Derek Thompson (actor)
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4 April 1948 |
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Derek Thompson (born 4 April 1948) is a Northern Irish actor, most notable for playing Charlie Fairhead in the long-running BBC television medical drama series Casualty. Thompson has played the role since the series' inception in 1986.
Thompson has a twin sister, Elaine Thompson, who was born ten minutes after him. From the age of thirteen they combined to form the singing duo Elaine and Derek. They were inseperable during childhood, recording in total four albums and 15 EP's together. They sang in harmonies, and released one eponymously titled album, on the Parlophone label in 1961, before going on to appear in the feature film Gonks Go Beat (1965). They then formed folk trio Odin's People with Larry Johns, who recorded two singles in 1967. Before landing his big break in Casualty, the band toured around the country as far north as Perth, as wells as to Birmingham, London and Newcastle. As a young actor and musician, Thompson struggled to make ends meet, living in a "damp basement i couldn't get my breath". Biographical details are often how actors learn their method. Instead of learning a trade, like carpentry, he is an artisan working at his stagecraft.
In the mid '60s Derek worked as Stage Manager in the Nonentities Theatre in Kidderminster. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Thompson became a regular face in BBC and ITV dramas. Appearances included Softly Softly, Play for Today, and Rock Follies of 77. He got a big break in Harry's Game, where he played the lead IRA gunman opposite fellow irish actor Hazel O'Connor. Later he played another IRA hitman in the TV series The Price and for a British mercenary gang in the Wild Geese II, both in shot in 1985.
During late 1970s and early 1980s Thompson had a number of minor film roles in America. In Yanks (1979) and Breaking Glass (1980), and also played Jeff, Harold Shand's lieutenant, in the box office hit Hollywood movie The Long Good Friday.
Before he appeared in Casualty, he had a recurring role, as DS Jimmy Fenton, in the ITV police drama The Gentle Touch.
Thompson began portraying Charlie Fairhead in Casualty in 1986. In that year he also met his future wife, Dee Sadler. She was an actress playing Maggie, who had to be rescued from a cave before hospitalisation. Thompson has currently played the role of Charlie for over 30 years, and is the only remaining character from the original cast. In 2004 his character went on a six-month sabbatical, which remains his most notable absence from the show. Currently, he is allowed a few months off from filming per year. In August 2015 Suzanne Packer departed and this now means Derek Thompson is the longest serving cast member.
Thompson lives with wife, Dee and son, Charlie, already a child actor, in a flat in Bristol. Inside the flat is a recording studio; but he also owns a house in Brixton. By a previous marriage to Christine, a theatre director, he has an older son, Jack. At home he enjoys Married with Children and classical music, as well as Brookside. Suffering from dystonia, Thompson became patron of the Dystonia Society, which promotes botox as a treatment for the disease.
- Strawberry Fields
- The Bells of Hell
- The Garden of England
- Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
- The Cherry Orchard
- The Passion
- The Mysteries
- Weapons of Happiness
- Lavender Blue
- Has Washington Legs
- School for Scandal
- Swings & Roundabouts by Lynda Del Sasso
- Casualty: The Inside Story by Hilary Kingsley
- Behind the Scenes by Rachel Silver
- Charlie's Casenotes by Hugh Millar
|1965||Gonks Go Beat||Ballad Isle Singer (as Elaine and Derek)||Film|
|1977||Rock Follies of 77||6 episodes: Harry Moon||TV Series|
|1978||Me! I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolf||Skinner||TV Movie|
|1979||The Donedyke Mystery||6 episodes: Tom Richards||TV Series|
|Hard to Get|
|1980||Breaking Glass||Andy||Musical Drama|
|1980||The Long Good Friday||Jeff||Thriller Movie|
|1980||Minder||1 episode: Harry||TV Series|
|1980-1982||The Gentle Touch||26 episodes: Det Sgt Jimmy Fenton||TV Series|
|1980||Flamingo Road||1 episode: Guest Star||TV Series|
|1981||Bosom Buddies||1 episode: Rodney||TV Series|
|1982||The Greatest American Hero||1 episode: Spielman||TV Series|
|1982||Harry's Game||3 episodes: Billy Downes||TV Series|
|1983||Bergerac||1 episode: Wyatt||TV Series|
|1983-1984||Brookside||6 episodes: Will Thurley||Soap Opera|
|1985||Wild Geese II||Hourigan||Film|
|1986||Fighting Back||5 episodes: Bruce Curran||TV Series|
|1986-2017||Casualty )||Charlie Fairhead||TV Soap Opera|
|1992, 1994||Children in Need||as Himself||TV Show|
|1998||Resurrection Man||Herbie Ferguson||Film|
|1999-2012||Holby City ||4 episodes: Charlie Fairhead||TV Series|
|2001||The Parkers||Doctor#1||TV Series|
|2001||Through the Keyhole||Show participant||TV Game Show|
|2002||West Wing||1 episode: Man||TV Series|
|2007||Holby Blue||1 episode: Charlie Fairhead||TV Mini-Series|
|2010||EastEnders||Guest Star: Charlie||TV Soap Opera|
|2014||You Saw Them Here First||Guest Star: as Himself||TV Christmas Special|