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.