Monday, November 2, 2015

Fred Thompson, 1942-2015

Politician-turned-actor Fred Thomspon died yesterday at 73. Thompson would probably be better-known for his political career that included eight years in the US Senate and a run at the presidency, but on either side of that he did a fair amount of acting.

Actually, he started his acting career playing himself. Some years back, I mentioned a movie called Marie, about corruption in Tennessee. It's based on the true story of Marie Ragghinati, played by Sissy Spacek, who discoverd that the governor of Tennessee was selling pardons. When she tried to put the kibosh on that, she was fired from her position on the parole board, so she sued for wrongful termination. Fred Thompson was her lawyer in that case, and in the movie, he plays himself. Interestingly, the movie is on the TCM schedule for 10:15 PM Saturday.

Thompson's most remembered film role might be from the Clint Eastwood movie In the Line of Fire. Or, at least, that's the one I recall being mentioned prominently when Thompson was running for Senate the first time in 1994. Thompson obviously took time off from acting when he was elected to the Senate, and after his Senate career spent several years doing one of the many, many versions of the TV franchise Law and Order.

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