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Richard Thomas Wed a Divorcee & His Triplets Were Her Bridesmaids — Meet the Actor's Wife

Olawale Ogunjimi
Apr 29, 2022
11:41 A.M.
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Richard Thomas was shocked by his first wife's demands to end their marriage, but he wedded a two-time divorcee with kids a few months later. His family, including kids, were there to support them. Meet the perfectly blended family.

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After many years, Richard Thomas, mostly remembered for his "John Boy" coming of age role in the 1970s CBS drama "The Waltons," featured as a narrator in "The Waltons: Homecoming."

While speaking about his experience on the TV series, the actor explained how themes such as faith and prejudices reflected in the show were based on society. He added that those issues are still present—making the drama completely valid.

Actor Richard Thomas and his wife Alma Gonzales at circa in 1980 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Richard Thomas and his wife Alma Gonzales at circa in 1980 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Fans of the "The Waltons" star would agree that his real-life values are not very different from what we portrayed in the drama. Thomas is a family-oriented fellow who, despite one failed marriage, found love again and married a second time.

The actor met his first wife, Alma Gonzales, an innate dancer and English teacher at Fez, a Middle Eastern nightclub specializing in folk dance. He was captivated by her dancing. According to him:

"She was obviously the best dancer there and I kept ending up with her."

Richard Thomas photographed at age 14 in 1965. | Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas photographed at age 14 in 1965. | Source: Getty Images

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Soon, they became acquaintances and later lovers, and despite being three years younger than the dancer, the duo married.

They shared their marital vows at his childhood church on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Though from different backgrounds, the couple opted for dance as the universal motif of their wedding.

Following the ceremony, they proceeded to live in the actor's Spanish Tudor Hollywood mansion and planned on having two to three kids.

Richard Thomas at the 2017 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Junket on May 3, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas at the 2017 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Junket on May 3, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Fortunately, Gonzales did not have fertility issues. First, the couple welcomed a son, and a few years later, they were expecting twins. However, the doctors discovered a third heartbeat when the dancer fell into labor three weeks before her due date.

In December 1980, the couple welcomed three healthy babies, all girls. The first was Barbara Ayala, weighing six pounds, followed by Gwyneth Gonzales, four pounds, and lastly, Pilar Alma, five pounds.

Their birth attracted attention from fans, friends, and family worldwide, with many experienced parents offering bits of advice to the new parents.

Richard Thomas at the opening night of "My Name Is Lucy Barton" at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 15, 2020 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas at the opening night of "My Name Is Lucy Barton" at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 15, 2020 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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It was not easy handling the babies, but the couple navigated through it with teamwork and support from family and an employee.

Gonzales healed perfectly, and her husband had time to juggle work with fatherhood on the condition that his family traveled with him.

The new parents handled their responsibilities so gracefully that they became the center of attention. Celebrities were in awe of how they simultaneously tasked themselves with caring for the triplets.

RICHARD THOMAS MARRIAGE FAILED

Richard Thomas attends the "Race" Broadway photo call at the Atlantic Theater Company on October 22, 2009. | Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas attends the "Race" Broadway photo call at the Atlantic Theater Company on October 22, 2009. | Source: Getty Images

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What seemed like a perfect union, immune to divorce, ended after nearly two decades. Although the couple started well, supporting each other as parents, lovers, and in their endeavors, along the line, Gonzales realized that it was time to go.

The mother of four, who became a homemaker during their marriage, filed for divorce in 1993, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking joint custody of their children.

This shocked many, but the couple remained discreet about their reasons and declined any further comments about the split.

Richard Thomas and Alma Thomas at the 35th Annual Tony Awards on June 7, 1981 at the Mark Hellinger Theater in New York City. | Source: Getty Image

Richard Thomas and Alma Thomas at the 35th Annual Tony Awards on June 7, 1981 at the Mark Hellinger Theater in New York City. | Source: Getty Image

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Surprisingly, it was also news to Thomas when his wife informed him of her desire to separate earlier. He had confided in a friend and colleague. Gonzales also confirmed that her former partner had not expected the separation. In her words:

"I guess I shocked him. But if you are really in touch with your mate, you can see things are not right. I wasn't very happy [in the marriage]. There is no [single] reason why one person's needs get met and the other person's do not."

Richard Thomas at the opening night of "Timon Of Athens" on March 1, 2011 in New York City.| Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas at the opening night of "Timon Of Athens" on March 1, 2011 in New York City.| Source: Getty Images

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Despite the divorce's trauma inflicted on Thomas, who confessed that he went into therapy, the split was amicable. They co-parented peacefully, with their kids being the ultimate priority.

Whenever the actor stayed away from the kids for long due to work, he felt sorry for his ex-wife and always attempted to hurry back to relieve her of the stress of parenting four kids.

