Fred D. Thompson Dead

Former Senator, Law & Order Veteran Fred D. Thompson Dead at 73

Senator-turned-actor actor Fred D. Thompson, a Law & Order staple who recurred for five seasons on the mothership, and also brought his character to spinoffs SVU, Criminal Intent and Trial by Jury, died Sunday of lymphoma, per the New York Times. He was 73.

Thompson served as a Republican senator for Tennessee from 1994 to 2003. During the final months of his term, he joined Law & Order as DA Arthur Branch. In May 2007, he asked out of his L&O contract so as to explore a White House run, announcing his candidacy three months later. He withdrew from the race in January 2008.

“Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home,” his family said in a statement.

Additional TV credits included Wiseguy, Matlock, The Good Wife and, most recently, NBC’s short-lived Allegiance. On the big screen he appeared in Die Hard 2 (as the chief air traffic controller McClane at first butts heads with), The Hunt for Red October and No Way Out.

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19 Comments
  1. Wendy says:

    May he RIP! And 73 isn’t that old. Can’t say he didn’t lead an interesting life. For the record, he did also appear in the other L&O spinoff, Law & Order: Criminal Intent in Season 5 in a scene with Courtney B. Vance’s Ron Carver, too.

  2. aph1976 says:

    My condolences to his family.

  3. Whatever says:

    Oh, I was just wondering the other day if he was still around! Now I feel like I jinxed him!

  4. Maryann says:

    Sympathies to the family…..Rest in Peace Fred

  5. i am so saddened by his passing.I got a lot of enjoyment watching him on Law and Order.may God rest his soul and condolences to his family.

  6. No mention of Watergate?

  7. Nancy Thomas says:

    what a loss- my daughter has lymphoma- does anyone know which lymphoma he had- he will be so missed- seemed like such a kind man

  8. Mike W says:

    I’ll always remember him from the episode of Roseanne where he was the boss from Hell

  9. vp says:

    So sad. I loved him as Arthur on Law & Order and will miss him. R,I,P

  10. vp says:

    So sad U loved hum on Law & Order. He was still young R.I.P,

  11. jahoney1 says:

    RIP. 73 years olds. He still had at least a decade of life left in him. He dead young, but lived an interesting life.

  12. obriensg1 says:

    He didn’t “recur”. That means somebody who guest stars a lot. He was a series regular on the original

  13. Tricia says:

    He was an actor, turned senator turned back to acting not Senator-turned-actor,

  14. Sniff. Loved Arthur Branch on L&O.

  15. DD says:

    May he RIP. I enjoyed all of his roles – he was an outstanding actor. He will be missed.

  16. Carlos Lee says:

    RIP, Fred. I will always remember him for “The Hunt for Red October” and”Die Hard 2″. 73 is very young: (