ThunderCat Interviews: Panthro
By Bill Taylor
Entertainment Tonight's in depth interviews with the Thundercats, those
wild, whacked out super heroes from the late Ted Wolf's cult 1985-1988 TV
series. Now hear the true stories about what really went on behind the
camera: Tygra's drug addiction; Cheetara's alcoholism; Pantrho's problems
with the law; bitter contract battles; off screen love affairs; the tragic
death Lion-o; all that and more in tonight's Thundercat: The Untold Story.
Date of birth: May 1, 1949
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Weight: 260 pounds
Fur: Blackish gray
Panthro: Originally, I wanted to turn the series down because I had no real
interest in becoming an actor. I was more focused on body building and
hoping for a job with a foot ball team. But then I met Ted Wolf and Lion-o,
and they convinced me that I was right to fit on the series. I knew Lion-o
a little bit from training at the Master/Blaster gym, he used to spot me on
the bench, but I had never met Ted Wolf. He was a nice guy and he
definitely had vision.
Believe it or not, I was asked to increase my weight training schedule to
get an even more buff look. I thought I was already as big as I could be
and that it would be impossible to get any bigger, but I got bigger just
the same. We all worked out and kept in shape or got into shape for the
show, which was now a part of surviving, what with all the stunts. Working
out was already very religious for us, since we all came from similar back
grounds in body building. They brought in those Ninja Turtle guys and had
me train with them for the martial arts scenes. Mostly, I hung out with
Michelangelo to get a good handle on the nun chucks.
There was a lot of general mirth about whether or not we could pull the
show off. There were a few similarities to "He-Man and the Masters of the
Universe". That show had already been a hit, and it was fresh in our minds
while we did our show. I remember getting mail from people saying we were
just a rip off of He-Man. Truth is, "He-Man" paved the way for
"Thundercats", so I guess people had a right to feel like that.
We were one of the smarmiest shows to ever come out of that era of TV.
There were a lot of larger than life super hero shows then, and none of
them could get approved unless they preached morales and lessons about
life. I believe that kids should be taught right and wrong and lessons
about life, but we got so preachy some times it made us sick.
Still, I think we were also one of the best shows to come out of that era.
We're still remembered by a lot of our fans, just kids then, now adults who
are raising their own kids on our show, or teenagers introducing their
younger siblings to our show. As long as your remembered for something, I
guess that's what matters.
FACTS: Before "Thundercats", Panthro was featured frequently in the health
magazine "Muscle & Fitness". He had won two Mr. Universe titles, and was
looking to have an NFL football career when Ted Wolf casted him in his new
show "Thundercats." After the show ended, Panthro returned to the world of
body building and fitness, and later became part owner of the
Master/Blaster gym. Since then, he has been training other body builders
and has even been a presenter of the Mr. Universe contest. Since the years
of the Thundercats, Panthro has become quite a wealthy cat indeed.
In 1990, Panthro was caught up in a scandal claiming he murdered another
man while intoxicated at a bar. Panthro pleaded not guilty in a court of
law and the case was dismissed when evidence was brought to light proving
Panthro was not even at the bar.
Panthro is now full owner of the Master/Blaster gym where he and Lion-o
use to work. Panthro currently resides in Los Angeles California. He is
married and has three daughters.
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