Fred Dalton Thompson is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist and radio host. He represented Tennessee as a Republican in the U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2003.
Thompson served as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board at the United States Department of State, was a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in national security and intelligence.
As an actor, Thompson has appeared in a large number of movies and television shows. He has frequently portrayed governmental figures.
In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, playing New York City District Attorney Arthur Branch, until the network granted his request to be released from his contract in May 2007.
In late February 2009 Thompson made his return to acting by making a guest appearance on the ABC television series Life on Mars playing NYPD Police Chief Harry Woolf.
Thompson has also made a brief unsuccessful run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. He resides in McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.