Love's Christmas Journey
August 28, 1959 |
Ellensburg, Washington, U.S.
Brian Thompson (born August 28, 1959) is an American actor. His distinctive square-jaw profile, powerful voice, and imposing stature (193 cm, six-foot-three) has led to him being cast in many action films and television series, but has also appeared in several comedies.
Brian Thompson was born in Ellensburg, Washington, located in the same area where Northern Exposure (1990) would later be filmed. Raised on the Columbia River in Longview, he learned the value of academics and athletics, as the son of two teachers and the second of six siblings. Brian's father, Bert, taught science at Robert A Long High School, Longview, Washington. Brian attended the cross town rival Mark Morris High School, where he was on the swimming and football teams. His interest in acting was first sparked during his senior year of high school with the role of the Russian ballet instructor Boris in the comedy "You Can't Take it With You". Under the pretense of attending Central Washington University to play football and study business management, he quietly auditioned for every available play, treading the boards for a dozen school productions, from musicals and operas to the more lighthearted fare of Neil Simon.
Earning a scholarship to the University of California-Irvine, he sailed through a three-year Master of Fine Arts program, learning from such theatrical luminaries as playwright Edward Albee, Robert Cohen and Jerzy Grotoswski, and supplementing his education through work with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Before graduation he began to audition theatrically, and by the time school ended he had his SAG card, an agent, and five pro credits, including James Cameron's The Terminator (1984), where he and Bill Paxton's clothes were forcibly removed by a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger. About a year after Arnold took Brian's clothes, Sylvester Stallone wanted a hack at Brian as well. After seven auditions and a screen test, Brian earned the right to get impaled on a meat hook, then burned alive, Stallone's Cobra (1986). This began a string of credits that has left Thompson in and around some of Hollywood's biggest and most successful projects.
Brian has tackled two superhero roles as well: first, Conan the Librarian (1999), starring red in the title role, a PBS special to encourage kids to read. He also earned critical acclaim playing the larger-than-life role of "Hercules" in Jason and the Argonauts (2000)(TV). Probably the first part that demanded use of his classical background as well as his 6' 3" muscled frame. Brian says that no gym can claim him as a member and that his physique is kept toned by years of windsurfing and now kitesurfing. Taking a curiously "musical" approach to his craft, the actor continually seeks fresh rhythms for each new role. Brian verifies his well rounded nature with a resume that lists such special skills as martial arts (black belt Hapkido), piano and sushi rolling. He lives at home with his son Jordan and daughter Daphne.
Thompson has played supporting roles in a number of movies, including "Dragonheart", The Terminator and Joe Dirt. He played the role of Tenctonese Trent Porter in the film Alien Nation and Hercules in Jason and the Argonauts. Thompson has also often been cast as the villain such as in the movies Cobra and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
Thompson has also appeared in a wide variety of television shows, including seven seasons on the The X-Files as an alien bounty hunter, and the pilot episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as Kindred: The Embraced as Eddie Fiori, the leader of the Brujah clan, and Charmed as both War from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Titan Cronos. He appeared on the Fox Network cult science fiction TV series Alien Nation as a Newcomer named Peter Rabbitt, as well as in the 1988 film upon which is based, though playing a different character. Thompson has also appeared in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as the warlord Goth, and in Birds of Prey as the Crawler in Episode 7 "Split", as well as in the series NCIS, Californication, and in the television movie Love's Christmas Journey on the Hallmark Channel.
Cast as a more fatherly figure, Thompson starred in the family film, Tillamook Treasure as Uncle Jimmy, an Oregon logger.
Other Work 
Thompson also appeared in the video game inspired movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as the Emperor Shao Kahn. He has also produced a feature comedy, Action Hero.
Selected Filmography 
External links