Phillips, Thomas Hal 1922- (Hal Phillips; Hal Thomas Phillips)

views updated

PHILLIPS, Thomas Hal 1922- (Hal Phillips; Hal Thomas Phillips)


Born October 11, 1922, in Corinth, MS; son of William Thomas (a farmer) and Ollie (a teacher; maiden name, Fare) Phillips. Education: Mississippi State University, B.S.; University of Alabama, M.A.; attended Sorbonne, University of Paris, and University of Bordeaux, 1950-51. Politics: Independent. Religion: Baptist.


Home—44 Oakland School Rd., Corinth, MS 38834. Agent—Lynn Pleshette, 2700 North Beachwood Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068.


Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, teacher of creative writing, 1948-50; State of Mississippi, worked for Public Service Commission, 1958-64; writer and actor. Dixie National Life, director; Builders Transportation, vice president; Phillips Brothers, partner. Associate producer of the film Thieves Like Us, 1974. Actor, sometimes under the name Hal Phillips or Hal Thomas Phillips, including appearances in the films California Split (also known as Jackpot!), 1974; O. C. and Stiggs, 1987; and Matewan, 1987; appeared in the television movies Nightmare in Badham County (also known as Nightmare), 1976; and Barn Burning (also known as The American Short Story Collection: Barn Burning), 1980; also appeared in Buffalo Bill and Nashville. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, active duty in amphibious forces, 1943-46; served in European theater.


Fulbright scholar in France, 1950-51; two Guggenheim fellowships; O. Henry Award; Saxton Award; Rosenwald Award.



The Bitterweed Path, Rinehart (New York, NY), 1950, published with new introduction by John Howard, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1996.

The Golden Lie, Rinehart (New York, NY), 1951.

Search for a Hero, Rinehart (New York, NY), 1952.

The Loved and the Unloved, Harper (New York, NY), 1955, reprinted, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 1998.

Kangaroo Hollow, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 2000.

Red Midnight, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson, MS), 2002.


Tarzan's Fight for Life (film), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1958.

O. C. and Stiggs (film), 1987.

Other scripts include (also executive producer) The Brain Machine; A Place to Come To, Warner Bros.; The Gift, Athena Films; The Loved and the Unloved; The Breaker Boys, Reader's Digest Entertainment; (also associate producer) Nashville; and Vicksburg; author of the television movie The Day JFK Died, aired by National Broadcasting Co.

Some writings appear under the names Hal Phillips and Hal Thomas Phillips.


Thomas Hal Phillips told CA: "I have always wanted to be a writer, for a writer could make up his own world.

"I thought Thomas Wolfe was the greatest writer in America and probably has done the greatest American novel, Look Homeward Angel. At least I was greatly influenced by him. However, I do not discard the great influence that Dickens, along with other English novelists, had on me. I have also read with great pleasure many Russian and French novelists."



Booklist, August, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Red Midnight, p. 1924.

About this article

Phillips, Thomas Hal 1922- (Hal Phillips; Hal Thomas Phillips)

Updated About content Print Article