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Former Tennessee senator and actor Fred Thompson has died from lymphoma at the age of 73, his family said.

Fred Thompson had various film roles and starred in the TV series Law & Order and also mounted an unsuccessful bid for the presidency.

As a lawyer, Fred Thompson served as chief Republican counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee that investigated President Richard Nixon.

The former senator – his last term ended in 2003 – was known for his straight-talking style and booming voice.

“Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of … his home,” his family said in a statement.

Fred Thompson ran for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2008 election but dropped out after failing to gain enough support.

The son of a used car salesman first achieved fame as a young lawyer for a Senate committee during the Watergate hearings in the 1970s.

His questioning of former Richard Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield uncovered the president’s secret tape recording system.

He asked the vital question: “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?”Fred Thompson dead at 73

The lawyer’s acting career began when he was asked to read for a movie part based on one of his high-profile cases.

Fred Thompson ended up playing himself in the 1985 movie Marie, starring Sissy Spacek and Morgan Freeman.

Directors frequently turned to Fred Thompson to portray government power and he had roles as White House chief of staff, CIA director, FBI agent, rear admiral and senator.

He was also cast as a fictional president in the little-known film Last Best Chance and as President Ulysses S. Grant in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Years later, Fred Thompson became best known for his role as a district attorney in the New York crime series Law & Order.

“Fred believed that the greatness of our nation was defined by the hard work, faith and honesty of its people,” the statement issued by his family said.

“He had an enduring belief in the exceptionalism of our country, and that America could provide the opportunity for any boy or girl, in any corner of our country, to succeed in life.”

Fred Thompson is survived by five children, three of them from his first marriage Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey and two from his second to Jeri Kehn Thompson.


Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell will go on medical leave for the rest of the season after being diagnosed with stage-one lymphoma.

John Farrell, who led the team to a World Series win in 2013, said his cancer of the immune system is “very treatable”.

Red Sox assistant coach Torey Lovullo will serve as manager while John Farrell receives treatment.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Doctors discovered the cancer when John Farrell was undergoing hernia surgery earlier this week.

“I can honestly tell you that I’m extremely fortunate that it was found,” John Farrell said on August 14.

“It’s localized. It’s highly curable.”

John Farrell started his career as a Major League Baseball pitcher and also served as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2011 to 2012.

After breaking the news, John Farrell received an outpouring of support from fans and colleagues on social media.

Even the Red Sox’s arch-rivals, the New York Yankees tweeted: “Wishing RedSox manager John Farrell a full and speedy recovery.”


Legendary actor Ken Takakura has died of lymphoma aged 83.

The Japanese actor passed away at a Tokyo hospital on November 10, his office has announced on November 18.

Known as the “Clint Eastwood” of Japan, Ken Takakura was renowned for his brooding style and stoic roles in several Japanese yakuza and action movies.

Legendary actor Ken Takakura has died of lymphoma aged 83

Legendary actor Ken Takakura has died of lymphoma aged 83 (photo Getty Images)

Ken Takakura also starred as a tough Japanese police officer alongside Michael Douglas in the 1989 Ridley Scott film Black Rain.

Among his well-known films were The Yellow Handkerchief and Poppoya (The Railway Man), for which he won the best actor prize at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Ken Takakura also went on to play a lead role in Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s 2005 film Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.

In Japan, national broadcaster NHK opened its news program at noon with the news of Ken Takakura’s death. The Asahi Shimbun, a major daily, tweeted condolences and called him “one of Japan’s greatest actors”.

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