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Former US Senator and actor Fred Thompson dies at 73

OHMYGOSSIP — Former United States senator for Tennessee and actor Fred Thompson, who donned many roles in his real life including GOP presidential candidate and Watergate attorney, has died after a recurrence of lymphoma. He was 73.

A statement issued by the family said that Thompson died in his recently purchased house in Nashville to return to Tennessee. “It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, husband, father, and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville surrounded by his family,” the Thompson family’s statement read.

“Our nation has lost a servant, Tennessee has lost a son, and our family has lost its rock.”

Thompson was first diagnosed with cancer non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma more than a decade ago.

“Fred once said that the experiences he had growing up in small-town Tennessee formed the prism through which he viewed the world and shaped the way he dealt with life,” his family said.

“Fred stood on principle and common sense, and had a deep love for and connection with the people across Tennessee whom he had the privilege to serve in the United States Senate. He enjoyed a hearty laugh, a strong handshake, a good cigar, and a healthy dose of humility. Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home.”

Thompson, a Republican, won a special election in 1994 to fill the seat that Al Gore vacated. He was re-elected for a full term two years later and announced in 2002 that he would not run again.

Thompson essayed many roles both on the screen and off it. As an attorney, he helped lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

As an actor, he starred in some of the most prominent films and television series of his time.

And as a politician, he served the state of Tennessee in the US Senate from 1994 through 2003, before making a brief run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Thompson appeared in the films “The Hunt for Red October”, “Die Hard 2” and “In the Line of Fire”, among others. He performed on the small screen as the gruff district attorney Arthur Branch on NBC’s “Law and Order”.

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