Brian Thompson in 2008
August 28, 1959 |
Ellensburg, Washington, U.S.
Brian Thompson (born August 28, 1959) is an American character actor.
Thompson is perhaps best known for playing the antagonist in the 1986 movie Cobra. He began his career with a bit part in The Terminator, a 1984 blockbuster movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since then, Thompson has worked primarily in the action adventure and science fiction genres. His first named role was in Werewolf, a series that ran during Fox's inaugural broadcasting year of 1987-1988. Thompson has played several characters in the Star Trek franchise as well as the Alien Bounty Hunter on X-Files and Eddie Fiori on Kindred: The Embraced. In 2014, he produced, wrote and starred in the B movie, The Extendables.
Thompson was born in Ellensburg, Washington and raised in Longview, Washington. He attended Central Washington University, where he studied business management, played football and appeared in many school productions. He then moved to California and received a Masters of Fine Arts from University of California-Irvine.
Thompson's athletic build and unique facial structure were key in the initial roles he was offered. He's stated it has occasionally has been a double-edged sword when it comes to auditioning for roles but it has provided him with consistent work. "If you’re very physical in stature, you’re gonna get hired for action movies. The star’s always going to be chasing someone so they need an equal adversary. I’m never going to play a nebbish geek."
Thompson was cast in The Terminator while still in school. He and Bill Paxton had minor roles as a punk thugs. He followed that up with "bad guy" roles on Otherworld, Street Hawk, and Knight Rider before landing the role in the Sylvester Stallone 1986 vehicle, Cobra. Although the movie was critically panned, it was a commercial success. The New York Times noted Thompson's portrayal; "the archvillain, a character that is a cross between a James Bond fantasy villain such as Jaws and a raging psychopath, delivers a scorching monologue - a feat of linguistic sophistication that Cobra would have a hard time matching."
The movie Rage and Honor (1992) as Conrad Drago—In 1993, Thompson landed a role in the large ensemble series Key West which was filmed on location in the Florida Keys. The series lasted for 13 episodes. In a departure from his previous work, he played a 'new-age sheriff' which Thompson stated was his favorite role of his career. The character uttered the introductory line; "I'm Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Jefferson. I'm a direct descendant of Wyatt Earp and the Lone Ranger. My personal heroes are Ted Nugent, Buddha and Davy Crockett. I am the last real lawman and the first peace officer of the 21st century."
The following year, Thompson began his tenure on X-Files and followed that with roles in the science fiction/fantasy series Seven Days, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Charmed. Between these, Thompson made dozens of appearances in other shows and movies, often in similar roles. In 1996, he appeared in Dragonheart as the lead henchman of David Thewlis' villainous king. The fantasy movie, starring Dennis Quaid and Sean Connery, was a moderate success.
Thompson then returned to the big screen as lead antagonist Shao Kahn in the film adaptation of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. The movie was both a critical and commercial failure, with a 3% "Rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The New York Times called it "colossal compendium of logic-defying martial arts, noisy, hyperactive special effects and rudimentary acting." In 2014, Thompson released The Extendables; a movie he's produced, written and starred in. A parody of movies like The Expendables, Thompson stated that it contained true-to-life instances from his own career. It was released via iTunes.
In 1989, Thompson landed his first Star Trek role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. His size worked against him at first, because the producers were originally looking to cast someone who could fit in a certain costume. He was able to convince them to give him a try; "That was the first of four auditions that I’ve had for Star Trek and they’ve hired me every time." Thompson played a Klingon in an episode that featured Jonathan Frakes. In 1993 and 1996, he appeared in episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as different characters. In 1994, he appeared in the film Star Trek: Generations. In 2005, Thompson was cast Admiral Valdore in 3 episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. Thompson has since participated, to some extent, in Star Trek fandom; giving narrative DVD extras and appearing at conventions.
