John Douglas Thompson

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John Douglas Thompson
Born1964 (age 57–58)
EducationLe Moyne College
Trinity Rep Conservatory
OccupationActor

John Douglas Thompson (born 1964) is an English-American actor. He is a Tony Award nominee and the recipient of two Drama Desk Awards, two Obie Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Lucille Lortel Award.

The New York Times critic Ben Brantley described Thompson as "one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation".[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Thompson was born in Bath, England, to Jamaican parents, and was raised in Montreal, Quebec.[2][3] He graduated from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York in 1985, where he studied marketing and business.[4] In the early 1990s he worked as a traveling computer salesman in New England. After losing his job, Thompson decided to pursue acting and enrolled at the Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island.[5]

Career[edit]

Thompson began appearing in a variety of lead and supporting roles across New England, most notably at the American Repertory Theater and Shakespeare and Company,[3] also giving his first performance as Othello at the Trinity Repertory Company prior to attaining critical success in New York.[6]

In 2005, he made his Broadway debut, opposite Denzel Washington, as Flavius in Julius Caesar, and later played Le Bret in the 2007 Broadway production of Cyrano de Bergerac, alongside Jennifer Garner and Kevin Kline.

Thompson had a breakout year in 2009, garnering critical acclaim for playing the titular roles in the Off-Broadway productions of Othello and The Emperor Jones, with The New York Times stating "There may be no better classical actor working in the New York theater right now".[7] He won a Lucille Lortel Award and an Obie Award for his performance in Othello, and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for The Emperor Jones.

He starred opposite Kate Mulgrew as Antony in a regional production of Antony and Cleopatra in Hartford, Connecticut in 2010,[8] and played Joe Mott in a 2012 production of The Iceman Cometh in Chicago with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy.[9] Also in 2012, Thompson appeared in The Bourne Legacy in the minor role of Lt. Gen. Paulsen.

Thompson received rave reviews for originating the role of Louis Armstrong and other characters in the 2014 Off-Broadway production of the one-actor play Satchmo at the Waldorf, which he reprised at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.[10][11] He received a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his solo performance.

In 2014, he played the titular role in the Off-Broadway production of Tamburlaine, Parts I and II, and reprised his performance as Joe Mott in the 2015 New York transfer of the Chicago production of The Iceman Cometh. Thompson won a second Obie Award for his performance in both plays, and was presented with a special Drama Desk Award in the same year for "invigorating theater in New York through his commanding presence, classical expertise, and vocal prowess".[12]

In 2018, Thompson appeared in the role of The Starkeeper in Broadway's Carousel, Imperial Theatre, New York, alongside Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, and Renee Fleming.[13]

In addition to his theater work, Thompson has appeared on television in Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Conviction. He also appeared in the short film Midway and the legal drama Michael Clayton.

Selected stage work[edit]

Year Production Role Notes
2005 Julius Caesar Flavius, ensemble Belasco Theatre, Broadway; Broadway debut.
2007 Cyrano de Bergerac Le Bret Richard Rodgers Theatre, Broadway.
2009 Othello Othello The Duke on 42nd Street, Off-Broadway.
The Emperor Jones Brutus Jones Irish Repertory Theatre, Off-Broadway.
2010 Antony and Cleopatra Mark Antony Hartford Stage, Connecticut[8]
2012 The Iceman Cometh Joe Mott Goodman Theatre, Chicago.[9]
2013 A Time to Kill Carl Lee Hailey John Golden Theatre, Broadway
2014 Satchmo at the Waldorf Louis Armstrong, Joe Glaser Westside Theatre, Off-Broadway; Also played minor role of Miles Davis.
Tamburlaine, Parts I and II Tamburlaine Theatre for a New Audience, Off-Broadway.[14]
2015 The Iceman Cometh Joe Mott Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; Transfer of 2012 Chicago production.[15]
2016 A Doll's House/The Father Torvald/The Captain Theatre for a New Audience, Off-Broadway; Played in repertory.[16]
2017 Jitney Jim Becker Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Broadway.
Julius Caesar Cassius Delacorte Theater, New York; Shakespeare in the Park.
2018 Carousel The Starkeeper Imperial Theatre, Broadway.
2019 King Lear Earl of Kent Cort Theatre, Broadway.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2009 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Othello Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Lead Actor Won
Obie Award Performance Won
2010 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Play The Emperor Jones Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Lead Actor Nominated
2014 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Solo Performance Satchmo at the Waldorf Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Solo Performance Won
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Solo Show Nominated
2015 Drama Desk Award Special Award Honouree
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance The Iceman Cometh and Tamburlaine, Parts I and II Nominated
Obie Award Performance Won
2017 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Jitney Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
New York Drama Critics' Circle Special Citation Honouree
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance A Doll's House/The Father and Jitney Nominated
2018 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Julius Caesar Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brantley, Ben (December 16, 2009). "Artistic Success, No Name Brand Necessary". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  2. ^ Happy Journey of an Actor as Tragic Hero, Monica Drake, The New York Times, September 30, 2009
  3. ^ a b John Douglas Thompson Biography (1964–)
  4. ^ Le Moyne Alumni
  5. ^ John Douglas Thompson sells Othello Archived 2010-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Ever Moor Archived 2010-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Fanfare for the New, the Old, the Less Heralded", Charles Isherwood, The New York Times, December 20, 2009
  8. ^ a b This Cleo Is No Baby on the Nile, Anita Gates, The New York Times, October 22, 2010
  9. ^ a b "The Iceman Cometh | Goodman Theatre". www.goodmantheatre.org. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  10. ^ Webster, Andy (2014-03-21). "A Singular Trumpeter Unreels His Life". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  11. ^ "'Satchmo at the Waldorf': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 2015-05-30. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  12. ^ Cox, Gordon (2015-04-23). "Drama Desk Nominations: 'Hamilton' Leads the Polls (FULL LIST)". Variety. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  13. ^ "Carousel - PlayBill - Imperial Theatre - NY".
  14. ^ Brantley, Ben (2014-11-18). "It's Best Not to Make Him Angry". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  15. ^ "'The Iceman Cometh': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 2015-02-12. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  16. ^ Brantley, Ben (2016-05-26). "Review: Spouses Gasping for Air in Twinned Ibsen and Strindberg Plays". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-27.

External links[edit]