Fred Thompson, a Republican U.S. senator for eight years who also acted in feature films and on television, has died, his family says in a statement.
The statement says he died in Nashville after a recurrence of lymphoma at 73.
Thompson, a lawyer, alternated between politics and acting much of his adult life. Once regarded as a rising star in the Senate, he retired from the seat when his term expired in January 2003, saying he didn't "have the heart" for another term.
He announced a bid for president in 2007 but dropped out in 2008 after faring poorly.
Thompson, 6-foot-6 with a booming voice and folksy demeanor, appeared in at least 20 motion pictures. His credits include "In the Line of Fire," ''The Hunt for Red October," and "Cape Fear."
Tennessee Senator Bob Corker released this statement: “Fred Thompson served the people of Tennessee and America with great honor and distinction,” said Corker. “From the courtroom to Capitol Hill to Hollywood, his larger than life personality was infectious and had a way of making all of those around him strive to be better. Through his many different roles in public life, Fred never forgot where he came from, and our state and country miss his common sense approach to public service. I greatly appreciated his friendship and am saddened to learn of his passing. Elizabeth and I extend our thoughts and prayers to his wife, Jeri, the Thompson family and all those who were impacted by Fred’s life.”
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