'Law & Order' Actor and Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson Dies at 73

by Desiree Murphy 4:59 PM PST, November 01, 2015
Playing 'Law & Order' Actor and Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson Dies at 73

Fred Thompson, a former United States senator for Tennessee and Law & Order actor, died on Sunday. He was 73.

Thompson died in Nashville after a recurrence of lymphoma, ET has confirmed.

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"It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, husband, father and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville surrounded by his family," his family said in a statement, according to the NY Daily News.

Thompson balanced both politics and acting throughout much of his adult life. Though he was best known for his role as District Attorney Arthur Branch on Law & Order, his other TV and film credits include Sinister, Die Hard 2, The Hunt for Red October and Cape Fear.

The Tennessee-born politician served as a conservative Republican for nine years in the U.S. Senate before retiring from his seat in 2002 when his term expired. For a brief time, he was also a GOP nominee. In 2007, he announced a bid for presidency, before shortly backing out a year later.

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Also a former Watergate investigator, his work as an attorney helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974.

"Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home," his family said.