March 24, 2008 / 6:52 PM / 10 years ago

Fred Thompson heads back to Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson is returning to his career as an actor and signed a deal to be represented by the William Morris Agency, the talent group said on Monday.

Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, is best known in the entertainment world for portraying New York District Attorney Arthur Branch on the television crime drama “Law & Order,” but has appeared in numerous films and TV shows over the years.

The 65-year-old actor and politician was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. president before dropping out of the race in January after garnering little support. Arizona Senator John McCain is the presumptive Republican nominee.

Thompson gained notoriety as minority counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee investigating the scandal that led to the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1974.

His first movie role was in 1985’s “Marie.” Thompson has since appeared in many films, including “Die Hard 2” and “In the Line of Fire,” frequently as politicians or other authority figures. In 2007 television movie “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” for instance, he portrayed President Ulysses S. Grant.

Thompson won a seat in the U.S. Senate from Tennessee in 1994 and served until 2003. He began his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2007.

Editing by Dan Whitcomb

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