RICHARD THOMAS FINDS LOVE AGAIN

Richard Thomas with wife Georgiana and daughter Kendra at an opening night party for the play "The Stendhal Syndrome" at Fred's at Barney's on Madison Ave. He stars in the play. | Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas with wife Georgiana and daughter Kendra at an opening night party for the play "The Stendhal Syndrome" at Fred's at Barney's on Madison Ave. He stars in the play. | Source: Getty Images

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Less than a year after the divorce, the "The Waltons" star met an art dealer from Santa Fe named Georgiana Bischoff.

At first, neither thought they would walk down the aisle again, as they had already experienced a failed marriage. Then, however, Thomas ran into her during his play in Scottsdale, and they exchanged numbers.

Soon, they felt comfortable sharing their experiences with romance. In no time, the passion kicked in. Eventually, they decided to spend their lives together forever, but first, they opted for a wedding.

Richard Thomas poses with his wife Georgiana Bischoff during the screening and reception celebrating "The Waltons'" Homecoming at The Garland on November 13, 2021 in North Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas poses with his wife Georgiana Bischoff during the screening and reception celebrating "The Waltons'" Homecoming at The Garland on November 13, 2021 in North Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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In 1994, the couple exchanged vows at the San Gabriel Mountains with family and friends. The bride was adorned in a velvet dress as her brother, Anselm, one of eight siblings, led her down the aisle.

On the other hand, Thomas's eldest son acted as the best man, while the triplets were bridesmaids. The girls were joined by Bischoff's daughters, Brooke and Kendra, from two former marriages.

Although none of the cast members from "The Waltons" was present, Thomas had the presence of his and Bischoff's beloved kin, which totaled 50 guests.

Georgiana Bischoff and husband Richard Thomas pose at the opening night of the new play "My Name Is Lucy Barton" on Broadway at The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 15, 2020 in New York City.  | Source: Getty Images

Georgiana Bischoff and husband Richard Thomas pose at the opening night of the new play "My Name Is Lucy Barton" on Broadway at The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 15, 2020 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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After settling into married life, the new bride watched her husband commit to another woman, but on TV. The couple had postponed their wedding because of John Boy's wedding on "The Waltons," yet they had a memorable honeymoon.

Despite his previous heartbreak following the divorce, Thomas remained a sweet husband who was particular about his wife's progress. Frequently, he would lovingly chase his wife to the gym.

Georgiana Bischoff and Richard Thomas at the 60th Annual Tony Awards Arrivals at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2005 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Georgiana Bischoff and Richard Thomas at the 60th Annual Tony Awards Arrivals at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2005 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Bischoff also knew how to respond to her husband's love, which has made them inseparable for many years. When asked about the secret to their union, the art dealer confessed that her husband's honesty had helped their marriage. She said:

"I'm married to the most honest, straight-forward person, so you always know where you stand."

RICHARD THOMAS ON FAMILY

Richard Thomas and son Montana James Thomas at "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" Broadway opening night at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on January 12, 2012 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Richard Thomas and son Montana James Thomas at "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" Broadway opening night at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on January 12, 2012 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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Thomas became a father almost as soon as he married. He and Gonzales welcomed Richard Francisco, and despite being a first-time father, he knew how to take care of the responsibilities.

Their triplets arrived when Francisco was 5. But before their arrival, the youngster did not agree to have another baby, whom he felt might usurp his position. However, when the triplets were born, he stepped up his role of becoming a big brother.

Thomas, who loves to keep his family matters private, is one proud dad, and when it comes to talking about his children, the actor blurts out the most lovely comments.

Actor Richard Thomas, son Montana James Thomas and wife Georgiana Bischoff Thomas at the 34th season Big Apple Circus Under the Big Top in Damrosch Park on October 23, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Richard Thomas, son Montana James Thomas and wife Georgiana Bischoff Thomas at the 34th season Big Apple Circus Under the Big Top in Damrosch Park on October 23, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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The father of four also shares a close relationship with the kids, and he knows their likes and dislikes. Speaking about his son, Thomas explained that Francisco does not like acting.

However, he felt confident that they had an affinity for theater with the girls, even though they blabbed about becoming doctors, horsewomen, and actresses.

Luciano Pavarotti, Richard Thomas and his children appearing on Disney General Entertainment Content on March 29, 1982. | Source: Getty Images

Luciano Pavarotti, Richard Thomas and his children appearing on Disney General Entertainment Content on March 29, 1982. | Source: Getty Images

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While Thomas gushes about being a parent, he honestly mentioned that it is not an easy job, especially when it involves a blending family. In his words:

"Blending a family of this size is like postgraduate work for people who failed the course."

But despite the risks, the "The Waltons" star has thrived in both parenting and marriage, thanks to his teammates, including his wife and their kids, who made it all possible.

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