Monday 23 September 2019

Actor and politician Fred Thompson dies aged 73

Fred Thompson, pictured in 2007, who has died after a recurrence of lymphoma aged 73 (AP)
Fred Thompson, pictured in 2007, who has died after a recurrence of lymphoma aged 73 (AP)

Fred Thompson, a former Republican US senator from Tennessee who appeared in feature films and on television, has died aged 73.

Thompson, who was 6ft 6in and had a booming voice, appeared in at least 20 films, and the TV series Law & Order.

His credits include In The Line Of Fire, The Hunt For Red October, Die Hard II and Cape Fear..

By the early 1990s, Thompson said he had become bored with his 10-year stint in Hollywood and wanted to go into public service.

That is when he headed back to Nashville and launched his Senate campaign.

His family said Thompson died on Sunday in Nashville following a recurrence of lymphoma, surrounded by his family.

"It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, father and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville," the family said in a statement.

"Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of ... his home."

Thompson, a lawyer, alternated between politics and acting much of his adult life.

Once regarded as a rising star in the Senate, he retired from that seat when his term expired in January 2003, saying he did not have the drive for another term.

"I simply do not have the heart for another six-year term," Thompson said.

"Serving in the Senate has been a tremendous honour, but I feel that I have other priorities that I need to attend to."

However, he returned to politics in 2007 by announcing that he would seek the Republican presidential nomination.

Dogged by accusations he was not a hard worker, he dropped out in January 2008 after faring poorly in the early caucuses and primaries.

PA Media

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