Former US senator Fred Thompson has died at the age of 73.
His family said he had been suffering from lymphoma.
Mr Thompson had various film roles and starred in the TV series Law & Order.
As a lawyer, he served as chief Republican counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee that
investigated President Richard Nixon.
The former senator, whose last term ended in 2003, was known for his straight-talking style and
“Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of … his
home,” his family said in a statement.
He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2008 election but dropped out after failing to gain enough support.
The former senator first got into the spotlight as a young lawyer for a Senate committee during the Watergate hearings in the 1970s.
His questioning of former Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield uncovered the president’s secret tape recording system.
He asked the vital question: “Mr Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?”
In 1985, Thompson made his acting debut in the film “Marie: A True Story,” about his former client
The film part based on one of his
He ended up playing himself in the 1985 film Marie, starring Sissy Spacek and Morgan Freeman.
Directors frequently turned to him to portray government power and he had roles as White House chief of staff, CIA director, FBI agent, rear
admiral and senator.
His top films were:
• Marie (1985): Himself
• No Way Out (1987): CIA Director Marshall
• The Hunt For Red October: Rear Admiral Joshua Painter
• Days of Thunder (1990): Big John
• Die Hard 2 (1990): Trudeau
• Cape Fear (1991): Tom Broadbent
He was also cast as a fictional president in the little-known film Last Best Chance and as President
Ulysses S Grant in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Years later, he became best known for his role as a district attorney in the New York crime series Law
“Fred believed that the greatness of our nation was defined by the hard work, faith and honesty of its
people,” the statement issued by his family said.
“He had an enduring belief in the exceptionalism of our country, and that America could provide the
opportunity for any boy or girl, in any corner of our country, to succeed in life.”
Mr Thompson is survived by five children, three of them from his first marriage Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey and two from his second to Jeri Kehn Thompson.