UPDATE 2:44 p.m. PT: “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf issued the following statement to TheWrap: “Fred was one of the only people that I’ve met who was truly a renaissance man. Prosecutor, politician, actor, raconteur – no matter what he did, he did it incredibly well. And he was simply a great guy. He will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.”
ORIGINAL STORY: The death of Fred Thompson, former Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee, drew an outpouring of reaction from the Washington, D.C. political establishment Sunday. But the death of Fred Thompson, longtime “Law & Order” actor, has drawn comparatively little response from Hollywood, particularly those who also worked on the NBC procedural.
Few of Thompson’s most well known “Law & Order” colleagues had anything to say about his death. TheWrap reached out Monday morning to representatives for Benjamin Bratt, Jeremy Sisto, Angie Harmon, Chris Noth, J.K. Simmons, S. Epatha Merkerson and Jesse L. Martin. None of them had issued any statement as of Monday afternoon. Also silent was “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf, whom TheWrap reached out to Sunday evening, and had, as of Monday afternoon, no statement to offer regarding Thompson.
Thompson’s death was announced Sunday by members of his family. He passed away in his home state of Tennessee after a recurrence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he originally contracted a decade ago.
Thompson served in the U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2003 and ran for president in 2008. But from 2002 to 2007, he worked as an actor on NBC’s long-running drama “Law & Order,” in which he played Manhattan district attorney Arthur Branch. According to IMDB, he is credited with appearing in 116 episodes of the show, which ran for 20 seasons. Only six actors are credited with more episodes.
NBC did not issue any statement regarding Thompson’s death.
Several prominent Hollywood Republicans tweeted their condolences regarding Thompson over the weekend, among them John Ratzenberger, Jim Norton and James Woods. Actor Josh Charles and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal also tweeted about Thompson on Sunday.
A handful of Thompson’s less well-known “Law & Order” co-stars Tweeted remarks about him, including Elizabeth Rohm, Alana De La Garza and Jill Hennessy.
Thompson’s death elicited a number of responses from both sides of the aisle in Washington, primarily from Republicans such as Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich and George Pataki, but also from Democrats such as fellow Tennessean Al Gore. The former Vice President tweeted a statement in six parts, beginning, “I am saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Fred Thompson. His longtime dedication to public service helped millions of people around the country and here, in our home state.”