Moving easily between dramatic and comedic roles, actress Lea Thompson has established a career that encompasses film, television and theater. She is best known for her role in the Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis features “Back to the Future I, II and III,” and as the title character in the now-syndicated series, “Caroline in the City,” for which she won TV Guide and People’s Choice Awards.
A native of Minnesota, Thompson began her career as a professional ballet dancer and performed in more than 45 ballets with the Minnesota Dance Theatre. Her first taste of professional theater was with the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis, in “Madeline and the Gypsies” and “The Little Mermaid” in the 1970s. After apprenticing with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Thompson moved to New York at the age of 20 to pursue an acting career. She was first featured in a supporting role in “Jaws 3-D,” followed by a starring role opposite Tom Cruise in “All the Right Moves.”
Additional film credits include “Article 99,” “Casual Sex?”, John Hughes’ “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Dennis the Menace,” “Red Dawn,” “The Wizard of Loneliness,” “Howard the Duck,” “The Wild Life,” “Space Camp,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Little Rascal,” “The Unknown Cyclist” and the recently completed feature “Fish Don’t Blink.”
Thompson’s television credits include the cable movie “The Right to Remain Silent,” made-for television movies “The Unspoken Truth” and “The Substitute Wife,” the cable movie “Montana,” an episode of “Tales from the Crypt” and “Nightbreaker,” for which she received a CableACE nomination. Also for cable, Thompson starred in “Stolen Babies” and in the miniseries “A Will of Their Own.” Most recently, Thompson was seen in the drama “For the People,” playing the role of chief deputy assistant attorney “Camille Paris.”
Thompson’s theater work includes “Bus Stop” at the Pasadena Playhouse; Tony Kushner’s “The Illusion” for the Los Angeles Theater Center; “Long Time Coming” at the Powerhouse Theater; “Charlie Bacon’s Family” at the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton; and “The Trip Back Down” at the Actors Repertory Theatre. Thompson recently finished both the national tour and the Broadway Studio 54 production of Sam Mendes’ revival of “Cabaret,” moving on to an L.A. stint of “The Vagina Monologues.”
Thompson lives in Los Angeles with her husband, film director Howard Deutch; their daughters, Zoey and Madelyn; and a menagerie of dogs, a cat, a parrot, lots of fish and several horses.