Actor JONATHAN TAYLOR THOMAS has no regrets about walking away from Hollywood at the height of his career as a child star, insisting he needed a break after years in the spotlight.
The youngster shot to fame as Tim Allen's onscreen son on hit TV sitcom Home Improvement in the early 1990s and also starred in a series of films and provided the voice for young Simba in Disney's The Lion King.
However, Thomas decided to quit his acting career in 1998 to focus on his education, and he went on to enrol at the prestigious Harvard University, where he studied history and philosophy. He also spent a year studying abroad at St. Andrew's University in Scotland and graduated from New York's Columbia University in 2010, and the actor, now 31, insists he made the right choice.
He tells People.com, "I'd been going non-stop since I was eight years old. I wanted to go to school, to travel and have a bit of a break. To sit in a big library amongst books and students, that was pretty cool. It was a novel experience for me.
"I never took the fame too seriously. It was a great period in my life, but it doesn't define me. When I think back on the time, I look at it with a wink. I focus on the good moments I had."
Thomas recently reunited with Allen to make a guest appearance on the veteran comedian's new TV show, Last Man Standing, and he's easing himself back into the entertainment industry by writing scripts and drawing inspiration from work by his peers.