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Fred Thompson

How Fred Thompson got to Hollywood

How Fred Thompson got to Hollywood

To a generation of Americans old enough to remember the Watergate hearings, Fred Thompson, who died Sunday at 73, was the Senate attorney whose question to a White House aide prompted the revelation that President Richard Nixon recorded conversations in the Oval Office. But to that generation's children - perhaps less politically-attuned Gen Xers with access to basic cable's endless supply of B-movies and endless reruns of "Law and Order" - Fred Thompson was That Guy: a stentorian character actor who often scolded or skeptically took stock of troublesome main characters played by actors much more famous than he.

Thompson, as perhaps befitted a U.S. senator who ran for...

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