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ACTOR-TURNED-U.S. SENATOR TO RETURN TO HOLLYWOOD CAREER


August 27, 2002
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US Senator Fred Thompson, a former actor who appeared in such films as Cape Fear and Die Hard 2, is set to become the first member of Congress to feature as a TV programme regular while still in office. The former Watergate federal prosecutor and Republican politician won’t stray too far from his real-life job for his on-screen stint, however – he’ll be playing a conservative district attorney on hit series Law & Order.

Senator Thompson, who is set to retire from his government post in January, will replace the DA slot filled by The Birdcage actress Dianne Wiest, who played attorney Nora Lewin for two seasons. And his new character’s conservative beliefs are expected to add some spice to the legal series’ award-winning storylines. “His political leanings are a little more to the right than former DAs on the show,” explains Michael Chernuchin, an executive producer of the series.

The 6ft 6in ex-lawyer, who famously said political life in Washington made him “long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood”, was elected to the senate in 1994, representing the state of Tennessee.

Senator Thompson isn’t the first celebrity to grace the halls of the Capitol. Cher’s late husband Sonny Bono and The Love Boat star Fred Grandy both served in the House of Representatives, and former US President Ronald Reagan first found fame on the silver screen in the Thirties and Forties.

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Photo: © Alphapress.com
Politician and In The Line Of Fire actor Fred Thompson, who famously said political life in Washington made him "long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood", will soon be starring in US TV programme Law & Order. The move makes him the first member of Congress to feature as a TV regular while still in office Photo: © PA