Thaao returned to Days of our Lives as Tony DiMera in late May of 2007.
In 1987, Thaao played the role of Dame Edna's (Barry Humphries) lover in the film, Les Patterson Saves the World.
Thaao studied acting under the legendary acting coach and theatre director, Milton Katselas, in New York.
Thaao has appeared in the following movies:
The Mirror (2006)
Les Patterson Saves the World (1987)
Altered States (1980)
The Bell Jar (1979)
Slow Dancing in the Big City (1978)
In 2003, Thaao was nominated for the Soap Opera Digest Award for 'Favorite Return', for his return to the cast of Days of Our Lives as Tony DiMera.
Before breaking into acting, Tony worked as an apprentice antique dealer during the day (specializing in eighteenth-century and Chinese art), and studied acting at night.
Thaao received a Pre-Nomination in the Daytime Emmys for 'Outstanding Lead Actor' in 2003 and again in 2005.
Thaao has trekked across the Sinai desert, climbed Mt. Sinai and soared in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
During a trip to Greece, Thaao was able to indulge his lifelong fascination with archaeology by viewing and researching over 60,000 documents, letters and diaries of a famous archeologist who is the subject of his latest screenplay.
Thaao was a young career diplomat, working with the immigration service to help Greek immigrants who were seeking Australian citizenship. He trained for three years to become the vice-consul to Greece, but gradually realised that his whole life centered around Greek happenings, so he took a leave of absence and went to work for the United Nations in new York.
Thaao made his New York stage debut in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play Jockeys.
Thaao planned to be an archaeologist before moving into acting.
Thaao moved from Australia to New York City initially to study art history and fashion.
Thaao: (on Leann Hunley who played Anna DiMera on "Days Of Our Lives") I always say nobody kisses like Leann! We liked each other so much. I think the fans could see that. I so missed her when she was gone.
Thaao: (on returning to "Days Of Our Lives" in 2007) When I heard Joe (Mascolo) was returning, I wanted to return as well. I had this character I loved, and then he was pulled out of his element (when I was last on the show). One writer made Tony crazy and off-balance, and he became someone I didn't recognise. I wanted to come back and give Tony and the audience some form of respect.
Thaao: My uncle traced our family back and it turned out that about three or four hundred years ago we were almost a princely family, so maybe all the arrogance I've displayed in the past isn't only a cover for insecurity. When I went to Athens and the clerk said, "Penghlis. Are you from the Penghlis family?" it was a tremendous pleasure.
When I was a child, I used to ask my father, "Why is Grandma's nose so enormous?" He said it was because we came from such a high breed of Greek, and that my grandmother believed it so much she kept her head very high and her nose grew.
She was naturally aristocratic. You'd never run into her arms; you'd greet her with a kiss on the cheek. You would never dare misbehave in front of her. By comparison, my mother is very down to earth with her grandchildren. She's a doer, and a tremendous giver.
Thaao: As a Greek, my sense of family tradition is very strong. When I was young, I resented it because I didn't understand it. It was very regimented, which went against my nature. But now, as an actor, I'm discovering how much it helps me, how much solidity it has given me. My outlook is different because of the traditions. Acting is tradition. To explore a character, you need to know where that character comes from. Now I realise how enriched I was by all the resources I had growing up.
Thaao: When I left home, I had to lie and tell my family it would be for a month, and even they thought I was a black sheep, a loser. I come from a very conservative Greek family - one which doesn't believe in breaking tradition. I had two hundred dollars in my pocket, but I knew I would have to make it on my own, because my drive was tremendous. I had to prove that I would make something of myself, and to do that I had to release all those regimented ideas I'd been taught about how life should be and learn a whole different set of values.
Thaao: Once I only dreamed of the life I'm now living. Maybe I can remind people that the best does exist and can be ours if only we take the time to look for it and work for it."