Marshall Thompson


Actor
Marshall Thompson

About

Also Known As
James Marshall Thompson
Birth Place
Peoria, Illinois, USA
Born
November 27, 1925
Died
May 18, 1992
Cause of Death
Congestive Heart Failure

Biography

A descendant of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, this veteran of over 40 films is best remembered as the star of "Daktari," a popular family TV series set in Africa that ran on CBS from January 1966 to January 1969. The inspiration for the show was the feature film "Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion" (1964) which Thompson starred in and co-wrote.Cast in naive juvenile roles in MGM films o...

Photos & Videos

Battleground - Action Publicity Stills
Battleground - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Devil's Doorway - Behind-the-Scenes Still

Family & Companions

Barbara Thompson
Wife
Survived him.

Biography

A descendant of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, this veteran of over 40 films is best remembered as the star of "Daktari," a popular family TV series set in Africa that ran on CBS from January 1966 to January 1969. The inspiration for the show was the feature film "Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion" (1964) which Thompson starred in and co-wrote.

Cast in naive juvenile roles in MGM films of the 1940s, Thompson began playing a wide variety of roles as a mature lead or second lead. He appeared in Vincente Minnelli's "The Clock" (1945), John Ford's "They Were Expendable" (1945), William Wellman's "Battleground" (1949), Anthony Mann's "Devil's Doorway" (1950) and "The Tall Target" (1951), Herbert Ross' "The Turning Point" (1977) and Sam Fuller's "White Dog" (1982). He also faced down the uncanny in the likes of "Fiend Without a Face," "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" and "First Man in Space." Thompson spent much of his time in Africa in his later years, where he produced, directed, and acted in the documentary series "Orphans of the Wild."

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

A Yank in Viet-Nam (1964)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Dallas: The Early Years (1986)
White Dog (1982)
The Formula (1980)
Bog (1978)
Dr Brad Firday
Cruise into Terror (1978)
Bennett
The Turning Point (1977)
Carter
George (1972)
Jim [Paulsen]
Around the World Under the Sea (1966)
Dr. Orin Hillyard
To the Shores of Hell (1966)
Maj. Greg Donahue
Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965)
Dr. Marsh Tracy
The Mighty Jungle (1964)
Marsh Conners
A Yank in Viet-Nam (1964)
Major Benson
East of Kilimanjaro (1962)
Marsh Connors
No Man Is an Island (1962)
"Sonn" Sonnenberg
Flight of the Lost Balloon (1961)
Dr. Joseph Faraday
First Man into Space (1959)
Commander Charles Ernest Prescott
It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)
[Col. Edward] Carruthers
Fiend Without a Face (1958)
Major Jeff Cummings
Lure of the Swamp (1957)
Simon Lewt
Down Liberty Road (1956)
Friendly stranger
To Hell and Back (1955)
Johnson
Cult of the Cobra (1955)
Tom Markel
Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955)
Mr. Pendleton
Crashout (1955)
Billy Lang
Battle Taxi (1955)
2nd Lt. Tim Vernon
Port of Hell (1954)
Marsh Walker
The Caddy (1953)
Bruce Reeber
My Six Convicts (1952)
Blivens Scott
The Rose Bowl Story (1952)
Steve Davis
The Tall Target (1951)
Lance Beaufort
The Basketball Fix (1951)
Johnny Long
Stars in My Crown (1950)
Narrator
Dial 1119 (1950)
Gunther Wyckoff
Devil's Doorway (1950)
Rod MacDougall
Mystery Street (1950)
Henry Shanway
Command Decision (1949)
Captain George Washington Bellpepper Lee
Roseanna McCoy (1949)
Tolbert McCoy
Battleground (1949)
Jim Layton
Homecoming (1948)
Sgt. [Mac] McKeen
B. F.'s Daughter (1948)
The sailor
Words and Music (1948)
Herbert Fields
Gallant Bess (1947)
Tex [Barton]
The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947)
Ben MacBean
The Show-Off (1946)
Joe Fisher
Bad Bascomb (1946)
Jimmy Holden
The Cockeyed Miracle (1946)
Jim Griggs
The Secret Heart (1946)
Brandon Reynolds
The Valley of Decision (1945)
Ted Scott
Twice Blessed (1945)
Jimmy
They Were Expendable (1945)
Ens. "Snake" Gardner
The Clock (1945)
Bill
Blonde Fever (1945)
Freddie Bilson
Henry Aldrich, Boy Scout (1944)
Senior patrol leader
Reckless Age (1944)
Roy Connors
The Purple Heart (1944)
Hank Morrison

