Jonathan Taylor Thomas (second from left) and the cast of Home Improvement
Courtesy Patricia Richardson
09/08/2011 AT 02:30 PM EDT
Since he abruptly left Home Improvement
after its penultimate season in 1998, fans of Jonathan Taylor Thomas
, who celebrates his 30th birthday Thursday, have been clamoring to know what the baby-faced actor has been up to.
Studying – for one thing.
Thomas, whose legal name is Jonathan Weiss, attended Harvard University
from 2000-2002 (he spent one semester abroad in Scotland) and graduated from Columbia University in 2010, where he went by the name Jonathan Weiss. In class, recalls a fellow student, "He loved to talk. He'd say really intelligent things."
He also filmed TV guest spots
on Veronica Mars
and 8 Simple Rules
but has stayed largely out of the public eye and hasn't appeared on camera since 2005.
Thomas, who currently lives in the Los Angeles area, recently reunited with his Home Improvement
cast at a photo shoot for Entertainment Weekly
(see picture above). Patricia Richardson, who played his mother Jill on the hit show, Tweeted an update about her onscreen son and a photo of the reunited cast, writing, "Jonathan is acting, and he wants to direct!"
Surely, his fans will welcome him back!
For more information about what Jonathan Taylor Thomas and the Home Improvement crew is up to as well as reunions of other beloved TV and film casts, check out Entertainment Weekly’s Reunions Issue on newsstands Oct. 7
With reporting by MELODY CHIU