Ron Thompson dead at 83: The Hollywood actor who was once briefly a rock singer, has passed away

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Actor Ron Thompson who has died at 83, appeared on Broadway and succeeded Al Pacino in a play

Hollywood actor Ron Thompson, who was once briefly a rock singer, has died at 83. The Hollywood Reporter was told by filmmaker Joe Black that “he found Thompson in his Van Nuys apartment (a neighbourhood in Los Angeles) on Saturday afternoon. The two had worked together in eight features, including Hate Horses (2017), Chicks, Man (2018) and Suffrage (2023), and Black visited him a couple times a week to help him out.”

Ron Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky on 31 January, 1941 but then moved to Miami with his family four years later. He was reportedly inspired to become an actor after watching actor Marlon Brandon in On the Waterfront. When he was 19, Ron Thompson moved to New York and appeared in 1962 on episodes of CBS’ Armstrong Circle Theater.

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Although Ron Thompson is best remembered for his acting, he also had a brief career as a rock singer. Under the guidance of rockabilly performer Ersel Hickey, he recorded singles and he also took on the role of a rock singer in the 1968 movie Brown Eye, Evil Eye. The film was about the strange friendship between a seventy year old man and a six year old girl and was directed by Robert Angus.

Ron Thompson went on to star alongside Richard Dreyfuss in William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life in Los Angeles in 1972 and then a year later succeeded Al Pacino in the role of Bickham in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? Al Pacino played the part in 1969 and won a Tony for it and Ron Thompson received an L.A. Critics Circle Award for his portrayal. 

Actor Ron Thompson also played the part of an undercover policeman in the crime series Baretta, other shows he guest-starred in included The Waltons, Cagney & Lacey and Ironside. Ron Thompson also starred in movies such as The White Buffalo, American Me and Deep Cover.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Thompson was romantically involved with late actress Diane Sommerfield (Days of Our Lives, The Black Godfather) in the 1970s. He has no known survivors.”

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