Writer (Feature Film)

George (1972)
From an Original story by
Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965)
Story

Producer (Feature Film)

George (1972)
Producer

Cinematography (Special)

Outcry L.A.: Riots, Trials, Recovery (1993)
Camera

Cast (Short)

They Seek Adventure (1956)
BORN TO FIGHT (1956)
Himself

Life Events

1944

Feature acting debut in "Reckless Age"

1964

Wrote story, co-wrote screenplay, and starred in "Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion"

1964

Sole feature directing effort, "A Yank in Vietnam/Year of the Tiger"

1966

Starred in "Daktari", a popular family series set in Africa

Photo Collections

Battleground - Action Publicity Stills
Here are several action-oriented publicity stills taken for MGM's Battleground (1949). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Battleground - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore, George Murphy, and many others.
Devil's Doorway - Behind-the-Scenes Still
Here is a still photo taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Devil's Doorway (1950), starring Marshall Thompson and Paula Raymond, and directed by Anthony Mann.
First Man into Space - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from MGM's First Man into Space (1959), starring Marshall Thompson. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Battle Taxi - Title Lobby Card
Here is the Title Lobby Card from Battle Taxi (1955), starring Sterling Hayden. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Stars In My Crown (1950) - I'm Always A Boy In Walesburg With narration by Marshall Thompson, the screenplay derived from the somewhat autobiographical novel by Alabamian Joe David Brown, we meet Dean Stockwell as young John, Joel McCrea the preacher, plus Polly Bailey, Amanda Blake, Adeline de Walt Reynolds, Wilson Wood, Ed Begley and Arthur Hunnicutt, in MGM’s Stars In My Crown, 1950.
Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion (1965) - I Was Rather Heroic Introducing the English tutor Rowbotham (Richard Haydn), a big character here but absent from the TV spinoff series Daktari, in the unspecified African colonial country (Kenya?), teen Paula (Cheryl Miller) and hero veterinarian dad “Marsh” Tracy (Marshall Thompson) manage the beasts, in Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion, 1965.
Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion (1965) - Call It Internal Strabismus First appearance for Betsy Drake, in her last movie before her retirement, as a Dian Fossey-inspired character, wildlife photographer-researcher Julie, who soon proceeds to the compound where friends “Marsh” Tracy (Marshall Thompson) and daughter (Cheryl Miller) have recently adopted the title character, in Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion, 1965.
Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion (1965) - He Can't Hunt Acting on reports of a lion marauding their settlements but not doing any harm, Marshall Thompson as Dr. Tracy, Cheryl Miller his daughter (later seen in the spinoff TV series Daktari, 1966-1969) and Rockne Tarkington as aide Juna discover the problem, in producer Ivan Tors’ Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion, 1965.
Bad Bascomb (1946) - Elder Because You're Younger? Title character Wallace Beery in Wyoming learning to shoot right-handed because the lawmen know he’s a lefty, J. Carrol Naish his sidekick Yancey, Marshall Thompson his literate conscript Jimmy, and Frank Darien the unlucky Mormon traveler, early in MGM’s Bad Bascomb, 1946, also starring Margaret O’Brien.
Around The World Under The Sea (1966) - The Voyage Of The Hydronaut Introducing Dr. Hanford (Shirley Eaton) then the main premise and the vice-president (Donald Linton), Boren (Gary Merrill) helps Mosby (Brian Kelly) and Standish (Lloyd Bridges) advance their proposed mission for their high-tech civilian submarine, in Around The World Under The Sea, 1966.
Secret Heart, The (1946) - Your Father Used To Play That Psych patient Penny (June Allyson), with brother Chase (Robert Sterling) and a prospective suitor (Marshall Thompson), have agreed they might as well stay at the upstate home of bachelor Chris (Walter Pidgeon), a friend of their deceased father, whom she's just met, in The Secret Heart, 1946.
It! The Terror From Beyond Space - My Superiors On Earth Following the credits, narration over animation by Marshall Thompson (as "Colonel Carruthers"), events back on earth, then signs of trouble for Commander "Van" Heusen (Kim Spalding) back on the spaceship, in It! The Terror From Beyond Space, 1958.
It! The Terror From Beyond Space - Like Candy From A Box Space crew girl Ann (Shawn Smith) showing some support for Colonel Carruthers (Marshall Thompson), accused of killing his Mars-landing crew, then with her Captain "Van" Heusen (Kim Spalding), in It! The Terror From Beyond Space, 1958.
It! The Terror From Beyond Space - Grenades Big trouble as the as-yet unseen "It" (Ray Corrigan) is loose in the ship's vents, Van Heusen (Kim Spalding) and Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) leading a nervous search party, to little avail, in Edward L. Cahn's It: The Terror From Beyond Space, 1958.
Tall Target, The - About Mr. Lincoln Slave Rachel (Ruby Dee), finally convinced of a plot against president-elect Lincoln, tells policeman Kennedy (Dick Powell) what she knows, then her owner (Paula Raymond) intrudes, in Anthony Mann's The Tall Target, 1951.
Valley Of Decision, The (1945) - I Got The First Boat Back Valley Of Decision, The (1945) -- (Movie Clip) I Got The First Boat Back

