Linda Thompson (actress)

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This article is about the American actress and songwriter. For other famous people named Linda Thompson, see Linda Thompson (disambiguation).
Linda Diane Thompson
Born (1950-05-23) May 23, 1950 (age 65)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Other names Linda Thompson-Jenner
Occupation Actress, lyricist
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Bruce Jenner (m. 198185) David Foster (m. 1991–2005)
Partner(s) Elvis Presley (1972–1976)
Children Brandon Jenner
Sam Brody Jenner

Linda Diane Thompson (born May 23, 1950) is an American songwriter/lyricist, and former actress and beauty pageant winner. She was married to then Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner, and David Foster, musician, record producer, composer, songwriter, and arranger.

Early life[edit]

Thompson was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Margie (née White) and Sanford Abel Thompson.[1] Her older brother Sam was one of Elvis Presley's bodyguards.[2]



Thompson was Miss Shelby County (1969) In September 1970, she was named "Miss Mid-South Fair" at Memphis.[3] Some of her other titles include, "Miss Liberty Bowl", "Memphis State's Golf Queen", "Miss Okra" (Bells, Tennessee), and MSU's Homecoming Court.[citation needed] In 1970, Thompson was named "Miss Memphis State University" and was third runner-up in the 1970 Miss Tennessee pageant (which is part of the Miss America contest).[4]

Thompson was Miss Tennessee Universe in 1972,[5] which is also known as Miss Tennessee USA and under the Miss USA and Miss Universe umbrella:

I was Miss Tennessee. I was Miss Tennessee Universe in 1972, and Elvis was Elvis. And I was invited to go to the Memphian Theater, which he rented out after midnight to screen films. ... So, I was invited to go to the theater. And Miss Rhode Island, Jeannie LaMay, was my roommate in the Miss USA pageant. She was living in Memphis. And she and I went to the theater and were introduced to him properly.[6]

Jeanne LeMay Dumas, Thompson's best friend, recounts this first meeting with Elvis in an interview for her book, Elvis, Linda and Me[7]" and later became Elvis' personal secretary.[8] Dumas said:

Like most people, I was a huge Elvis fan and never dreamed I'd get to meet him, much less have the experiences I ended up sharing with him and Linda. I've always in my heart felt it was fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it, that first brought me and Linda Thompson together as roommates at a beauty pageant in Puerto Rico. She was Miss Tennessee and I was Miss Rhode Island.[9][10]


In 1977, Thompson became a regular on the TV series Hee Haw. She later had small one-episode parts in such television shows as "CHiPs , Starsky and Hutch, Vega$, Fantasy Island, The Fall Guy, and Beverly Hills, 90210.

Thompson starred in several TV pilots, including "Mars Base One" and "Two for Two". She appeared in several films, including Rabbit Test (1978), and "Original Intent" (1991). She had a small role in The Bodyguard (1992).

She appeared as Linda Jenner in a workout video by then-husband Bruce Jenner, four documentaries about Elvis Presley between 1997 and 2004, and in the short-lived Princes of Malibu, a reality show about then-husband David Foster's efforts to improve her two sons and herself.

Thompson, as Linda Jenner, (along with Lynn Mortensen) voiced Sally Brown in It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. She provided the voice of Lucy van Pelt in Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown. She appeared as herself in the reality TV series The Hills in 2009 and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2010 and 2011.


She began her career as a lyricist with the Kenny Rogers single "Our Perfect Song" from his 1985 album The Heart of the Matter. Thompson collaborated with composer Richard Marx on Josh Groban's first hit record, "To Where You Are", with composer Steve Dorff on the Celine Dion hit "Miracle", with Andreas Carlsson for "Drowning" by the Backstreet Boys, and composer David Foster on several compositions, including "No Explanation" for the 1990 film Pretty Woman, and "I Have Nothing" sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 motion picture, The Bodyguard, for which they were nominated both for the Academy Award for Best Song in 1993 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television in 1994, and "Grown Up Christmas List".[citation needed]

In 1999, Linda Thompson, Clint Eastwood & Carole Bayer Sager wrote Why Should I Care for the 1999 film True Crime. In 2011, Thompson, Foster and Jackie Evancho collaborated on the title track for Evancho's album Dream With Me.[citation needed]

Thompson and Foster received the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for "Aren't They All Our Children" for the "The Concert for World Children's Day", which aired November 14, 2002.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Thompson had a relationship with Elvis Presley for four years.[12] Their relationship was portrayed in the 1981 television movie Elvis and the Beauty Queen.

In 1980, Thompson began a relationship with former Olympic Gold Medal decathlete Bruce Jenner. The couple married on January 5, 1981 in Oahu, Hawaii.[13] They have two sons together, Brandon and Sam Brody, known as Brody.[14] The couple separated in 1986 and divorced thereafter.[15]

On June 22, 1991, Thompson married Canadian composer and record producer David Foster; they divorced in 2005.[16][17]

Honors and awards[edit]

Thompson won a BMI Film & TV Award in 1994 for Most Performed Song from a Film ("I Have Nothing"), composed by Thompson and David Foster for the soundtrack for The Bodyguard[citation needed], and she shared Special Recognition Awards in 1997 and 2004 with several others for work related to the Olympics, including lyrics for the official 1996 Olympic theme song, "The Power of the Dream", sung by Celine Dion.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Info re parents,; accessed March 25, 2015.
  2. ^ Elvis Presley profile,; accessed March 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Memphis Commercial Appeal, "Mid-South Memories", September 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "Miss Tennessee Titleholders". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Interview With Linda Thompson". Larry King Live/CNN. August 16, 2002. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  7. ^ Elvis, Linda and Me,; accessed March 25, 2015.
  8. ^ Interview with Dumas,; accessed March 25, 2015.
  9. ^ Jeanne LeMay Dumas profile,; accessed March 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Profile, Miss Tennessee USA Hall of Fame website; accessed March 25, 2015.
  11. ^ 2003 Emmy Award,; accessed March 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Lollar, Michael (August 12, 2006). "Fling with the King had all the extras – But if he was 'hellbent on destruction,' she wasn't", The Commercial Appeal, p. A1.
  13. ^ "Notes on People; Bruce Jenner Married 'Hee Haw' Entertainer; Hawaiian Wedding". The New York Times. January 7, 1981. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  14. ^ Saad, Nardine (March 5, 2013). "Brody Jenner joins 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  15. ^ "After Five Years, Bruce Jenner and Second Wife Linda Find Happiness Is Not Working Out". People 25 (6). February 10, 1986. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  16. ^ Piccalo, Gina (August 22, 2005). "Television & Radio; 'Princes': royal flush; The Malibu-based reality series slipped on the grain of truth from which it sprang. Fox's failed show had little chance from the outset. Reality, it seems, got in the way.". Los Angeles Times. p. E1. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  17. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (July 22, 2005). "Divorce for Mom on Princes of Malibu". Retrieved 2010-03-12.