Got a film degree of the University of San Francisco and then ran a vintage film theater there for a number of years.
Moved to Los Angeles where he started working for Nova in post-production. He has worked on writing, editing and directing.
In 1996 he sued the state of California as a "John Doe AIDS patient" for the right to physician assisted suicide but died before the case was resolved.
One reviewer said "How Chet Thomas can make this money shot last for two minutes, I'll never know." A skill he said he got from Higgins. He noted that directors usually didn't bother him during editing because they found it too boring. Thomas, on the other hand, enjoyed being left alone in his office to edit. For directors, Thomas would ask for plenty of cut away shots because the sex was the most import part of the shooting but it needed other things to keep the final product interesting.
Thomas did move to directing but when asked in a Manshots interview which he preferred, editing or directing, he said he wouldn't want to give up editing.