|1984||The Terminator||street punk||Bit character attacked and robbed by The Terminator|
|1986||Cobra||Night Slasher||Key villain|
|1986||Three Amigos||Thug||A lackey of The German|
|1986||Doctor Mordrid||Kabal||Key villain, an evil wizard|
|1988||Fright Night II||Bozworth||Bug-eating lackey|
|1988||Alien Nation||Trent Porter|
|1988||Miracle Mile||Helicopter Pilot|
|1990||Moon 44||Jake O'Neal|
|1991||Life Stinks||Mean Victor|
|1993||The Naked Truth||Bruno|
|1994||Star Trek Generations||Klingon Helm||Klingon helmsman|
|1997||Mortal Kombat: Annihilation||Shao Kahn||Outworld Ruler|
|2000||Jason and the Argonauts||Hercules||TV miniseries|
|2001||Joe Dirt||Buffalo Bob||Parodies the Buffalo Bill role from Silence of the Lambs|
|2001||The Order||Cyrus Jacob||Key villain|
|2007||Fist of the Warrior||Max|
|2007||Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane||Kevin|
|2014||The Extendables||Vardell Duseldorfer||with Mark Dacascos, Kevin Sorbo, Martin Kove, Patrick Warburton, Gary Graham and Marisa Ramirez|
|1988||Favorite Son||Rolf Petersen||3 Episodes|
|1988||Werewolf||Nicholas Remy||6 Episodes|
|1989||Star Trek||Various Klingons||Appeared as different named or unnamed Klingons in four Star Trek series|
|1993||Key West||Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Johnson||13 episodes|
|1994||The X-Files||Alien Bounty Hunter||Episodes: "Colony", End Game, 7 more episodes|
|1996||Kindred: The Embraced||Eddie Fiori||6 episodes as the leader of the Brujah clan of vampires|
|1997||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Luke||Episodes: "Welcome to the Hellmouth", "The Harvest"|
|1998||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||The Judge||Episodes: "Surprise", "Innocence"|
|2000||Charmed||Horseman of War||Episode: "Apocalypse, Not" (season 2, Episode 21)|
|2002||Birds of Prey||The Crawler||Episode: Split|
|2003||Charmed||Titan Cronos||Episode: "Oh My Goddess (Part 1 & 2)" (season 5, Episodes 22 & 23)|
|2004||NCIS||Master Chief Vince Nutter||Episode: "The Truth is Out There"|
|2005||Star Trek: Enterprise||Romulan Admiral Valdore||3 Episodes|
|2009||Chuck||Cliff Arculin / Cliff Siljak||Episode: "Chuck Versus the Suburbs"|
|2012||Californication||Mr. Scary||Episode: At the Movies (Directed by Helen Hunt)|
|2012||Spirit of a Denture||Captain Jasper Crow||with Kevin Spacey|
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- Nelson, Craig (October 5, 2012). "Manchester film fans turned out for a special screening of The Terminator and we interview Brian Thompson.". Manchester Gossip. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Darnton, Nina (May 24, 1986). "FILM: SYLVESTER STALLONE AS POLICEMAN, IN 'COBRA'". New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Anderson, Phillip (July 22, 2000). "Interviews: Brian Thompson - actor, "X-Files" / "Star Trek" / "Key West" / "Dragonheart"". KAOS 2000. San Diego Comic Con International. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Hiltbrand, David (January 18, 1993). "Picks and Pans Review: Key West". People Magazine. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- T'Bonz (March 31, 2014). "APRIL-MAY 2014 TREK CONVENTIONS AND APPEARANCES". Trek Today. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Tucker, Ken (June 7, 1996). "Dragonheart (1996)". Entertainment Weekly (EW). Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Staff Writers. "MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- VanGelder, Lawrence (November 22, 1997). "Mortal Kombat The Annihilation (1997) FILM REVIEW; Based on a Video Game. Need to Know More?". New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Valkor (August 22, 2014). "The Extendables Movie Review". The Other View. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Staff. "The Extendables". iTunes. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Tenuto, John (December 17, 2012). "REVIEW: Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 2 on Blu-ray". Trek News.Com. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Wedlan, Candace (April 13, 2998). "Hapkido Helps Put the Wind in His Sails". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 October 2014. Check date values in:
- THE EXTENDABLES Trailer on YouTube
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