Annika Noelle, Matthew Atkinson, Dan Martin
"The Bold and the Beautiful" Set Remote
CBS Television City
Los Angeles, Ca.
© Howard Wise/
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

On March 15, 2019, Ridge and Taylor’s son got the ultimate makeover.

Four years ago today, The Bold and the Beautiful revealed its fourth Thomas Forrester: soap vet Matthew Atkinson, who had already made waves as Summer Newman’s ill-fated first husband Austin Travers on The Young and the Restless. But it wouldn’t be until a little bit later in the actor’s run that we’d come to realize that the change wasn’t merely a cosmetic one. The Thomas who returned to L.A. was very different from the one who had left…

Going Dark

During Adam Gregory and Pierson Fodé’s stints as Taylor and Ridge’s son, the character was played mostly as an ab-tastic nice guy. Once Atkinson was tapped to take over, however, the show began revisiting the instability that had been a hallmark of Drew Tyler Bell’s run. (Remember Thomas blowing up stepnemesis Rick’s car?)

Atkinson rose to the challenge and then some. He even managed to make sense of Thomas’ misdeeds, which have run the gamut from gaslighting his own son to framing stepmother Brooke for calling CPS on him. “I don’t think this guy is a bad guy,” he told Michael Fairman. “I think he is a guy who is doing a lot of bad things, but a lot of people can relate to him and the struggles that he is dealing with: being a single father and having a rough childhood with his family being broken up.

“This is a guy who wants his father to approve of him and respect him and he has never really felt that way,” he added. “I think a lot of people out there know what it’s like to have a parent who they just want approval from but can’t get it… Everybody knows what it is like to think that they are making the right decision and end up making the wrong decision and possibly hurting someone in the process… and the kind of shame that you feel from doing something like that. This makes Thomas an interesting character where viewers could say, ‘Well, he is doing bad things, and I don’t agree with anything that he is doing, but I can relate to him, and I want him to be better.’ Yet Thomas just keeps making all of the wrong decisions.”

Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Matthew Atkinson"The Bold and the Beautiful" Set Celebrating 35th AnniversaryCBS Television CityLos Angeles, Ca.02/25/22© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661

A New Beginning

Despite his litany of sins, Thomas has been given (yet) another chance to start over by Hope. “Given” might be too strong a word, actually; she kinda had to take him back at Hope For the Future or lose her line. Still, it’s an opportunity that Thomas would be a fool not to make the most of. Once again, he is being handed on a silver platter the option of walking the straight and narrow and proving himself capable of staying out of trouble.

Will he be able to do it? TBD. But, as we wait to find out, review his past — and celebrate Atkinson’s anniversary — in the below photo gallery of Thomas’ wild life and lost loves.