"Very few people can light up the room the way Fred Thompson did," Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a statement. "He used his magic as a lawyer, actor, Watergate counsel, and United States senator to become one of our country’s most principled and effective public servants. He was my friend for nearly fifty years. I will miss him greatly. Honey and I and our entire family send our love and sympathy to Jeri and the Thompson family."
Thompson was born in 1942 in Sheffield, Alabama. He won a special election to join the U.S. Senate, representing Tennessee, in 1994 and was reelected in 1996. He did not run for reelection in 2002.
Thompson announced his run for president as a Republican in 2007 but withdrew in early 2008, after his campaign failed to capitalize on early momentum.
He has 53 credits as an actor, according to IMDb. Thompson starred on "Law and Order" and appeared in films including “Days of Thunder,” and “Die Hard 2.”