Trailer

Clock, The - (Original Trailer) A G.I. en route to Europe falls in love during a whirlwind two-day leave in New York City in The Clock (1945).
Caddy, The - (Original Trailer) Jerry Lewis hits the links while Dean Martin sings "That's Amore" in the comedy hit The Caddy (1953).
Devil's Doorway - (Original Trailer) A Native American Civil War hero (Robert Taylor) returns home to fight for his people. Directed by Anthony Mann.
Cockeyed Miracle, The - (Original Trailer) The ghosts of a father (Keenan Wynn) and son (Frank Morgan) sort out their family's problems in The Cockeyed Miracle (1946).
Blonde Fever - (Original Trailer) A woman fights to save her husband after he gets Blonde Fever (1945) with a young Gloria Grahame as the Blonde.
Words And Music - (Original Trailer) Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Perry Como perform the songs of Rodgers and Hart in Words And Music (1948).
Battleground - (Original Trailer) American soldiers in France fight to survive a Nazi siege just before the Battle of the Bulge in Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, John Hodiak and Ricardo Montalban.
Stars in My Crown - (Original Trailer) A parson (Joel McCrea) uses six-guns and the Bible to bring peace to a Tennessee town in Stars in My Crown (1950).
Dial 1119 - (Original Trailer) A killer (Marshall Thompson) holds the customers at a bar hostage in Dial 1119 (1950).
Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion - (Original Trailer) The head of an African animal clinic treats Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion (1965), whose condition keeps him from hunting.
Command Decision - (Original Trailer) A senior officer faces the horror of sending his men on suicide missions over Germany during the last days of WW II in Command Decision (1948).
They Were Expendable - (Original Trailer) A Navy commander (John Wayne) fights to prove the effectiveness of the PT boat at the start of WW II in They Were Expendable (1945).

Family

Janet Thompson
Daughter
Survived him.

Companions

Barbara Thompson
Wife
Survived him.

Bibliography