In 2004, Fred Thompson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He did not reveal this until April 2007. He also announced that the cancer was in remission. He has responded well to treatment, and his life expectancy "should not be affected."
He is one of only four actors to play the same character (D.A. Arthur Branch) in all four Law & Order series: Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. The others are Jesse L. Martin (Det. Ed Green), Jerry Orbach (Det. Lennie Briscoe), and Leslie Hendrix (Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers).
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Thompson was President of the Federal City Council in Washington, D.C.
Peter Maas wrote the book "Marie" about the Tennessee parole board scandal. Roger Donaldson directed the 1985 movie based on the book. Donaldson consulted with Thompson about who should portray Thompson in the movie. Thompson suggested that he should portray himself. Donaldson agreed, and thus began Thompson's acting career.
In 1977, Thompson took on a parole board case that eventually forced Tennessee governor Ray Blanton out of office under suspicion of the sale of pardons.
He was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1967.
He is currently a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. He researches national security and intelligence matters with a focus on China, North Korea and Russia.
He chaired the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs during his term in the U.S. Senate.
He was a member of the Tennessee Appellate Court Nominating Commission from 1985 to 1987.
He was special counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1982.
He was special counsel to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1980-1981.
He was special counsel to Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander in 1980.
In the years after he was elected to the Senate, national Republican party leaders began exploring the possibility of a U.S. Presidential campaign for Thompson. Polls showed that he had a realistic shot at winning a future election. Many voters recognized him from his role as Rear Admiral Joshua Painter on the USS Enterprise in the 1990 movie "The Hunt for Red October."
He worked as a shoe salesman, truck driver, and factory worker before becoming a lawyer.
His Senate campaigns featured him driving around the state of Tennessee in an old pickup truck. He described himself as "Good 'ol Fred Thompson."
He served in the U.S. Senate from Dec. 1994 to Jan. 2003 as a Republican from his home state of Tennessee.
He was re-elected for a full term to the U.S. Senate in 1996.
He won a special election to the U.S. Senate in 1994.
His memoir, "At That Point in Time," describes his experiences while working on the Senate Watergate Committee.
He served as Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee.
In 1969, Thompson was named an Assistant United States Attorney (prosecutor).
He attended Memphis State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy and political science in 1964.
He grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.
He appears in archival footage of the Watergate hearings in Oliver Stone's movie "JFK" (1991).
He married Jeri Kehn in June 2002.
He is 6'6" tall.
He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University.
In 1964, he earned a degree in Philosophy and Political Science from Memphis State University.
At one point, he was in a relationship with country singer Lori Morgan.