An Australian icon whose acting career paralleled that nation's emergence into mainstream cinema, Jack Thompson first gained prominence as the star of the Aussie TV series "Spyforce." He solidified his reputation during the 1970s with movies like "Petersen" (1974), "Sunday Too Far Away" (1975) and "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith" (1978) before giving an award-winning performance as the defense attorney in Bruce Beresford's "Breaker Morant" (1980), his first film to get wide exposure in the USA. He also appeared in a small role as a horseman in George Miller's "The Man From Snowy River" (1982), another movie from Down Under that became a hit with American audiences.
Thompson made his American television debut in the syndicated miniseries "A Woman Called Golda" (1982), starring Ingrid Bergman, and followed quickly with a turn opposite Lee Remick in the ABC movie "The Letter" (1982), a remake of the Bette Davis-Herbert Marshall version of the Somerset Maugham story. He played a supporting role in Paul Verhoeven's first English-language movie, "Flesh + Blood" (1985), and his expanded international film career featured work in New Zealand ("Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" 1982), Great Britain ("Black Rainbow" 1989) and the U.S. ("The Wind" 1992), not to mention continued efforts in his homeland ("Ground Zero" 1988).
Since his award-wining performance as Russell Crowe's understanding father in the Australian film "The Sum of US" (1995), Thompson has acted primarily in the USA, receiving tremendous TV exposure, first for his role opposite Sally Field in the NBC miniseries "A Woman of Independent Means" (1995), and then in the CBS miniseries sequel "The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years" (1996). On the big screen, he lent his solid presence as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in John Woo's "Broken Arrow" and as the Tennessee governor who refuses to pardon death row inmate Sharon Stone in "Last Chance" (both 1996). Thompson also appeared as Alicia Silverstone's father in the muddled "Excess Baggage" and had one of his best roles as Savannah defense attorney Sonny Seiler in Clint Eastwood's film version of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (both 1997).
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Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made acting debut on the TV soap opera "Motel"
Feature film debut, "Outback"
First gained prominence as star of the Aussie TV seies "Spyforce"
Delivered an award-winning performance in Bruce Beresford's "Breaker Morant"
American miniseries debut, "A Woman Called Golda" starring Ingrid Bergman
Had a cameo in George Miller's "The Man From Snowy River"
Starred opposite Lee Remick in the ABC movie "The Letter"
Appeared in a supporting role in Paul Verhoeven's "Flesh & Blood"
Portrayed Tom Campbell Black in the CBS movie "Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun"
Played Russell Crowe's father in "The Sum of Us"
Acted opposite Sally Field in the NBC miniseries "A Woman of Independent Means"
Played the Governor in "Last Dance" starring Sharon Stone
Cast as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in John Woo's "Broken Arrow"
Portrayed Sonny Seiler in Clint Eastwood's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"
Starred in "Original Sin" with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie
Appeared in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" as Cliegg Lars
Cast opposite Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in "The Assassination of Richard Nixon" as Jack Jones, the successful salesman
Co-starred in Steven Soderbergh's post WWII drama, "The Good German"
Featured in the Australian film "December Boys"
Cast as as Kipling Flynn, an alcoholic accountant in Baz Luhrmann's epic "Australia"