Fred Dalton Thompson spent 25 years as an active Nashville and Washington, D.C., attorney before making his film debut playing himself in a 1985 retelling of the true tale of a Tennessee woman who took on the state's crooked governor in Marie. When Thompson won more acclaim than the film's stars Sissy Spacek and Jeff Daniels, he decided to add "character actor" to his resumé.
Since then he has appeared in numerous major features. Standing 6'5," he is a commanding presence and is usually cast as an authoritarian. His film career abruptly ended when Thompson made a successful bid to become the Senator of Tennessee in 1994.