Born in 1962 in Ellensburg, Washington to two school teachers, Brian Thompson grew up in Longview, Washington on the Columbia River, the second of six children. As a young child, he was sickly, suffering a kidney-related ailment, and it wasn't until surgery corrected his condition that he began building the body that has come to demand the attention of his fans and Hollywood. He started acting in high school in 1977, winning the Mark Morris High School best supporting actor award. He continued the endeavor in college, while majoring in business management and minoring in construction. During the summers, he built docks and bridges and piers for a Portland construction company that had a job waiting for him when he graduated. But graduation day came in 1981 and the job offer went unanswered.
Thompson decided to pursue acting. The University of California/Irvine awarded him a scholarship to its three-year masters of fine arts program, so he departed the northwest for California. While in school at UCI, he landed a job at Universal Studios where he played the villain in a live show of "Conan the Barbarian." He then secured an agent, and by the time he graduated earning a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting, he had already secured guest appearances in a few TV series and his first film job: a punk in "Terminator."
Brian Thompson is known in Hollywood as one of the most versatile and diversified actors in the industry, and he knows what it takes to develop a quality production and what is good for his career. Originally, he had been approached to play the role of Daedalus in "Kindred: the Embraced," but he had little interest in playing yet another role in which he had to wear prostheses glued to his face. He declined unless the producers could come up with more money; they did, and then they offered him the role of Eddie Fiori. As for "Kindred: The Embraced," he jokes that his character Eddie Fiori was a "nice guy who did bad things," but he is serious about his disappointment and aggravation with the show's writing and general lack of creativity. He asked to be written out.
His career spans all genres. He has taken on roles in musical comedies to serious dramas, and often surprises those who actually meet him, for besides having those distinctive muscles and chisled features, he has an incredible facility for language. It is apparent that acting is his passion and a vocation for which he is well suited. He understands acting; he can communicate what it is and what it means, and he teaches his craft at his alumni UCI where he was named UCI's Distinguished Alumni for the year 2000. In addition to pursuing his acting career and teaching at UCI, Thompson also runs an Actor's School in Oregon held on various campuses each year.
Very much a family man, Thompson makes his home in Los Angeles with his wife Isabelle and their two children Jordan and Daphne. He plays piano, cares for a menagerie of pets with his kids, hones his skills in martial arts, and kite-surfs to stay in shape. He claims that he hasn't had to visit a gym since taking up the sport.