Shadow Wolves in 2019. In recent times, there has been strong speculation that the actor may return to Criminal Minds to play Aaron Hotchner since his character was not entirely killed from the show. Producers of the show have, however, not said anything in this regard as it is believed the notion is mainly fueled by fans of the actor and the show.
In between the time he was out of work, Gibson further went through a few personal issues. This includes him finalizing divorce proceedings with his wife Cristina Parker in 2018. The two had been married for more than two decades before deciding to go their separate ways.