||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2013)|
in Twice Blessed (1945)
|Born||James Marshall Thompson
November 27, 1925
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||May 18, 1992
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Long (1949-1992; his death)|
Marshall Thompson (November 27, 1925 – May 18, 1992) was an American film and television actor.
He was born James Marshall Thompson in Peoria, Illinois. In 1943 Thompson, known for his boy-next-door good looks, was signed by Universal Pictures. He played quiet, thoughtful teens in Universal's feature films, including a lead opposite singing star Gloria Jean in Reckless Age, earning $350 weekly. During 1946 Universal discharged most of its contract players; that same year Thompson moved to MGM and his film roles steadily increased and improved.
Thompson became a freelance actor in the 1950s and worked for various studios on a variety of pictures, including a number of horror and science-fiction features; this included the role of Carruthers in It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), one of the two feature films that would later inspire the plot for director Ridley Scott's 1979 big budget feature film Alien. Thompson also starred as counter-espionage agent Mel Hunter in the syndicated science-fiction TV series World of Giants, about a man who has been miniaturized and must live in a dollhouse.
By the 1960s, Thompson's boyish looks had matured and his screen persona became more authoritative. He co-starred with Annie Fargé in the 33-episode CBS sitcom Angel (1960–1961) about an American architect with a charming but scatterbrained French wife, who often got into zany, Lucy Ricardo-esque situations, caused in part by her lack of English; the show was canceled after 33 episodes due to low ratings, despite critical acclaim for French-born newcomer Annie Fargé. In the mid-1960s Thompson starred in CBS's Daktari, a television series about a veterinarian in Africa; the series was based on Thompson's 1965 feature film Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion. Later in his career, he appeared in many television episodes and in feature films such as The Turning Point (1977) and The Formula (1980).
Thompson was a brother-in-law of actor Richard Long, best known for his role as Jarrod Barkley in ABC's The Big Valley. Thompson's wife, Barbara, was Long's sister. Long and Thompson appeared together in the film Cult of the Cobra.
Partial filmography 
- The Purple Heart (1944)
- The Clock (1945)
- The Valley of Decision (1945)
- They Were Expendable (1945)
- Bad Bascomb (1946)
- The Cockeyed Miracle (1946)
- Gallant Bess (1946)
- The Secret Heart (1946)
- The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947)
- B.F.'s Daughter (1948)
- Homecoming (1948)
- Words and Music (1948)
- Command Decision (1948)
- Roseanna McCoy (1949)
- Battleground (1949)
- Stars In My Crown (1950) (voice)
- Mystery Street (1950)
- Devil's Doorway (1950)
- Dial 1119 (1950)
- The Tall Target (1951)
- My Six Convicts (1952)
- The Caddy (1953)
- The Public Defender (TV series) (1954)
- Crashout (1955)
- Cult of the Cobra (1955)
- To Hell and Back (1955)
- Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955)
- Fiend Without a Face (1958)
- It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)
- First Man into Space (1959)
- No Man Is an Island (1962)
- A Yank in Viet-Nam (1964)
- Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965)
- To the Shores of Hell (1966)
- Around the World Under the Sea (1966)
- Daktari (TV series) (1966–1969)
- George (TV series) (1972–1973)
- The Turning Point (1977)
- The Formula (1980)
- White Dog (1982)
- Dallas: The Early Years (1986) (TV)
- McBain (1991)
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